Chicago Cubs: Top 3 reasons to sign Shogo Akiyama

(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs clearly aren’t moving quickly on anyone this season. That being said, they need to pull the trigger on outfielder Shogo Akiyama soon.

There’s been no shortage of news lately. The New York Yankees signed right-handed flamethrower Gerrit Cole to a nine-year deal worth $324 million and the White Sox came to an agreement with left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

A little closer to home, the Milwaukee Brewers reached a $5 million, one-year deal with free agent first baseman Justin Smoak and of course free agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner signed an $85 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

What have the Cubs been doing?

Chicago’s latest acquisition is free agent outfielder Ian Miller who was signed to a minor league contract. However the Cubs have been talking with Japanese free agent outfielder Shogo Akiyama. If the Cubs were to go after Akiyama and bring him onboard, this would do a lot to get the team back on track after what can only be called a rough start to the offseason.

Here are the top three reasons the Chicago Cubs need Akiyama.

3. Center field needs a commander

The North Siders recently tendered a contract to Albert Almora. His fellow outfielder Ian Happ seems likely to return, as well. This allows skipper David Ross to keep Jason Heyward in right field where he is a five-time Gold Glove winner.

In left field, there’s Kyle Schwarber who the New York Yankees could (at least in theory) like to grab in a possible deal for third baseman Miguel Andujar.  If the Cubs decide to use Happ and Almora  primarily in left to cover that shortfall, then all that’s missing is a go-to guy in center.

Chicago an excellent opportunity to get a seasoned professional who will be 32 years old at the start of next season and could possibly be the glue in the outfield. Akiyama has four seasons and 403 games played in his career at center field and boasts an overall outfield fielding percentage of .990.

And that’s just number the first of three reasons the Cubs should grab Akiyama.