A quick minor move today as the Cubs agreed to terms with Japanese left-handed reliever, Hisanori Takahashi to a minor league deal. The signing includes an invitation to big league spring training to audition for a spot in the rotation. Takahashi came to the big leagues at the age of 35, and has pitched for the Mets, Angels, and the Pirates. He’s faced the Cubs in two games in his big league career, so it’s possible you may remember watching him pitch. He’s coming off a year in 2012 in which he made $4.2 million dollars and posted an ERA over five and a half in just over 50 IP.
MLB Trade Rumors lists that “Takahashi has held big league lefties to a .238/.283/.381 batting line with a 4.14 K/BB.”. With very few left handed options currently in the system, the signing offers a low risk lottery ticket for a guy who may help the pen in a LOOGY role sometime this season. If we see him in that role successfully, he could be moved for a younger prospect at the deadline.
Most likely, Takahashi will not make the Major League roster out of camp and will then decide if he would like to continue to pitch by accepting an assignment to minor league camp as he waits for his turn.