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Cubs reportedly in line to get Japanese closer

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 5:26 p.m. CDT

(MCT) — The Cubs reportedly are among the teams interested in signing Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa and have met with him, according to a translation of a Nikkan Sports article.

While at least 10 teams have shown interest in the Hanshin Tigers’ bullpen ace, who has been the best closer in Japan recently, the 32-year-old reportedly has narrowed his choice to five teams, including the Dodgers, Angels, Diamondbacks and Orioles.

Because he is a free agent, major league teams do not have to go through a bidding war just to win rights to talk.

Over the past six seasons, Fujikawa has recorded 202 saves and 1.36 earned-run average.

In 2004, the White Sox signed Shingo Takatsu, then 35 years old, for $750,000. His 19 saves earned him a $2.5 million salary the next season which he began as the closer. But he quickly fell on hard times and was released in August after only eight saves for a team that went on to win the World Series.

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