New Posting System Could Have Max Bid, and One Report Has Cubs as “Stealth Candidate” on Masahiro Tanaka

masahiro tanakaThe world of Major League Baseball awaits a decision on the currently-non-existent posting system between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball, which would provide for Japanese teams to sell their players’ rights to MLB teams. The two sides have been negotiating for weeks, and Jon Morosi says a deal isn’t close.

Among the proposals on the table, there is the possibility that posting bids – historically, the blind bid for the rights to negotiate with the Japanese player – will be capped. In such a system, there would be a pre-arranged maximum bid, and several teams could agree to meet that maximum bid. How the rights would then be sorted out is a matter of continued discussion. Tim Brown reports that, if that system takes hold, the winning teams (i.e., the teams that agreed to meet the maximum bid) would “vie in negotiations for [the] player.” I take that to mean that, if six teams won the post, then those six teams could make offers to the player, who would choose from among them (that would certainly have the effect of transferring way more of the dollars committed in this process to the player). Presumably, then, only the team that actually signs the player would be obligated to pay the posting fee to the Japanese team. Under a system like this, it is reasonable to assume that the Cubs would be one of the teams meeting the maximum bid (unless it was insanely high, but odds are that it would be fairly reasonable) for Masahiro Tanaka. From there, they’d have to out-negotiate the other involved teams – a tall order, given the financial depths of the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, et al – but at least they’d have a seat at the table.

A separate maximum bid proposal (per a report out of Japan) would award the rights – in the event of multiple max bidders – to the team with the worst record in the previous season. Brown says this proposal isn’t going to fly, but you can see the obvious appeal there for the Cubs. They would get Tanaka if the Astros (money troubles tied to flailing network), Marlins (poor fit for a number of reasons), and White Sox (debatable) refused to meet the maximum bid. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Cubs are aggressively pushing for that proposal (which, in terms of precedent-setting, would be about competitive balance, not rewarding the Cubs – for that reason, in the long term, maybe the Cubs actually wouldn’t want to support that proposal).

Hopefully a system is in place within a couple weeks, because it is possible that, if the process drags on too long, Tanaka’s team will decide there won’t be enough value in posting him this year (because a number of MLB teams will have moved on to other options).

As for the Cubs’ involvement in the Tanaka process, something Cubs GM Jed Hoyer has repeatedly confirmed will be a thing, Joel Sherman reports that the Cubs are viewed by other teams as a serious contender to land Tanaka. Although the Yankees and Dodgers remain the favorites to win the rights to Tanaka once a posting system is put in place, executives from two involved teams told Sherman to “keep an eye out for the Cubs.”

More importantly, Sherman includes this bit: “But there are officials who say the sale contains provisions that financially handcuff Ricketts that would not be a factor for a posted player.” If I’m reading that correctly – and, with all appropriate love to Sherman, it’s an ill-written sentence surrounded by context that makes its meaning a little unclear – Sherman is saying that he’s heard whatever financial limitations the Cubs currently operate under would not apply in this situation. Those financial limitations, in short, are believed to be loan covenants that restrict the Ricketts Family’s ability to spend more than a certain percentage of Cubs revenues on the Cubs in any given year, so it’s hard to see how a posting price wouldn’t have the precise opposite effect (i.e., having to outlay a huge amount of cash in a single year would violate those covenants unless the Cubs’ other spending dropped dramatically for the year).

But Sherman has clearly heard something, and I’m intrigued. I don’t really want to speculate (the obligatory precursor to speculation), but maybe the Ricketts Family (as Cubs owners) could borrow the posting price from the Ricketts Family Trust (at a reasonable interest rate), and then pay it back out of Cubs revenues over the life of the contract Tanaka actually signs? Seems like that would avoid any single year budgetary concerns, and would allow the Cubs to land Tanaka even if the Ricketts Family didn’t want to go out of pocket to get him. I’m just spit-ballin’.

Circling back …

If there is a maximum bid put in place for Tanaka – something in the $20 million (the low end of the proposal, according to Sherman) to $50 million range – I fully expect the Cubs to meet that maximum bid. A 25-year-old pitcher with the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation guy that you can get for only money? It’s a perfect fit for the Cubs, and, with a capped posting system, there should be no reason they can’t dig deep enough to be involved. If, however, the system remains a blind bid with no maximum (and if the posting price is still not applied against the luxury tax cap), I’m just not sure I see the Cubs mustering the resources to win, particularly with the Yankees and Dodgers involved.

In the end, even in this market, and even at his age, you’d not like to see the total commitment to Tanaka exceeding six years and $120 million. There’s a ton of risk involved, and, at that price point, not a ton of upside. If Tanaka will insist on a contract in the Yu Darvish range – approximately six years and $60 million – that puts a reasonable top posting bid at about $60 million. I tend to think Tanaka’s post will be higher, making the total final financial commitment a possible albatross. Remember: most scouts do not believe Tanaka is quite as good as Yu Darvish. Although Tanaka’s total commitment will probably be higher, thanks to market forces, there still must be a limit.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

164 responses to “New Posting System Could Have Max Bid, and One Report Has Cubs as “Stealth Candidate” on Masahiro Tanaka”

  1. Kyle

    obligatory skeptical comment with vaguely funny riff

    1. Cerambam

      Hah

  2. Blackhawks1963

    I think it is very wrong of MLB to continue to subsidize the small market teams and make things “fair.” I just do. If some team wants to submit an insane bid for Tanaka, or dish out an insane contract to somebody like Cano, they should be able to do so. The market corrects stupidity. Look at the Angels…they gave insane money to Pujols and are now paying the price for that stupidity.

    And get rid of the luxury tax too. Seriously. It’s one thing to move to a salary cap in this sport, but the luxury tax thing is idiotic. Install a salary cap of $200 M PLUS a salary FLOOR of say, $75 M.

    1. Kevin B

      If they do not make things “fair” then what is the point? Look at the NFL. Its called parity and that is the biggest reason they are the biggest money making sport.

      But I do agree with you on the luxury tax v. salary cap.

      1. JulioZuleta

        Yeah, I’m sort of okay with luxury taxes, but not salary caps. Salary caps are communist. You say the cap has created parity in the NFL, but it has also ruined the NBA. Also, NFL parity is largely a product of injuries as well as a function of the salary cap. And there’s less parity than meets the eye. A huge reason it is such a money maker is the gambling/fantasy football aspect, both of which are much more prevalent in football than any other sport. I’m not sure how much the cap has to do with that.

  3. caryatid62

    6 years and $150 million would not even be an albatross, considering the current financial commitments of this team, assumed cheap contributions they will be receiving from players as the farm comes to fruition, and the revenue they claim will be coming with the renovations.

    This is a team that currently has a $50 million payroll, with arbitration rulings that might send it up to $70 million. They’re likely $50 million under a sustainable payroll point right now, with a significantly higher sustainable payroll number once the renovations are complete. There is little reason to consider anything to be a potential “albatross,” save a Pujols-like contract.

    1. Blackhawks1963

      But what is being completely lost is what the true baseball scouting evaluation of Tanaka is in the eyes of Theo/Jed/Jason. They had better believe Tanaka is the greatest thing next to Clayton Kershaw if they are going to pony up a massive posting fee PLUS a big contract for Tanaka. What I worry about most is that we fall into the trap of rolling the dice on Tanaka with mega-money. It CANNOT be a role of the dice, but rather MUST be a sound baseball decision based on scouting assessment, determination of value relative to the marketplace for pitchers, etc.

      Everybody on here is obsessed with winning the bid on Tanaka. It’s a lot more than that for the Cubs. We don’t have the luxury of Theo/Jed/Jason messing this one up. There is a crap ton of investment dollars and hard money at stake.

      1. Jon

        Stop acting like the Ricketts are poor. I’m so sick of that line. They are billionaires that are still making massive profits on a bad team.

        1. Blackhawks1963

          Where did I say the Ricketts are poor? And their personal family wealth has NOTHING to do with the proper financial management of the Cubs. If they are good business people then they are running the Cubs like a business and expecting a return on investment, as opposed to subsidizing the operation with other family money.

          I don’t want us to spend wildly on Tanaka for the sake of spending wildly. That’s the trap I am concerned about. Acquiring Tanaka MUST be based on thorough scouting assessment of what he can bring to the table and what a “fair” market price for his services should be. This isn’t about throwing a crapload of money down on the table and spinning the wheel.

          1. Jon

            Maybe someday they will award the world series trophy not based on 7 games series in the playoffs, but by who is the “most efficient team” .

            1. Blackhawks1963

              If you want to close your eyes and “hope” a big money investment in Tanaka pays off, then so be it. I want smart baseball people in Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod to let smart baseball sense and scouting to guide all decision-making. If they think Tanaka is worth a $125 M plus investment, then fine. But if they think he is not and there are other teams willing to out spend them to get Tanaka, then fine too.

              1. Jay

                Rickett’s may not be poor, but they’re certainly running the team like they are in the short term, with what debt structure they’ve got strapped to their backs from acquiring the team in the first place.

                1. TOOT

                  What debt structure would that be? Just curious.

                2. Mike F

                  They have strong increased equity. Quit wording about artificial debt, what you should be worried about is the obvious temptation which is increasingly looks like a hell of a big profit flip. More and more the way this franchise is moving looks like a big time flip.

                  1. TOOT

                    Not sure what you mean by a flip?

              2. Kevin B

                Well said Blackhawk

        2. roz

          “They are billionaires that are still making massive profits on a bad team.”

          Did you not read the article? There’s a ton of money coming in, but due to the structure of the sale of the Cubs, there are some restrictions on what they can do with it. I get the frustration with how long the rebuild is taking, but let’s at least try to understand what we can about the financials, and then recognize that even then, we don’t know much. You really can’t definitively say that the Ricketts are tanking just to make as much profit as they can.

      2. ssckelley

        But what you keep assuming is that the entire amount of money is coming out of the Cubs budget, evidently the money for the posting fee is coming from another source.

        So take a way the posting fee, pretend like it does not exist, would you be on board for Tanaka if the only impact to the Cubs payroll is 6 years for 60 million? Easy math says that is only $10 million per year impact to the Cubs payroll, that amount has minimal financial impact to the Cubs payroll.

        1. CubFan Paul

          “the entire amount of money is coming out of the Cubs budget, evidently the money for the posting fee is coming from another source”

          Pipe Dream.

          1. ssckelley

            possibly, but might explain why the Cubs keep being connected to Tanaka. If Ricketts can bury the posting fee as an expense somewhere other than the Cubs revenue then it frees the FO hands to go after him.

            I keep going back to the Girardi rumors where it appeared Ricketts told Theo to do whatever to hire him. It was almost as if he told Theo “spend whatever it takes to land Girardi, I got this”. Perhaps he is saying the same thing about Tanaka, “Do not worry about the posting fees, I will cover it “.

            1. CubFan Paul

              You’re comparing $5M a year for Girardi to a one time $60M posting fee…

              1. ssckelley

                It was just an example. You have a gift of being able to pick out the negative out of anything. I can see why you are a Cub fan, you seem to enjoy the negative, it would probably drive you nuts if they ever won the World Series.

              2. Rebuilding

                Do you not understand the distinction between not being able to spend money because your debt documents say you can’t and not being able to spend money because Ricketts says you can’t?

                As an example: The debt documents MIGHT say the Cubs payroll can’t exceed 1/3 of their revenue. In that case the banks are putting the restriction on. On the other hand Ricketts may have told Theo and Jed their payroll can’t exced $100 million. There is a big difference

                1. Napercal

                  It is very difficult to believe that major league baseball would allow that kind of restriction to be placed on the purchase of a team – especially a big market team. If that restriction is in place, the Ricketts ought to fine another bank. Better yet, borrow the money from Dad.

                  1. ssckelley

                    Perhaps Tanaka’s posting fee is on Tom’s Christmas list.

                    1. Rebuilding

                      The Ricketts Ameritrade stock has likely made $50 million in a day a few times this year

  4. Rebuilding

    It could be that the Ricketts restrictions are written in such a way that they only relate to “payroll” and that posting fees (and IFA money) don’t fall under that definition since they are one time outlays

    1. Rebuilding

      You see that all of the time when companies report results. They move one time outlays to extraordinary one time expenses and don’t count them for regular EPS

    2. Greenroom

      Thanks so much for these posts.

  5. North Side Irish

    I think the maximum bid would have to be higher than $20M for Tanaka to get to the Cubs. I’d love to see this system implemented with the max set at about $40M to increase the chances he gets to the Cubs. And then have them change the system again in a few years when the Cubs are (theoretically) better.

  6. Blackhawks1963

    So it’s been rumored that the Cubs will carry a $100 M or so payroll in 2014. Right now their current commitments with estimated salary increases comes in at $70 M or so. That means there is presumably $25 M to spend on new things. So if we don’t get Tanaka (because we lose the bid or Theo/Jed/Jason determine he isn’t worth the price) then WHERE are we spending that money if we aren’t going to trade top prospects to acquire veterans already making good money or going out and signing Ellsbury, Choo, Cano, etc.???

    I don’t get it. I really don’t.

    1. D-Rock

      We went from being a large market team in a big city to a small market team in a big city…

      1. 70'scub

        Small market? TV contract small market, revenue (Wrigley) after local taxes small market, Formal owner not reinvesting back into the business.

  7. T-Bone

    I have a big problem with this perceived notion that we have to go all in on Tanaka. Do we really need to committ 25 to 30 million a year on 1 guy? A guy that hasnt proven himself in the MLB? Were all sitting here balking at the idea that Cano is asking for 25 million plus, but yet we want to go all in on Tanaka. I just dont get it. This money can be spent on proven assets that are here now or that will be free agents. Count me out if the bidding system isnt fixed to avoid these “albatross” contracts

    1. Blackhawks1963

      Exactly.

      AGAIN, our going after Tanaka must be based on sound baseball assessment. This cannot be a spin of the roulette wheel… not at the levels of dollars we are talking about.

    2. Brains

      agreed – if we’re going to spend pujols dollars, it should be on a proven winner like cano who can help the young guys mature and show some clubhouse leadership, one of the two or three biggest clubhouse problems, and a very difficult one to fix. tanaka would be great though. it’s never a bad thing to have a great pitcher.

    3. Jon

      Why spend 25 million on a very good player when we can spend 5 million on 4 crappy ones right?

      1. Brains

        lol – i think there’s a bleacher nation tendency to have buyer’s remorse for getting free porsches. “it might explode if we crash into a tree like the fast and furious guy, right? better drive that yugo.”

      2. ssckelley

        But this is what has made the small market teams successful and right now it appears the Cubs are no more than a mid market team.

    4. hansman

      The difference is that Tanaka has ALL of his prime years left. Cano has none.

      1. Jono

        This just saved everyone a Jono paragraph or two

      2. T-Bone

        Yeah i get that. A guy coming in that is 24 years old that throws heat. But I do not want to give a pitcher 30 million a year. Im sorry but i don’t. There are so many risks with pitchers. There are more Mark Priors out there than there are Greg Maddux’s. Were talking about a guy that pitched an a average of almost 8 innings a game in the NPB. Im worried about his arm. If were talking 20 a year that is closer to my max for this guy. Not 30.

    5. Cubbie in NC

      I think the great desire for Tanaka is from the other moves that have not been made. The Cubs don’t want to sign a big name free agent because that would take away from their building the farm system. (losing draft pick compensation)

      They do not want to bundle a bunch of the farm system for a proven MLB player.

      If you are buying into the other things that are going on, then this is the only way the Cubs can stick to their plan and acquire talent.

    6. woody

      It’s crazy that they are bickering over 10 million dollars or so to come to terms with Samardzija and on the other hand looking to throw 150 million into a Tanaka deal. Personally I hope they don’t come to terms on the posting process and he stays in Japan for another year.

  8. CubFan Paul

    Sherman is confusing. For a couple years now there’s been reports that the Cubs can’t spend more than their revenue generates ($300M), meaning the posting fee would have to come out of the revenue pie

    With Ricketts crying poor (“we need more than $300M annually to have a payroll higher than $105M” (and trying to hide the additional national tv money from the public/fans as if it doesn’t exist)) I just don’t see Theo&Co getting that big of a bump in baseball spending to afford the posting fee plus the normal 2014 payroll.

    Theo&Co can’t send all the “involved in the process smoke signals” they want, but it ain’t happenin’

  9. Rebuilding

    Here is a site that translates Japanese stats and projects what Japanese players are likely to do based on historical precedent. They project Tanaka being tied with David Price as the 10th best pitcher in baseball and being comparable to Mat Latos or Kris Medlen as a 3.00 FIP and 3-4 WAR pitcher:

    http://nomprojections.com/2013/10/29/2013-pitcher-projections-are-live-featuring-masahiro-tanaka/

    1. Rebuilding

      Actually they said a 4-5 WAR pitcher. So we’re talking around $20 million+ per year value

      1. Jono

        you really have to stop making sound arguments with evidence to back them up. It’s not fair.

        1. MichiganGoat

          Stoopid facts

  10. Senor Cub

    The Rickets are Billionaires for a reason, they are great business people! They will not spend a penny more on Tanaka or any other player if they don’t deem it worthy. It doesn’t matter if the payroll is $70M or $100M. We’ve discussed this a Billion times here (pun intended). This team will not be competitive in 2014 or 2015. Spending more for the sake of spending( or to appease) more would not make any financial sense. So why not maximize your ROI, just like any other business does. You weigh your opportunity cost and your risk vs. reward. Let’s all face it, spending millions of dollars on a non-proven MLB player is INSANELY risky. These people have made billions by taking risks, they are not going to piss it away by taking on stupid risks. This should make sense to anyone here. If you feel compelled to spend $100M plus on players, there are proven ready players that can be had for that amount. Look at what the Tigers are doing with trading away a great pitcher, a great hitter, and in return reducing payroll for future flexibility to sign even better players. Let me know if I need to teach a Finance course, not that I have an advanced degree in the subject or anything.

  11. bobk

    The first posting option seems like the most ideal for the current and future state of the Cubs. Max bid allows you to negotiate. Chicago should have the funds and the appeal to make a deal from there. While the second option seems great for our current position I dont think it benefits us for future postings. Chicago should be a highly coveted city to play for in an Asian market. 1st option is what we should be looking for.

    1. Rebuilding

      I think that is likely what we are going to get. The 2nd option sems like a non-starter for big market clubs

  12. Jono

    Rebuilding- are you the guy who worked with Brett before BN?

    1. Rebuilding

      Nope. I never had the pleasure of seeing Brett’s lawyer skills

  13. Die hard

    Cubs need hitting not pitching and when Jumbotron goes up so will home runs to left by every opponent which requires Cubs to keep up or fold up. Pujols for Jackson and Angels pay difference helps each team make best of bad deals

    1. DarthHater

      9179773544_c6c9157f29_n.jpg

    2. ssckelley

      Can we get Josh Hamilton as well?

      1. DarthHater

        No, he would not be a good role model for our youngsters. :-P

  14. baseballet

    “you’d not like to see the total commitment to Tanaka exceeding six years and $120 million”

    Just wondering how you came up with the $120M/6 year max value. I don’t know what pitchers of his age/skill are going for. Is $20M the high side for a #2 pitcher?

  15. Sacko

    This Tanaka talk has become to confusing as to the said interest we have in him for a very large amount of money. When at the same time for almost 2 months now the FO states we aren’t going to spend that kind of money, not going after high priced free agents, we don’t have the money right now and so on. What are they going to have to play around this guy after spending that much.
    Give Baker 2 years 10M (very unlikely) looks almost like a better risk.

    1. Rebuilding

      When did the FO say we aren’t going to spend that kind of money for the “right” player?

      1. Sacko

        What the correct verbiage was I’m not sure but Theo stated in the area of; not making a lot of sense spending big on free agents right now.

  16. jmc

    I’m getting a headache with all these numbers.

  17. Jonathan

    I don’t know how realistic it is but I’m wondering if the posting holdup making it so Tanaka isn’t posted this year might be the best case scenario for the Cubs. I would think it makes Samardzija a whole lot more valueable this year since a big arm is off the market and, assuming he is posted next year, makes Tanaka available when the Cubs would likely be more inclined to go for him (another year for the minor leaguers to develop and all that).

    1. woody

      And the way they are using him in Japan might be the end of his arm. 150+ pitches in one game? I don’t see why the FO just doesn’t pony up a little more cash to sign Jeff. Fool around with a guy over ten of fifteen million dollars and then go spend a fortune on a guy that may not perform to the level that Samardzija will in the next 5 years is insane.

      1. Rebuilding

        That is just how pitchers are treated in Japan. Darvish was used the same way. I agree with you that it’s a risk. The problem with Samardzija is that he has performed as a mid-tier starter and is seemingly asking for top-tier money. Tanaka projects to be a much better pitcher likely asking for the same

  18. MattM

    Ok guys! I hate to throw cold water on this conversation but just seeing that pic up there gives me reason for concern. If you look at Tanaka’s throwing motion he is showing the classic “inverted L,” which in using a TON of emperical data is one of the major reasons for so many pitchers needing Tommy John Surgery.

    If when his foot hits the ground his and his arm is in that position. It means that the hand will have a much longer trip to get to release point. This in turn will create a massive amount of uneeded additional stress on the shoulder and elbow and will set him up for needing surgery on both parts of his arm at some point.

    I’m wondering if signing him to a big contract might not be a good idea after seeing that. P.S. both Kerry Wood and Mark Pryor as well as Steven Strasburg and Wayneright and Carpenter have the inverted L. They all needed some type of arm surgery……

  19. ssckelley

    Another idea to toss out, if what Paul is saying is true that Tanaka’s posting fee will count against the Cubs revenue, then perhaps that is why the Cubs have been doing nothing but dumpster diving up to this point. Yesterday I shot out the idea that since the Cubs are not looking to win in 2014 that they might front load a contract to spend the payroll today and have a less impact on the payroll in the future. You all pretty much shot that down stating that would be dumb from an accounting stand point with inflation, obviously I am no accountant. But could this be the strategy they are using to acquire Tanaka? If the Cubs have a budget of $125 million (again just tossing out numbers), BR has the estimated payroll at $73.5 million perhaps this is where the $50 million is coming from.

    I am just trying to wrap my mind on how the Cubs could be in on Tanaka. Without being able to explain that posting fee I lean towards Blackhawks argument that 6 years for $120 million is to much to spend on an unproven arm and I would rather see the Cubs invest it somewhere else. But if the posting fee is accounted for, say embedding it into either next years payroll where they are not going to spend the money anyway or being able to expense it somewhere else then it seems reasonable. If Tanaka ultimately signs for 6 years for $60 million that $10 million per year hit is going to seem very small even if Tanaka turns into another Hideki Irabu but it will look like a bargain if he is close to being as good as Yu Darvish.

    1. CubFan Paul

      $125M may not be enough. Posting fee included, the payroll would have to be $140M-$160M

      1. ssckelley

        Well what is the magic number, do we know what the number was this year? Obviously the Cubs will not be overspending on IFA’s since they can’t and there is still the possibility they trim even more payroll (ie trading Samardzija). As recently as 2011 the payroll was at $136.5 million and they spent a healthy amount in that years draft. For all we know the total player payroll could be over $150 million.

  20. The Logos

    I am going to take Theo at his word, and assume the Cubs are going hard at Tanaka. Epstein is on record as saying that if there were a bunch of top-tier 24-25 year-old free agents coming into their prime, the Cubs would make a push for them. In my opinion, Tanaka fits the bill. So, I will assume the Cubs are going to be in big on Tanaka.

    I think it’s also fair to assume that if they are and do not get him, those details will probably come. You would think they would want the fans to know they were major players, at the least.

  21. Matt

    I feel like the Cubs’ best chance of landing Tanaka would be to allow negotiations with the winning bidder only. Perhaps the Yankees’ payroll constraints could help if the posting fee is lower and the contract is higher, but from Tanaka’s standpoint I see the Yankees and Dodgers and being more appealing teams than the Cubs. The money is there, winning history is there, strong Japanese cultures in both of those cities, etc.

  22. Nick

    I think in a system where the worst record wins with multiple max bidders – it would be cool to see that winning bid as a trade-able asset. I think that would have a better chance of ‘leveling the playing field’ since a small market team could still win the bid and trade the rights to someone for the full posting price plus some decent prospects.

    There would be less risk in a couple decent prospects than having to shell out 100mil for 1 unknown quantity. The upside would be debatable and something that would alter the trade components, but it would be interesting for sure.

  23. Asian Players in the 2014 MLB Free Agent MarketGlobal Sporting Integration

    […] The inability for MLB and NPB to come to an agreement on the Posting System may endanger Tanaka’s …. The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are currently viewed as the top suitors for Tanaka’s services, with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox seen as the next tier of contenders. […]

  24. steve r.

    Ive been on board with this rebuilding plan, however I just find it hard to understand why we can’t spend money on the major league team enough to make us competitive. The Ricketts have had our cubs for about 5 years now I believe, and it seems that each year that goes by, the payroll gets smaller, and the talent on the field gets more and more inept. Maybe we don’t wanna spend on the big time names, but at least bring in some guys that can actually contribute, and give us a better chance to compete. I keep hearing about restrictions because of whatever loan they took out to buy the cubs. Well I cannot see how MLB would allow someone to buy a team under such restriction, it makes no sense. I would think MLB would want someone in chicago that will field a very competitive team, in a very large market. I love the prospects we are gettingm dont get me wrong, but to me in year 5 or 6 of the Ricketts regime, we should be better than where we are. You dont hire a Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to give then pennies on the dollar to work with. I think Ricketts is tanking seasons to try to force their stadium renovations and the jumbotron thru the city council. Obviously the cubs being a competitive team would only help the city revenues some as well, so maybe Ricketts believes dwindling money for the city will scare them into giving in already.

    I just cannot fathom loan restrictions limiting how we operate and field a MLB quality team would be allowed. I maintain that Ricketts is tanking on purpose to get what they want in the end. Either that or they are pocketing a lot of money, and are gonna do it as long as they can get away with it. Jesus I wish Mark Cuban would have been allowed to buy the team, I can’t see anyway he wouldve sat back and tanked seasons, to supposedly build up a farm system and loan restrictions. The ricketts are after one thing only, cash, they care nothing about bringing a winner to chicago. They want to get their renovations, cheap players, hence the heavy push into player development, so they can continue to pocket as =much money as they can without putting much of it back into the team. I’m betting Theo and company know this, and are regretting the day they allowed Ricketts to speak to them. I agree we needed to rebuild this thing, but spend a few more bucks and field a team that isn’t an embarrassment for crying out loud. I’m not expecting us to be like the dodgers, but damn, spend at least like the actual small market reds for crying out loud.

    1. papabear

      When they went into the 4 or 5 year plan the statement was Cubs fans couldn’t handle a rebuild. Your going to have to be patient. Next year should be the start of their spending. Problems they inheretade were these.

      1} One of the highest payrolls in baseball – losing team with lots of bad contracts

      2} One of the bottom minor leagues in baseball with very few prospects and no upper end prospects.

      3} Hendry just tanked the draft – I have to believe he did it on purpose as bad as it was – When he made the first round pick the anouncer said the player would have been around in round 6 probably in round 10.

      4} They were Forced to buy the team with a ton of debt.

      5} TV contracts were terrible – small market money at best.

      It will take at least next year if not the following to take care of these problems

      1. Brains

        we don’t have much choice but to ‘wait for next year’ at this point, if by next year you mean 2018. time for a few old styles.

    2. Chad

      I find it hard to understand how people still find it hard to understand this process. Money won’t be there until the signage/jumbotron goes up. Does everyone really want to spend 153 million on Ellsbury or 200 on Cano? I don’t understand the love for these contracts. The FO is smart, they are doing what they can, turning ML assets into prospects and actually doing a rebuild. Yes they could probably sign a guy like Cano, but is that going to make them competitive? No, they can’t sign Ellsbury, Cano and McCann in the same off season, that is not how the cubs are built. People need to wait until ST starts to judge the offseason. The winter meetings haven’t even begun and people are claiming this was a fail. What if the cubs trade for Anderson and get Tanaka? Would that be a good off season? I’d be happy with that. Or somehow traded for Matt Kemp? (don’t get your hopes up, I”m sure that would cost way too much) or trade Samardzija for Archie Bradley? Hold judgement on this off-season for a while, and hold judgement on the rebuild until some of the youngsters make it to Chicago.

      1. Rebuilding

        I don’t think the Cubs HAVE to wait for the Jumbotron to spend. It’s relative peanuts in the grand scheme of things. And yes I think Tanaka + Anderson would be a very good offseason. Throw a Samardzija for Bradley in there and it’s a great one

        1. Chad

          I think they have to wait for more revenue (advertising) to spend like everyone wants them to spend. I don’t think there is ever a good time for a 7/153 contract for a 30 year old speed reliant oft injured outfielder though.

          1. Rebuilding

            Totally agree about Ellsbury and everyone else that has signed so far. I wouldn’t want any of those contracts. I’m just of the mind that IF we would have wanted Ellsbury then we wouldn’t have to wait for the Jumbotron to spen on him

  25. Tanaka Update: NPB Willing to Accept Maximum Bid Structure, and Posting Fee Might Not Be Issue for Cubs | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] we discussed at length the possibilities for a new posting system between MLB and NPB for Japanese players, which included the possibility […]

  26. Theo Epstein Speaks: Tanaka, Samardzija, Rebuilding Timeline, TV Deal, Organizational Health, More | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] comes out of the same pool of money.” That seems like a pretty black-and-white rebuke of what Joel Sherman and Gordon Wittenmyer (who asked Epstein the question) have reported, but I’d be cautious […]

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