Last weekend, we reported here at BCB that Japanese righthander Kyuji Fujikawa was going to be signed by the Cubs. Friday, he was introduced to the media at Wrigley Field. There's no official photo of him yet in a Cubs uniform, nor any photos available to me in our photo editor, but here he is in front of the Cubs dugout at Wrigley Field.
Incidentally, in the background of that photo you can see seats marked off for the season-ticket wait-list event that's going to happen at Wrigley Saturday. Looks like there are a ton of seats available.
The rest of this post is going to be links and tweets, because that's all we have so far.
A lot of Japanese media came to cover the news conference, although somewhat fewer than attended Kosuke Fukudome's introductory news conference five years ago.
Fujikawa wanted Cubs all along. "In my head it was Cubs, Cubs, Cubs."— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) December 7, 2012
He'll wear a different uniform number than he wore in Japan:
Fujikawa wore No. 22 in Japan. Said he wanted to go younger with two 1s. So No.11— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) December 7, 2012
Here's hoping he does better as a Cub than the last player to wear that number (Blake DeWitt, in case you've forgotten).
He didn't speak English at the news conference. Here's why:
Kyuji says his broken English is enough to communicate with his teammates but today he didn't want to make a mistake. #Cubs— Adam Harris (@aharris670) December 7, 2012
And, as far as the makeup of the bullpen is concerned:
#Cubs GM says Marmol still closer. "Our goal is to have best bullpen possible"— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) December 7, 2012
I'm not sure I buy that. I'm sure Carlos Marmol is on the market, and the Cubs would happily trade him if they get the right deal. If not, Fujikawa would likely set up for Marmol, unless Marmol implodes again.
This is a good, fairly low-cost signing, and will make the Cubs bullpen quite a bit better than it was in 2012.
Finally, in case you missed it, the Cubs invited minor-league righthander Andrew Carpenter to spring training.