Chicago Cubs fans, who have been less than impressed with the free agent list for pitchers this offseason, take heart! There might be one more name added to the list in the very near future. Japanese hurler Yusei Kikuchi is expected to be posted. Should that happen, it would give the pitcher the green light to start talking about to major league baseball clubs about his immediate future. It stands to reason that should he really be dipping his toes in Major League Baseball's free agent waters, he would be a target for a Cubs team that could need another arm in a rotation that has a lot of question marks.

Does Yusei Kikuchi want to try MLB?

The big question, for the Chicago Cubs and the rest of the league, is whether the pitcher feels he's ready to give American baseball a go. The Japan Times reports his current team, the Seibu Lions have officially started their postseason after losing in Game 5 of the Pacific League Climax Series. Part of their postseason appears to be all about whether or not their ace wants to be posted. The team has reportedly said if he does decide he wants to go stateside they won't stand in the way. The question still remains whether or not that's the direction the 27-year-old pitcher wants to go.

“Well, the season just ended,” Kikuchi told the media after the loss. “A lot of things happened this year and I want to thank the many people who supported me.

Looking back on nine years, I can recall a lot of things that happened in that clubhouse." He added that he hasn't talked to the team about his choices yet. That certainly seems to be the case since the Seibu Lions are talking about being willing to let him go. He doesn't seem to know that for a fact.

Chicago Cubs could add a countryman for Yu Darvish

Yusei Kikuchi is good enough that the Cubs should be looking at adding him for purely performance reasons. Over nine years in the Japanese Baseball League he's posted a 2.77 ERA with 903 strikeouts in 1,010 innings. He's had at least 100 strikeouts in the last five seasons and a career high of 217 in 2017.

That's good enough for Chicago to take a look, even if he's not on the same level as recent imports like Shohei Otani.

For a team that is trying to make sure that Yu Darvish both can pitch again and wants to pitch again, Kikuchi could be an added bonus. There's no indication that Darvish needs another Japanese player on the team in order to feel comfortable or happy, but someone who speaks his native language on the roster certainly wouldn't be a negative. The Chicago Cubs could be taking a look and kicking the tires if he were to be posted.