Source: Cubs Meet With Shogo Akiyama

Akiyama could fill the Cubs' need for a center fielder and leadoff man.

Bruce Levine
December 11, 2019 - 6:38 pm
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SAN DIEGO (670 The Score) --With a real need to address their center field position and the leadoff spot in the lineup, the Cubs met with Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama here at the Winter Meetings, a source said.

The Cubs have payroll constraints that are making additions difficult for them this offseason, but it appears Akiyama will fit into their price range. Akiyama would be content with a deal of two years and around $10 million, a second source said. There's no posting fee involved with Akiyama, who turns 32 in April.

The Cubs are seeking a leadoff man who has good plate discipline, and Akiyama has a career .376 on-base percentage in nine seasons for the Seibu Lions in the Nippon Professional Baseball, the highest level of play in Japan. That includes marks of .392 and .403 over the past two seasons. Akiyama is a five-time All-Star in the NPB. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed.

Cubs leadoff hitters performed poorly in 2019, with the team posting a .212 batting average and .294 on-base percentage out of the top spot in the order. Both marks ranked last in MLB.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.