Maybe the Cubs are turning Japanese, turning Japanese, I really think so.
The Chicago Cubs have signed outfielder So Taguchi to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Taguchi would earn $900,000 if he makes the team in spring training.
Taguchi spent all of last season as a backup outfielder for the Phillies, but was a disappointment, batting only .220, with no homers and three stolen bases, in just 91 at-bats. He went only 3 for 33 (.091) as a pinch-hitter. ESPN.
So, this is kind of a minor matter, because it’s just a minor league deal. But it’s still more pressure on moving Felix Pie. The Cubs are not going to carry more than 5 outfielders, and the jumble currently looks something like this:
Soriano, Johnson, Fukudome, Bradley, Gathright, Pie, Taguchi (and possibly Hoffpauir if you include him).
Maybe the Cubs just want some Japanese guys around for Fukudome, as has been speculated. But will they have to carry them for the entire season, or will Spring Training be enough to soothe the Eastern beast?