Cubs Make a Big Splash in Free Agency - footballivenews
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Cubs Make a Big Splash in Free Agency



It wasn’t until January 9th that the Chicago Cubs made their move in the free agency market.

According to Bob Nightengale, pending a physical examination, the Cubs and Japanese left-handed pitcher Shota Imanaga have reached an agreement. Once the physical is completed, the deal could be officially finalized as early as Thursday.

Imanaga is set to follow the footsteps of other Japanese players making the transition to the Major Leagues in America.

After missing out on pitchers Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who both signed lucrative contracts with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs have been relatively quiet in the market. Although they made a few minor league deals and extended Spring Training invites, fans have eagerly awaited a significant move from President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer to demonstrate the team’s commitment to building a competitive roster.

Imanaga will join the Cubs’ pitching staff, aiming to build on the positive momentum the team generated last season, despite a late-season slowdown. The addition of another left-handed pitcher to complement emerging talent Justin Steele in the starting rotation is a move that Cubs fans have been anticipating, especially in a league where left-handed pitching is highly valued.

In the 2023 season in Japan, Imanaga appeared in 24 games, pitching 159 innings, tallying 188 strikeouts with a 1.019 WHIP and a 2.66 ERA.

While the Imanaga signing is a positive step, the Cubs, competing in the fiercely competitive National League, will need to continue bolstering their roster to firmly establish themselves as contenders. Hoyer may need to open up the team’s budget to attract additional top-tier talent.