Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
It's a minor-league deal for the 37-year-old Japanese lefthander.
The Cubs will, according to this report, have not one, but two Japanese relief pitchers in camp in February:
Source in Japan says lefty reliever Hisanori Takahashi has agreed with Cubs on a minor league deal with big league invite.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 28, 2012
Takahashi has pitched in the major leagues for the last three seasons, for the Mets, Angels and Pirates. He started a few games for the Mets in 2010; since then he's pitched exclusively in relief. In 2012, he posted a 4.93 ERA and 1.167 WHIP for the Angels in 42 games; acquired on waivers by the Pirates in August, he made nine appearances for them covering 8⅔ innings, and didn't do as well: 8.64 ERA, 1.68 WHIP.
Takahashi was a pretty good pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants between 2000 and 2009; looking at those NPB numbers, it appears he suffered a mid-career injury from which he recovered.
Since this is a minor-league deal, no 40-man Jenga will be necessary. This isn't a big move, but the Cubs haven't done much over the last week, so it's worth posting about and discussing. So, have at it.