From the comment section at Cubs Den, TokyoCraig:
Very excited about this move. Not only for the stronger bullpen and trade value it creates, but also (selfishly) now the Japanese sports press will follow the Cubs more!
A little worried that Fujikawa likes to try to blow his fastball by everyone, which won't translate as well against Major League hitters, but he also has a great splitter/fork. And a good nasty streak. We were at a game a few years ago and he got mad at a batter for calling time too much and at the last second. Continued with his delivery and threw it intentionally to the backstop!
I like the move, splitter is probably my favorite pitch in baseball.
Regardless of how good/bad this guy will be, its hopefully gonna help move Marmol out of town, which is a win. Dont mind this deal, if he stinks he will be gone shortly, and his money wont affect the team too much when theyre ready to compete in a couple years. If hes good, its a good contract value and a stop gap while they look to fill the closer spot longterm.
I personally don't understand why fans don't think we should spend money on the bullpen when we are rebuilding. It would be different if we had a bunch of young arms ready to pitch in the bullpen, but we don't.
When you have the kind of money we have... why not spend some money and fix a huge hole in the pen? Then we can trade some of those guys, or keep them if we feel like they fit long term.
If Theo could overhaul the pen this offseason, it would go a long way in getting us back to respectable.
Actually the Cubs have a lot of interesting young arms in AAA that could be great bullpen options, like Vizcaino and McNutt, among others.
I love the signing. i think he'll be great in the beginning like Fukudome. Now lets hope that the second and possibly third year of his contract arent as bad as Kosuke's were. Bullpen was our biggest problem, so locking down a closer is great. Im not too excited that Bowden is stretching out to become a starter. We need bullpen arms more, but i guess we'll take any pitching we can get
Kosuke actually wasn't "bad" till around the cleveland trade. He just didn't hit for the average he was expected to when he came over. It'd be like saying Fujikawa is a bust if his ERA is past 2.
Jeremy Affeldt got 3/18 to be 7th-8th inning guy. The Cubs got a potential closer for 2/9.5. But yeah, terrible deal.
So...sorry if this was already talked about.. But what's the point in signing a 32 year old closer when we are years from competing?