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Cubs Reportedly Sign Reliever Hisanori Takahashi to a Minor League Deal

Chicago Cubs News, Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

hisanori takahashiWell, we’ve been looking for the Cubs to bring in another lefty for the bullpen …


Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that the Chicago Cubs have signed lefty Hisanori Takahashi to a minor league deal, and have invited him to Spring Training.

Takahashi, 37, pitched primarily with the Angels last year, and mostly ineffectively – he had a 5.54 ERA in 2012 in time split between LA and Pittsburgh. Before that, he pitched rather well in 2010 with the Mets (108 ERA+) and in 2011 with the Angels (110 ERA+). Before that, Takahashi pitched well in Japan.

Interestingly, his peripherals in 2012 suggest he was a lot better than his ERA said he was: 1.252 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.3 K/9. Indeed, his FIP was a slightly-better-than-average 3.93.

That’s the resume of a guy who could actually be a decent piece of the bullpen in 2013 for the Cubs, particularly if he’s used as a LOOGY (lefty one-out guy) – in his career, lefties have hit just .238/.283/.381 against him (though it was a bit worse in 2012), and his K/BB is 4.14. And on a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite? Zero risk? Even better.


With each successive minor league/Spring Training invite deal the Cubs put together for a pitcher – Cory Wade, Jensen Lewis, Andrew Carpenter – I like what I’m seeing more and more. These are guys who legitimately have a chance of cracking the bullpen, and, at worst, will offer excellent depth at AAA in case the injury bug strikes.


Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.