CHICAGO -- The Cubs may have added a key piece to the bullpen Wednesday, signing reliever Koji Uehara to a one-year, $6 million contract.
Since winning the World Series, the Cubs' main goal this offseason has been to bolster the bullpen, and so far, they've acquired closer Wade Davis from the Royals, signed Uehara and Brian Duensing, and added lefty Caleb Smith from the Rule 5 Draft in a trade with the Brewers.
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With lefty Mike Montgomery headed to the rotation and Travis Wood gone via free agency, the Cubs wanted to build up a reserve of pitching that can counter left-handed hitters. In his career, Uehara, 41, has held lefty batters to a .183 average, while right-handers have hit .208.
Uehara was limited to 50 games this past season with the Red Sox after being sidelined with a right pectoral strain, and he finished 2-3 with a 3.45 ERA.
Over eight seasons in the big leagues pitching for the Orioles, Rangers and Red Sox, Uehara was 19-22 with a 2.53 ERA in 387 games. He was Boston's closer from 2013-15.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.