Cubs agree to deal with LHP Shota Imanaga

Left-hander Shota Imanaga agreed to a four-year deal with the Chicago Cubs worth a reported $53 million.

Multiple outlets reported the Japanese southpaw was headed to the Cubs after pitching for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars and posting for MLB free agency last year.

Imanaga’s contract includes a team option to extend the deal to become a five-year, $80 million pact, according to MLB Network.

Left-hander Justin Steele, right-handers Kyle Hendricks and Jameson Taillon and a number of prospects are expected to be in the mix for the starting rotation.

Imanaga, 30, led Nippon Professional Baseball with 174 strikeouts last season, ahead of new Dodgers right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto (169).

During the World Baseball Classic, Imanaga’s fastball clocked between 92-95 mph and he used a “heavy” splitter and curve to strike out seven in six innings.

In eight seasons in Japan, Imanaga produced a 3.18 ERA and 1,021 strikeouts in 1,002 2/3 innings.