Rangers agree to a deal with Kyuji Fujikawa

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T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers have signed reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, pending a physical. Exact terms aren’t yet known, but Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram hears that he’ll get a one-year contract with an option for 2016.

Fujikawa was expected to handle the closer role when the Cubs brought him over from Japan for $9.5 million two years ago, but he struggled in 12 appearances in 2013 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. The 34-year-old right-hander made it back to the majors this past August and posted a 4.85 ERA with 17 strikeouts and six walks over 16 innings down the stretch. He hit free agency after the Cubs declined a $5.5 million option on him in October.

It’s a low-risk move which could pay off nicely if Fujikawa is healthy and gets a better feel for his command the further removed he becomes from surgery.

Dustin Pedroia going back on injured list

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Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.

Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.

Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.

I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.

It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.