Kyuji Fujikawa, a 32-year-old, hard-throwing right hander who is considered one of the best closers in Japan, toured
on Friday and had lunch with, among others,
executive vice president Dan Duquette.
Fujikawa, who is an unrestricted free agent and wants to pitch in the United States on a multi-year deal, was on a tour of sorts. In the past two weeks, he also has met with representatives of the
Fujikawa, who is known for a low-90s fastball with late life, has saved 202 games in the past six seasons for the Hanshin
Duquette, who wants to further establish the Orioles in the international market and signed two pitchers out of Japan’s professional baseball league last winter (
"He is a professional pitcher," Duquette said.
The strength of the surprising Orioles' 2012 season was the club's bullpen, which will return most of its members in 2013. However, Duquette has talked about stockpiling reasonably priced talent, no matter the position or need.
In other free agent news, former Orioles outfielder
Pie, who played with the Orioles from 2009 to 2011, did not appear in the majors last year. He hit .285, with a .338 on-base percentage, six homers and 51 RBIs in 96 games with the