The Red Sox’ bullpen had a lot of moving parts in 2012, and in an effort to add some stability, general manager Ben Cherington may be looking outside the country.
According to The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, 32-year-old Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa is drawing interest from the Red Sox. Boston could have some competition in landing the right-hander, though, as reports indicate that the Rangers, Angels, Diamondbacks and Dodgers have also scouted Fujikawa.
Fujikawa pitched for Japan in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics, as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He has also spent 12 seasons playing in Japan for Nippon Professional Baseball’s Hanshin Tigers, establishing himself as one of the league’s premier relievers.
Fujikawa, who is reportedly about to become a free agent, is coming off a season with the Tigers in which he went 2-2 with a 1.32 ERA while saving 24 games. His ERA has consistently been under 2.00 throughout his Japanese baseball career, and the righty’s career high for saves came in 2007, when he registered 46. Fujikawa shut the door 41 times in 2011.
Since Fujikawa will become a free agent, teams interested in signing him will not have to go through the Japanese posting process.
Kyuji Fujikawa, who was Hanshin Tigers closer is drawing interest from Red Sox. He’s 32 years old.
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) November 8, 2012
Photo via Wikipedia/Kyuji Fujikawa