The Chicago Cubs are close to signing a left handed reliever – Ken Takahashi from Japan. The deal would be for 1-year. Takahashi is a 40-year old left-handed reliever. Takahashi amassed a 3.50 ERA with an 8-5 record for Hiroshima in Japan.
The Cubs are likely making the move for 2 reasons. Takahashi would add a veteran left-handed arm in the Cubs bullpen. Currently, the Cubs only have 2 lefties on the roster – Sean Marshall and Neal Cotts. If the Cubs do sign Takahashi, that would allow Marshall to move into the rotation as the 5th starter with the departure of Jason Marquis.
The signing of Takahashi could also be related to Kosuke Fukodome’s 2nd half collapse during the 2008 MLB season. After starting the season hitting well over .300 with a high on-base percentage, Fukodome struggled in the 2nd half – hitting only .217 during the final 3 months of the season. The addition of another Japanese player like Takahashi could help Kosuke continue his adjustment to baseball in the United States. Stay tuned – we’ll keep you posted here at www.mycubstoday.com.