Rangers sign Japanese reliever Fujikawa to one-year deal

BY foxsports • December 16, 2014

Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa signed a $1 million, one-year deal Tuesday with the Texas Rangers that includes a club option for 2016.

Fujikawa was a standout reliever in Japan before spending the last two seasons with the Cubs. His time in Chicago was limited because of Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow. His deal with the Rangers includes performance-based incentives next season.

Before joining the Cubs, Fujikawa spent 12 seasons (2000, 2002-12) the Hanshin Tigers. He had a record of 42-25 with 220 saves and a 1.77 ERA in 562 appearances, with opponents batted only .175 against him over his final nine seasons in Japan (2004-12).

Fujikawa made just 12 appearances for the Cubs in 2013 before surgery. He returned last August, and made 15 appearances. The 34-year-old right-hander had a 5.04 ERA in those 27 games, but struck out 31 with only eight walks in 25 innings.

Texas also Tuesday signed first baseman Kyle Blanks and Tommy Field to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.

Blanks hit .309 with two homers and seven RBI in 26 games combined last season for San Diego and Oakland.

Field, a Texas native who was born in Austin and went to high school in Waco, spent last season in Triple-A. He hit .286 with seven homers and 42 RBI in 90 games while splitting time in the Los Angeles Angles' and Pittsburgh Pirates' organizations.

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