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.