The Cubs have agreed to terms with South Korean reliever Chang-Yong Lim on a split contract worth up to $5 million, according to a report from Yonhap News.
The Cubs would not confirm the deal.
The pact reportedly will pay Lim varying salaries for his time at the Minor League level and in the big leagues. The 36-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in July, his second such operation. He is not expected to return to action until the heart of the summer and he told reporters that the Cubs don't expect him to pitch in a game until 2014.
Lim spent the last five seasons with the Yakult Swallows, who released him following the 2012 campaign. He pitched in only nine games last year, in which he tossed seven scoreless innings. Over his five years with Yakult, he compiled a 2.09 ERA in 238 appearances and tallied 128 saves, with 231 strikeouts in 233 frames.
According to the report, Lim received offers from the Cubs, Red Sox, Rangers and a handful of teams in Japan. Prior to joining the Swallows, he pitched for the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization.
Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel.