Count the Angels among the teams Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa has met with as the free agent tires to decide on a new home.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Fujikawa toured the Angels’ ballpark Saturday while meeting with manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto.
Fujikawa, who’s coming the United States at age 32 after being one of the most dominant pitchers in Japanese history, has previously been linked to the Rangers, Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers. He’s coming off a season with a 1.32 ERA and has never had an ERA higher than 2.01, racking up 914 strikeouts in 703 total innings.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com just tweeted that the Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for president Theo Epstein. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it’s worth in excess of $50 million.
He’s earned it. When he took over the Cubs in October, 2011 the Cubs were a last place team with an aging roster and a front office that was several years behind the state of the art in every conceivable way. Last year the Cubs made the playoffs and this year they are baseball’s best team by a large margin and the franchise looks poised to continue its success for some time.
So, yeah, I’d say locking Theo up is a good idea.