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masahiro tanakaToday could be the beginning of the next phase in the ongoing MLB/NPB storyline

  • A report out of Japan says that MLB and NPB have agreed to a new posting system, a draft is being prepared, and each league will be asked to sign off on it shortly. Last night we heard that it could happen as soon as today. Under the new posting system, MLB teams would still bid for the rights to a player from NPB if his team decides to post him, but those bids would be capped at $20 million. Any team making the top bid – in Masahiro Tanaka’s case, that will be many teams – has the right to negotiate with the player. Only the team that signs him, however, is obligated to pay the posting fee. In other words, when a top Japanese player is posted, he is going to become a glorified free agent – on whom any team can sign, but for whom there is a $20 million surcharge.
  • Although there was some dispute about it last night, the Japanese report indicates that even Masahiro Tanaka’s team in Japan eventually agreed to the new system. That should neuter concerns that Tanaka will not be posted under this system, though it won’t eliminate them. Peter Gammons says the team was leaning against posting Tanaka as of last night, though Ben Badler hears otherwise (as does Ken Rosenthal). With two years left of team control, Tanaka’s team could decide to get one more year of performance from him before posting him next offseason. They’d risk injury and ineffectiveness, though, so they’ve got to calculate whether his value for one season (minus his salary) exceeds $20 million.
  • It sounds like there will be a one month negotiating period for the teams that make the maximum bid. Depending on how many teams are involved – and, again, given that the posting fee is refundable to teams that don’t sign him, I don’t understand why every single team in MLB wouldn’t make the max bid – that could be a crazy month.
  • One positive byproduct of the posting system change, as it relates to Tanaka? With a capped posting bid, the Yankees won’t have nearly as much “free” money with which to play under the luxury tax cap. I wouldn’t dare call the Yankees “out” on Tanaka, but there are already reports that they aren’t a leading suitor anymore. If the Yankees decide to pass on Robinson Cano, however, they’ll still have plenty of space to pursue Tanaka. Maybe he’s the better long-term investment anyway.
  • Are the Cubs still going to be in, given that the posting fee may have been a loophole for their own financial constraints? Bruce Levine certainly hears that they will be, saying that they’ll be “big time players.” While he could be incorrect in the end, Levine wouldn’t use those words if he weren’t hearing very positive signals. If the system proceeds as reported, I fully expect the Cubs to make a maximum bid, and engage in serious discussions with Tanaka about a contract. Will they be able to outspend the Dodgers, Red Sox, Rangers, Yankees, Mariners, whoever? Maybe not. But they’ve got as much incentive as anyone to do so. The question is: will the money be there?
  • Blake

    This is going to get really, really chaotic.

  • Jono

    The Dodger’s rotation would be so sick if they got Tanaka.

    • Jono

      Gammar? We don’t need no stinkin grammar!

  • Dale Jr

    I’m callin it now cubs trade Jeff an don’t win on
    The tanaka bid.amen how many more years of
    Loseing will it take

    • Rich

      as long as it takes for you to spell correctly!

  • Edwin

    I’ll be very depressed if the money is not there to sign Tanaka.

  • sans

    After Tanaka gets signed by another team, get ready for the: “Cubs were big-time players on Tanaka; just missed-out.” PR BS.

    Sources say that the Cubs are “Big-time players.” My ass! We’ve seen this movie before. Nice try!

    • JulioZuleta

      So, before he’s posted, you know that the Cubs will be lying about their involvement unless they sign him. Got it.

      Just curious, were the Cubs not “big time players” on Anibel Sanchez when they apparently had an agreement for 5/75, which was reported by pretty much every baseball source out there, only to have SAnchez bring it back to the Tigers for them to beat? That was total PR BS.

      • sans

        Darvish, Cespedes, Puig

        • hansman

          You are right, by all reports, the Cubs were not in on Puig. Cespedes and Darvish…well shit, I am NOT having that discussion again.

          • jay

            And I for one was glad. This whole “posting fee” bullshit is idiotic. $50 mil just for talk to a player who’s never played in the MLB and then throw a pile more money at him? Screw that. $20 mil I guess is more do-able but why don’t these Japs just “retire” from whatever team they’re on and then come over here?

            • bbmoney

              Because there are rules in the Japanese league (and between Japan and the MLB) that don’t allow it. They aren’t free agents. They are under a legal contract.

            • Kyle

              A few of them did that and MLB/NPB got together and closed that loophole.

            • Drew7

              “why don’t these Japs just…”

              Seriously, man – cut it out.

              • bbmoney

                Geez…how’d I miss that….yeah seriously cut it out.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Also, nobody but the Rangers were “big time players” for Darvish. Their bid alone supposedly was more than the #2 & #3 bids combined. The incorrect stories at the time focused on the Jays, not the Cubs, as supposed big players. That turned out to be a Grimmsian set of errors: unsurprisingly, the Jays (probably) were a distant 3rd.

          • sans

            The Cubs were reported to be the 2nd place bid on Darvish. Brett had a whole write-up based on it.

            • Whiteflag

              Again how was it PR BS then?

              • sans

                Because they bid to seem competitive, but lose. The PR machine spins the, “We were in it until the end, but finished 2nd or 3rd” BS, to keep the masses appeased.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  But there was not PR surrounding the Cubs and Darvish. All of the attention was on the Jays as the bridesmaids, not the Cubs.

                  • sans

                    That’s simply not true. After things were cleared-up, the Cubs went into PR mode.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      All the media attention was on how the Jays had managed to lost to the Rangers by $1M, then whether the Jays had bid anything like that. The Cubs were not in the conversation. Theo et al. made off-hand comments about having bid for Darvish, but so did several other GMs. There simply was no PR blitz. If you imagined one, then it’s only because you were not paying attention to the rest of the baseball world.

                    • mjhurdle

                      Source?
                      if it is “simply” not true, then it should not be that hard to find the proof of this.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Yes. And the Cubs also bid about half of what the Rangers bid. People were a little surprised to learn that, as the sports media had convinced itself that the Blue Jays had posted a competitive bid. It turns out that if the Jays & Cubs had lumped their bids, then the Rangers probably would have beaten them, anyway.

              This was quite an issue for the Daniels: a lot of Rangers fans were upset that they essentially wasted $30M that could have been used to retain Hamilton. (They probably complain less about that now than they did 12 months ago.)

              As for the Cubs, they never said much of anything other than that they would bid. Again, all the media focus was on Anthopoulos’ emphatic denials that he’d bid anything like the $50M that it was initially reported they had used to win negotiating rights. That is why people were surprised to learn that the Cubs had come in (a very distant) second.

              • sans

                But they still finished second, which was good enough to make it seem as if they legitimately tried to get him. The gap between the amount Texas offered and the amount the Cubs offered was insignificant compared to the fact that the Cubs spun: “Cubs beat out 28 teams in bidding for Darvish; lose-out to only 1.”

                Then people like Brett write stories waxing on the significance.

                • Whiteflag

                  Here’s a question, if the Cubs had won. Say, we switch the bids Rangers and Cubs. Would you not be pissed the Cubs spent $30 million more than they needed to?

                  • sans

                    Here’s a question for you:

                    Do you think Texas is pissed?

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Their fans certainly were, once it became clear that nobody had come close to the Rangers’ bid. The idea was that those $30M could have retained Hamilton, which Ranger fans wanted to see done 12 months ago.

                      Of course, then foo’ball came on the tube, and that was all forgotten…..

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Except that the Cubs never did that. Remember, it was Buster Olney who first broke the story that the Cubs had finished 2nd. And that was not the story: the story was: 1) “Anthopoulos was not lying after all”; and, 2) “The Rangers threw away $30M.” The Cubs were the foil, not the protagonist.

                  Moreover, what the actual bids were (and who ranked 2nd, 3rd, etc.) has all come from 2nd hand reports. The Cubs probably *know* nothing more than what they bid and what the Rangers bid. They said at the time that they placed a bid that they thought would be competitive. (So did the Sox, Tigers and Phillies, if I recall.) Then they all joined in the chorus of “whoa, who knew anybody would bid that much?”

                  • sans

                    How do you think Buster Olney “Broke the Story”?

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Um, I dunno, could it have been reports from Japan????

                  • mjhurdle

                    ya Doc, don’t forget that the Cubs have sole control over all major media outlets.

                    • sans

                      Your panic to express defense for the front office is making you lose site of a very simple premise.

                      The Cubs don’t control the media. But like most sports teams, when they need to spin some positive PR, they conveniently leak information to high-profile media personnel. How do you think rumors, stories and sources, come about?

                  • hansman

                    From the pre-bidding coverage, it was speculated that a bid the size of Texas’ (that works both ways) would cause Darvish to not sign over philosophical differences about that much money going to the team and not the player.

                    So while the Cubs didn’t win, from all reports they didn’t post a bid they thought was uncompetative, and I think that is a key distinction.

                    The debates with Darvish have always been “YA, BUT THEY FINISHED 2ND SO THEY NEVER WANTED TO WIN!!!!!!!!!!!” and then when that is debunked it shifts to “YA, BUT THEY CONTROLLED THE MEDIA!!!!!!!” and then that gets debunked when it’s pointed out that 28 other teams had the opportunity to do that and apparently didn’t or were unsuccessful.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Well, clearly a lot of teams thought that a bid a little over $20M might do the trick. Alternatively, numerous teams thought that a bid a little over $20M would garner them the coveted “We were Number 2!!!!” bragging rights.

                      The former seems much more probable given where the Rangers were (and given that I have zero use for conspiracy theory). Remember, at that time there were just weeks away from having been within an out (twice!) of a WS championship. Other teams were trying to buy a good pitcher: they wanted to buy one more out. So, Darvish was worth a lot more to them in that mindset.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        How was it PR BS? Do you think that the Cubs and Sanchez conspired so that the Cubs could look like they were trying and so that Sanchez (or, more probably, his agent[s]) could convince the Tigers that this was the offer they had to top to retain his services?

        • sans

          Sanchez used the Cubs as leverage – another hole in the “Losing the next 5 years is worth a possible long playoff run”. Well, free agents like Sanchez want nothing to do with a team who’ll be throwing in the towel, year-after-year. Also, the only thing guaranteed is the losing for 5 years, not the playoff run.

          Anyway, I never implied that Sanchez was “PR BS”. Once again, Sanchez used the Cubs’ front office. The “PR BS” is related to foreign posting.

          • Whiteflag

            So now that you have moved on from “PR BS,” you believe the cubs are the only team to ever be used as leverage. The Cubs were used as leverage, but that happens to ever team in the MLB.

            • sans

              Dude, who said that the Cubs are the only team being used as leverage? Also, who said that the Cubs are the only team who leaks BS PR?

              Christ, in your panic to defend everything this front office does, you’ve retarded your reading comprehension.

              • Whiteflag

                My mistake. You didn’t say they were the only team. However your statement made it sound like, because of their record, the Cubs will only be used for leverage. Having a winning record doesn’t preclude you from being used for leverage.

          • hansman

            So…

            “Anyway, I never implied that Sanchez was “PR BS”. Once again, Sanchez used the Cubs’ front office. The “PR BS” is related to foreign posting.”

            The “PR BS” is only in play when we can put up a bunch of conspiracy theories about it.

            • Whiteflag

              I guess so Hans, I guess so.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “I can’t wait for a crappy thing to happen to the Cubs so I can say I told you so!”

      • sans

        “I can’t wait for something crapy to happen to the Cubs so I can defend the front office.”

        • TWC

          translation: “I know you are, but what am I?”

          • sans

            How did I know you’d be lurking around somewhere? You guys (hansman, darth, goat, etc) are like a pack of giant herpes; following people around when they least need them.

            • hansman

              YA! Who wants to be called out when they spew incorrect assertions or just plain garbage!

              Also, thank you for calling me a giant herpes. Nice to know that a civil discussion is in your wheelhouse.

            • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

              I’m disappointed that I’m not a giant herpes, too….

              • Fishin Phil

                You’ve always struck me as more of a goiter. ;)

                • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

                  Well it’s better than a clubhouse cancer I suppose…

      • Kyle

        Well, it’s the only joy the Cubs have given us outside of the prospect rankings.

    • Norm

      You know what other movie we’ve seen before, almost daily? Someone writing what you just wrote.

    • Blublud

      According to your logic, the Cubs could just come out and say Tanaka sucks and all the “kool-aid drinkers” will believe them and not want to sign Tanaka. No need for PR BS. The Cubs will try hard to sign Tanaka and if they don’t, then it’s cause the odds(they have a 3.3% chance of signing him) were stacked against them.

      • sans

        Yeah, because that’s what front offices do. They declare the incompetence of impending free agents, in order to devalue them, thus freeing up all responsibility for when they fail to genuinely pursue. Come on, man.

        • Whiteflag

          I just don’t understand your argument.

          • mjhurdle

            to be fair, im not even sure that Sans understands his argument.

          • sans

            It was sarcasm in response Blublud’s ridiculous concept. Not that hard to follow.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Blublud’s logic is both sound and valid here. It’s the “Other 29 Teams” principle. You seem to be using the “Two Teams: Us and Them” principle.

              Now, I think that Blu is underestimating the Cubs shot: there are several teams that won’t be in on the posting because, well, they never are.

              However, there are several teams that will. *IF* they allow all X of the highest bidders to negotiate (and I’ve lost track of where that stands), then the Cubs’ chances are about 1/X.

              • MightyBear

                That’s an oversimplification Doc. There’s no way the Cubs chances are 1/X. Not when they are probably going to be negotiating against the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, etc. Did you not see what the Yankees paid Ellsbury? They are not just another number in the “X”.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Do you think that the Cubs are going to be more than 1/X or less? I was thinking that it would be about even, because I can think of several teams that just might throw tremendous piles of dollars at Tanaka, and the Cubs are one of them.

            • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

              Don’t argue with Doc – his research got me an A+ on my Quantitative Reasoning project!!!!!

    • Eric

      So who exactly should the Cubs have signed in the past 2 years in your opinion?

      • sans

        See, this is the route the front office apologist go.

        I didn’t want Pujols or Hamilton, they cost too much. But why are Stewart and Baker acceptable compromises?

      • Edwin

        Choo. Liriano. Sanchez. Puig. Cespedes. Darvish. Beltran. Edwin Jackson in 2012, probably could have gotten him cheaper than 2013.

  • Blublud

    Asking is the money there, when it comes to the Cubs, is about as dumb a question as you can ask. The Cubs have as much, if not more(with the recentlyreduced payroll) money to spend than any of those teams. The question is will the Cubs spend any of the abundance of cash that they have. I suppose they will if Tanaka is willing to come to the Cubs. The Cubs are not broke. In fact, far from it. They are choosing not to spend. It may be for good reason, reasons I don’t disagree with, but the money is definitely thre if thy choose to spend it.

  • cubmig

    Typical Cubs predicament……..what they find from window shopping is too rich for their blood.

  • CubFan Paul

    Tanaka’s contract may double Yu’s, as in, Tanaka might get market value when no other posted player or Cuban has.

    • jay

      Of course, because now with a max posting fee you’re actually going to have more money to spend on the player instead of handing half of it to his old team.

  • Featherstone

    Brett,

    I’ve been mulling this topic over for the past few days now and I think this new system may actually benefit the MLBPA and the Owners pretty significantly. This will come pretty directly at the expense of the NPB. Overall I can see this posting system actually REDUCE the total money outlaid in acquiring a player from the NPB.

    Under the old posting system:
    Tanaka receives blind posting bids rumored to reach as high possibly $100M.
    Tanaka may only negotiate with the winning team probably settling on a contract a touch higher than Darvish’s 56M/6Years, something like 60M/6Years.

    Total Money outlaid = $160M (100M to NPB, 60M to Tanaka at AAV of $10M)

    Under the new posting system:
    Tanaka receives maximum posting bid of $20M from several teams.
    Tanaka negotiates a contract with various teams to determine his market value. Given the uncertainty regarding his potential performance in MLB and his heavy usage in Japan what kind of contract would he get?

    According to Cot’s these are the highest paid pitchers in baseball in AAV.
    Justin Verlander, $25,714,286 (2013-19)
    Felix Hernandez, $25,000,000 (2013-19)
    Zack Greinke, $24,500,000 (2013-18)
    CC Sabathia, $24,400,000 (2012-16)
    Cliff Lee, $24,000,000 (2011-15)
    Cole Hamels, $24,000,000 (2013-18)
    Matt Cain, $21,250,000 (2012-17)

    Is any team really going to give Tanaka $20M per year for 6 years with no real past performance to draw upon and the heavy workload placed on his arm in Japan.

    Let’s say for brevity that he does get 120M/6Years.
    Total Money outlaid = $140M (20M to NPB, 120M to Tanaka at AAV of $20M)

    Overall the total money outlaid will be $20M less even in a situation where he receives $120M.

    This accomplishes the MLBPA’s goal of getting more money for the players.
    This accomplishes the owners goal of putting less money into the posting system.
    NPB gets screwed on top tier players getting posted, but may not see much of a change or even perhaps a small increase on mid-tier players.

    Which leads me to my question, why would the NPB agree to this deal at all? They have little upside vs the old system and $80M+ worth of downside.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I dig the effort and the analysis, but it’s all predicated on Tanaka’s post being $100 million absent this system (not a sure thing), and him getting a contract of just $120 million (if he was worth a $100 million post, then he’s worth a heck of a lot more than a $120 million contract in pseudo free agency).

      To the substance, no one disagrees that NPB is getting the shortest end of this stick. But they didn’t have much a choice, since they still want to be able to post, since $20 million is still a lot of money relative to their league revenues, and since the NPB players could rebel if there was no posting system in place.

      • Jono

        My assumption (emphasize ASSUMPTION) was that the Japanese league made a lot of money (not more than MLB, but still a lot). From clips I’ve seen, their stadiums are packed and their fans are really REALLY intense. Maybe the difference is TV money?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          There was a TIME article from 2008 that had NPB revenues 1/6 that of MLB. I would expect that the gap has only increased in the last five years.

          • Rebuilding

            Not to mention that the Yen has been devalued by over 20% against the dollar just over the last year

          • Andrew

            NPB also only has 12 teams though. Based on the payrolls I found, the average team probably makes around as much as the Rays, or A’s.

          • BenRoethig

            Basically except for the Giants and Tigers, everyone in NPB is loosing money hand over fist and that’s with the highest salaries being in the $5 million range. They might really want to think about combining the healthiest franchises in NPB, KBO, CBL, and the CPBL into one pan-asian major league.

          • Jono

            Wow. So $20 million to a japanese team is like at least $120million to an mlb team, which isn’t even counting the exchange rate that rebuild wisely mentioned.

      • Featherstone

        You know Brett I am not sure I agree with you. Just because a team may have been willing to post $100M for him doesn’t mean he’d be worth more than 120M in FA.

        The blind posting system forced you to overbid (mostly against yourself) to guarantee you won the rights. When every team has this mentality and there is no information available it warps the valuation of the actual player.

        No team in baseball wants to make Tanaka the highest paid pitcher in MLB with no body of work to base it off of.

        • YourResidentJag

          I would concur with all of this. I think the Cubs would be going down a slippery slope to overpay for this IFA.

      • Rebuilding

        One thing I think has been lost in this is that the NPB had some other motivations to make the posting system a little more sane. For one the MLB has largely stayed away from Japanese amateurs on the theory of letting them prove themselves in the NPB and they will eventually be posted. If posting fees were going to stay so high it’s doubtful that would have continued.

      • Rich H

        You seem to forget the pre-posting years on this. Players like Nomo and Ichiro did not get posted. They filed “retirement” paperwork and left the NPA to come here no matter how much contract time was left. Meaning the league truly got hosed.
        There was a rash of this in the late 90′s and MLB decided to negotiate with the Japanese league so it would get something back. If the NPA did not agree to this then there was a good chance that is what would start again.

        • YourResidentJag

          Didn’t know this. Thanks for the information.

  • Mick

    My prediction is the Cubs sign Tanaka for 7-years at $108.50 mil. That’s the average annual they were willing to give to Sanchez last off-season plus 2 years.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think he can get more.

      • Rebuilding

        I now think it’s likely that he gets 6/120 minimum. Could get as high as 7/150

        • Jono

          jeez. It’s believable, but just reading that made me think, “wow, money in baseball is getting ridic”

      • Mick

        I think the Cubs are willing to give him more, a lot more. Aside from trading Shark, I think this might be the only other significant thing the Cubs do all off-season. Tanaka’s MLB comparison is Hiroki Kuroda but we have the opportunity to get the 25-year old version. Kuroda in MLB has been averaging about a 3 WAR which at today’s rate of $6 mil/season = $18 mil. Factor in WAR inflation of what teams are willing to pay in the future and also Tanaka exceeding a 3 WAR and that gives the Cubs even more wiggle room to go as high as $19 or $20 mil and still achieving value over the life of the contract.

        • Mick

          So, my original prediction of $108.5 mil was way off, it’s going to be closer to $140 mil.

          • jay

            As I understood it, his workload the past few years (during his early 20′s) has been very high. You really want to give him seven years if that’s the case? Especially since now here in the U.S. we baby the crap out of all our pitchers in their early 20′s (and sometimes later than that depending on what kind of pansy manager the pitcher has).

            • Mick

              I’d say….yes, I’d be willing to go 7 years for Tanaka. He’s as close as this free agent class has to a top of the rotation starting pitcher AND he’s only 25 years old. Even if he misses a year with injury, I predict there’s there’s still enough value to be had to make up for it.

              • YourResidentJag

                I wouldn’t do that at all. I’d rather extend Shark.

  • Jorbert Solmora

    Watch out for the Mariners. They could put together quite the rotation with Felix, Ishikawa, Tanaka, and Taijuan Walker.

  • v23

    Tanaka, Cano + closer = .500 in 2014 and a great base for when Bryant, Baez & Almora are ready.
    Cubs do have the money, don’t let them pretend otherwise.

    • jay

      Cano??? Wake up dude, that’s exactly the kind of free agent the Cubs are NOT interested in….and for good reason.

      • Whiteflag

        What do we think Granderson will get?

      • v23

        The highest WAR player at an opportune position?
        “Dude” all spent money isn’t bad. “Dude”, he doesn’t rely on speed so he’s not Soriano or Elsbury.

        Ya, it would be real terrible to have your 3-hitter be a 2nd basemen. It’s a way to build a deep lineup.

        • Cubbiecop

          v23,

          While I agree that Cano is an elite talent and I would love to have him on a reasonable deal, (not 10 years 260 million) I doubt very highly that we will out bid the Yankees. They are apparently in the “I spend money like it’s water” mode again with a crappy farm system. Also the New York fans will not tolerate a rebuild like Cubs fans do. They would be calling for Cashman’s head

  • Mayhem

    How high do you think the Cubs should offer Tanaka and what offer will you be disappointed in the Cubs?

    I would offer 7 Yrs and $25M a year. That’s what I think it will take. plus bid fee
    I would be disappointed if the Cub offered Max bid up to $130M

    Price is going to cost someone their entire farm plus command $30M a yr for at least 7 yrs on a new contract. That’s my reasoning.

    • Pat

      I would never go seven years on any pitcher. In fact, I wouldn’t even go six. 5 years, 110 million would be my max. It’s probably not enough, but there’s no way I’d go any higher for a guy who has yet to prove he can consistently get major league hitters out.

  • waffle

    I am very interested to see where Cano lands and how the Tanaka sweepstakes might affect that.

    Funny that there has been almost no chatter on Cano…hum

    • EuroCub

      Reports link Mariners to both Cano and Price.
      Others side of the story of course is how probable is that M’s will be able to sign these two.

  • Steve R

    I can’t wait until we have things in place to go all in with the big dogs, and while I get aggravated at how long it takes, I am just a huge fan that wants a championship. I agree that we had to tear it down and rebuild things, however I would love to see some movement towards being more competitive. I’d love to see us get tanaka, and we should go hard for him, but if the money is that ridiculous for a guy that has a ton of miles on his arm already, and is unproven against major league hitters, I think I’d step away. Use that money to improve the club in other ways, get us a hitter to protect Rizzo in the lineup. Man I can’t wait until the kids start arriving.

    • jay

      Couldn’t agree more. If you’re going to spend that kind of money on pitching, it needs to be the kind that’s proved itself over here already.

  • Blackhawks1963

    This is all bad news in terms of the Cubs having a shot at Tanaka if they really want him. He becomes a de-facto free agent who can negotiate with any team that submits the “max bid.” And given that the max bid is fairly low I’m guessing a bunch of teams are going to submit a bid.

    Given also that Tanaka is Japanese my hypothesis would be that he probably is inclined to pitch for a team located in an area with a Japanese American community…places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle.

    Given that Tanaka will have his choice of teams that submitted the max bid, my second hypothesis is that he will want to sign with a winner…places like the NY Yankees (especially if they bring back fellow countryman Kuroda), LA Dodgers, etc.

    Cubs are not getting Tanaka. It will be an extreme longshot if they do. The deck is completely stacked against us. All we can offer is gobs of contract money and hope that trumps everything else for Tanaka. But seriously, do we really think the Yankees or the Dodgers are going to lose to the Cubs because of contract dollars if it comes to this?!? Answer is a big fat no. And the Yankees clearly don’t care about the luxury tax at this point. They are going to most definitely change course on all that talk…they need two starting pitchers and that will cost MONEY, plus they still want Cano back.

    • Funn Dave

      “Given also that Tanaka is Japanese my hypothesis would be that he probably is inclined to pitch for a team located in an area with a Japanese American community…places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle.”

      Wow. My hypothesis is that his destination will have absolutely nothing at all to do with any of that.

  • Kyle

    I’m still skeptical about signing Tanaka, but I’m more optimistic than I was a week ago.

    The new posting system should at least lower the initial outlay, which may make it more palatable for the Cubs to fit in under financial restrictions.

    • Edwin

      Skeptical that the Cubs will sign Tanaka, or skeptical that the Cubs should sign Tanaka?

      • Funn Dave

        Sounds like the former.

  • Mike

    So when a bunch of teams have the top bid on a player it has nothing to do with the previous season’s record right? That was just a rumor?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That was one proposal. A stupid one, I tend to think.

  • MightyBear

    Here’s a question to pontificate: Would it be more beneficial to the Cubs if Tanaka’s team doesn’t post him this year but posts him next year? Or would it be more beneficial to have him posted this year? Thoughts?

    • Edwin

      Hmmm. Is there reason to believe that the Cubs will be in a better position to sign him next offseason as opposed to this offseason? I would think the sooner they are able to bring him in and start getting him acclimated to MLB hitters and conditions, the better.

      • MightyBear

        That’s kind of why I brought the question up. Would the Cubs be in a better position financially next year? Will it make a difference? I tend to think with the renovation and a new TV contract, the Cubs might be in a better position financially. Plus, some of the prospects should come through the pipeline this year. Will the Cubs be in a better position knowing what they have and willing to spend more to get Tanaka? I’m not sure.

        • Funn Dave

          Definitely a question worth asking–although given the amount everyon’e obsessing over him, I’m guessing Tanaka’s team wants to post him this year and get it over with . Next year we’ll also ostensibly be that much closer to “competing,” so that would appease all the people who seem to think that the only time you should sign good players is when you already have a bunch of other good players.

  • http://bleachernation Ferris

    Feldman 3yr 27m….do it,
    Garza 4yr 58m…do it
    Trade shark an shurholtz ………do it……we can an should compete this yr.

    • http://bleachernation Ferris

      Tanaka only if its for less than 75m…..look at darvish deal……

    • Craig

      Not sure you could get Feldman and Garza that cheap

      • YourResidentJag

        Feldman, maybe. Don’t know how that helps though.

  • YourResidentJag

    Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisMLB 17m
    Very low. Potential ones, no obvious ones. @RyanForMVP: Odds low Hoffman falls 4 to #Cubs? Other frontline potential SP avail 4th? #mlbdraft

  • ssckelley

    I cannot believe that the Japanese teams agreed to this, especially the one who owns Tanaka’s rights since this deal will cost them millions. Perhaps they are oblivious to all the rumors surrounding what teams might be willing to post for Tanaka.

    It is time MLB stopped catering to the small market teams, this is getting ridicules.

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