Sources: Cubs sign Japanese closer

The Chicago Cubs landed a new closer on Saturday, signing Japanese free-agent right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9.5 million contract, according to major-league sources.

The Chicago Cubs landed a new closer on Saturday, signing Japanese free-agent right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9.5 million contract, according to major-league sources.

Fujikawa, 32, agreed to a two-year contract with a vesting option for a third season, sources said.

The Cubs likely will use him to replace right-hander Carlos Marmol, whom they attempted to trade to the Los Angeles Angels earlier this offseason.

Fujikawa spent 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers, recording 220 saves, 1.77 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than 4-to-1.

He was 2-2 for Hanshin last season with a 1.32 ERA in 47 2/3 innings. He missed time with an adductor strain, and hasn't thrown 70 innings in a season since 2007.

Fujikawa will receive a signing bonus of $1 million and $4 million salaries in 2013 and '14. His vesting option will be valued at $5.5 million or $6 million based on games finished.

If his option does not vest, the Cubs will hold a club option at $5.5 million with a $500,000 buyout.

Rival executives involved in the bidding said early Saturday that they expected Fujikawa to sign with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles were among the other clubs that expressed interest in Fujikawa.

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