masahiro tanakaThe Rakuten Golden Eagles announced yesterday (well, overnight to us in the States) at a press conference, per ESPN, that they will allow 25-year-old ace Masahiro Tanaka to come to MLB via the posting system.

Once Tanaka is formally posted, which could occur today/tomorrow/Friday, Rakuten will place a “transfer fee” on him, up to a maximum of $20 million (it will be $20 million). Any MLB team willing to pay the fee to secure his rights will be permitted to negotiate with him over the ensuing 30 days to try to reach an agreement.

In effect, Tanaka will be a free agent who comes with a $20 million tax. Teams far and wide will try to woo him (he’s going to be doing some serious traveling and pitch-watching), and the Chicago Cubs are expected to be heavily involved.

Will the Cubs’ front office have enough money available to meet or exceed the top bidders? Will Tanaka have interest in coming to a rebuilding team in a non-coastal city? Do the Cubs’ scouts like Tanaka as much as we’ve been led to believe? Will the Cubs shop Jeff Samardzija more aggressively once Tanaka is signed? But what if he signs with the Cubs?

We’ll likely find that all out over the course of the next 30-ish days. Away we go …

  • InRizzoWeTrust

    “I’ll bid $1 Bob”

    “and the actual retail price is…”

    • hansman

      So you’re THAT guy.

      • InRizzoWeTrust

        Nah, I’d like to see them go all out for him. I just said that because whenever I hear “bid” it makes me think of that.

  • cubzfan23

    Hopefully, Cubs do let this guy get away. Exactly the right guy for a core piece. Get it done Theo!

    • cubzfan23

      Uggh… don`t

  • AKW

    Isn’t he the equivalent of the best pitcher in triple A. High risk that could waste $20M a year for 6 years.

    • nkniacc13

      Japan league is the highest non major league I compare it to AAAA

  • http://BN Sacko

    Once Tanaka is signed we should try and sign Shark more aggressively not shop.

    • TK


    • Assman22

      Plan is still the same…sign Tanaka and trade Shark for a blue chip SP prospect who can be paired with Tanaka for the future…unless Shark comes down dramatically in price, he will be moved…Shark still strongly does not want to leave Chicago and he may take a discount if pushed to the brink…

      • nkniacc13

        good info to hear. Thanks

  • James

    I believe the Cubs will be in on Tanaka, but who knows to what extent. I think from there comments from the FO have been clear that timelines are in play. How the re-negotiating the TV and radio deal along with the state of renovations may be decisive in the level of pursuit. Unless the Ricketts are conviced by the FO that Tanaka is a game changer. I am pesimistic that the Cubs will be “all in.” Remember all the reports of the Cubd being all in pn players have proved to be largely false.

    I do like our minor leagues, but hope to see deals done soon with the renovation and tv before getting caught in the hype.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Kyle

      At this point, we’ve cleared *so* much payroll that surely they can afford Tanaka even without the new revenue streams in place. Maybe not multiple big signings, but surely one. They’re lining up for a ~$70m payroll right now.

    • nkniacc13

      based on what the Cubs have been willing to spend on the international market I think they have the Cash to spend without an issue. I’d guess that any of the other people that maybe posted will wait till the new year before posting to get an idea what Tanaka is looking at

  • Oswego Chris

    Most scouts put him one notch below Darvish, and I have read a couple that put them almost even…look what Darvish has done….that’s not quite a AAA gamble type player…and even if Tanaka is a notch below, pitching in the NL would put him even closer to what Darvish has done in the AL

    • Danimal8

      A notch is a very difficult thing to quantify.

  • cards suck

    Mr Tom Wrigley is to cheap pass thank u for coming to triple a Iowa cubs games


    Merry Christmas everyone! Time to help get the turkey ready for the oven and watch the Christmas Story. That movie was based on my childhood….. ok my life! Well, except for the lamp… don’t have one of those yet!

  • Reality Check

    this is a moment of truth for cheap ass Ricketts and Thoyer. sign him or all your talk about the money will be there BS will be proven to be a lie. just do it.

  • John

    I hope the board doesn’t get flooded with the “if we don’t sign him, Ricketts is cheap” stuff. I have faith that we are going to push this all the way, and possibly offer more than anyone else. That said, it takes two. He (Tanaka) has to want to come here. We could offer $20 million more and still not get him.

    • Reality Check

      sounds like excuses already. winners get it done. losers make excuses. money talks; bs walks. just do it.

      • cub2014

        money gets it done, not winners or losers. the
        amount that it takes to get it done could make
        you a loser in the end

        • dakota

          If money talks then why did choo turn down a $140+ million dollar contract from the Yankees? Tanaka wants to compete and prove himself an despite what most people think I think the the nl central is the place for him to do that. But id love to land this guy for whatever it takes and ink samardzija

          • CubFan Paul

            “If money talks then why did choo turn down a $140+ million dollar contract from the Yankees?”

            The Rangers’ offer is worth more after taxes.

      • Greenroom

        Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas and happy holidays to BN~

    • cubzfan23

      You gotta start amassing core players eventually. Even as decent as our starters have been you gotta start getting top notch pitching. I believe this is one guy they should go all out for. He is in the right age range also.

    • Kyle

      The Cubs are undoubtedly clearing off space for another participation ribbon right now.

      • Kyle

        If Tanaka just doesn’t want to come here, then the front office and ownership most definitely don’t get to shrug that off as not on them.

        It was on them to build a desirable destination for players like this over the last five (Ricketts) and two-plus (Epstein) years, and if they’ve failed and players like Tanaka spurn them for less money on not-awful teams, then that’s on them.

        • baldtaxguy

          Cannot disagree. If the money is tops and he goes elsewhere, that’s a fail.

        • Bt

          Right. All they had to do was build a “desirable” rebuilding team, because that makes sense. If they had just signed more free agents and tried to win now, like any rebuilding team would do, then Tanaka would sign. The important thing is that you now have covered every base and can blame the front office no matter what happens if they turn out to be one of the 29 teams that don’t sign Tanaka. I would add though that you need to start blaming Ricketts NOW for not moving the team to the west coast just in case Tanaka uses that as an excuse.

          • CubFan Paul

            “If they had just signed more free agents and tried to win now, like any rebuilding team would do, then Tanaka would sign”

            That’s EXACTLY what rebuilding teams do (shed bad contracts, acquire youth, build a core and fill holes through free agency).

            • TK

              Try taking a look at the average age of “decent” players on FA market. Signing 30-something y/o guys for ~$20m/yr is NOT what rebuilding teams do. You find some FA that is reasonably priced, or reasonably young, then make an argument that that guy would help this team. Lets see what you come up with.

              Also, you don’t add FA’s until you actually have a core to build around! Lets hear who you would’ve signed, to play where, how much $, and what you would do to work those guys in with the prospects that should begin to arrive this summer. Sign Cano? Then what about Alcantara and Baez? Move one to 3B? Well, Bryant? Move to OF? What about Almora, Soler, and the host of other OF prospects we have? Of courses, you were probably thinking to sign a FA OF, right? So who do you hold back in favor of that worthwhile FA? Because if the guy is actually any good, he’s not signing a 1 – 2 yr contract – he’s going for 4/5 yrs or more. So, genius, lets hear your plan? Please. Details, if you would.

              • CubFan Paul

                “what rebuilding teams do (shed bad contracts, acquire youth, build a core and fill holes through free agency).”

                ..isn’t the same as “Signing 30-something y/o guys for ~$20m/yr”

                “So, genius, lets hear your plan? Please. Details, if you would”

                Umm, shove a candy cane where the sun doesn’t shine why don’t you :)

          • mjhurdle

            heh, i was thinking the same thing.

            Damn the Ricketts for not moving us to the Pacific Northwest!!! Worst management group EVER!!!!

            nothing like raging about Ricketts not centering the rebuild around making this the most attractive location for one specific IFA.

            • Kyle

              As an alternative, they could have taken the franchise in a direction where signing or not signing Tanaka did not become the lynchpin between a useful and essentially unproductive offseason.

              But they didn’t choose that, so now we have this.

          • Kyle

            All of which should lead you to question the desirability of what is being described as “rebuilding.”

        • Adventurecizin’ Justin

          You’re so absolute…cracks me up! This new system hurts the Cubs as he now gets a choice. Chicago is probably less desirable than a coastal team…and he gets to choose. You’re just looking for another excuse to bash management.

          If he signs elsewhere, maybe you should root for a team with a management that fits your desires. Why waste anymore of your energy in this management’s philosophy?

          • CubFan Paul

            “Why waste anymore of your energy in this management’s philosophy?”

            It’s not their philosophy, it’s the spending restrictions.

            • Adventurecizin’ Justin

              Restrictions or sensibility? Going 7-10 years on the cream of the free agents is not sensible spending. The market is stupid right now & I’m glad Theo isn’t stupid enough to join in on it!

              • CubFan Paul

                “Going 7-10 years on the cream of the free agents is not sensible spending”

                No one is advocating for that here.

                • Adventurecizin’ Justin

                  Well, what do you mean by spending restrictions then?

                • Adventurecizin’ Justin

                  Brass has done alotta spending to build from the bottom up. They’ve passed on insane FA contracts. So, i’m cnfused by your responses!

                  • YourResidentJag

                    No, they haven’t passed….confused by your response. See Darvish, Cespedes, and Sanchez.

                    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

                      Those weren’t 31 year olds seeking 7-10 years.

                    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

                      One was a blind bid, one signed with the team he was already with, and Cespedes got an offer that gets himto free agency sooner. They tried.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      All those contracts were considered overvalued by the FO, maybe not insane but certainly overvalued, even the blind bid once the actual contract value was determined. Paul didn’t reference age, neither did I.

          • baldtaxguy

            The FO has to sell Tanaka on “The Plan” and they need to sell him on the fact that he is a valuable part of that Plan. The other clubs have a better situation at the ML level and the Cubs need to convince him that The Plan is best for him. If they don’t, the cash will matter less and they fail. The city itself not being on a coast is a lesser consideration.

            • Frank

              The Plan.
              Theo: We have a plan in place that will put the Cubs in a great position for years to come.
              Tanaka: What about now?
              Theo: Ok, we’re probably going to suck for two more years and your going to most likely lose 20 games a year until we get ready to go for it.
              Tanaka: Up yours.
              Theo: But what about the plan?
              Tanaka: Up yours times a million.

              • baldtaxguy

                It will be up to Tanaka to decide what he values most:

                Does he want to pitch in the WS in 2014? Hard to say he does not.


                Does he want to be a principle component, and possibly the leader, of a team developing into a future continuous post-season contender? He might, but that is what the FO needs to tap into.

                I hope they succeed and that this situation fits what Tanaka sees as his future. But if not, it largely due to the situation that the Cubs have placed themselves within and I would label this as a FO fail. I’m optimistic of the future and I like the direction that the club is headed, but, I’m sorry, The Plan sucks if you cannot execute it and failing to obtain Tanaka is a lack of execution.

                • When the Music’s Over

                  The issue is that the Yankees and Dodgers have as much money, if not more, to spend as the Cubs have, and they are ready to compete now and in the future. Much easier for them to say, hey we’re dead serious about winning every year, where the Cubs can only say we’re dead serious about winning in a few years, but until then we’ll be a bottom third team in baseball.

          • When the Music’s Over

            Always love this suggestion: if you’re not on board with exactly what the Cubs front office is doing, go root for another team.

            Sounds alot like what children say when their parents don’t give them what they want.

          • Kyle

            All I hear from posts like this is “I’m a weak fan who would leave if I thought the team was being managed poorly, so you should too if you aren’t universally ecstatic over everything they do. It’s what I would do.”

        • jon

          I have to agree with Kyle here. When you chose to tank seasons, there are many negative downstream effects on the organization. This is something that those with the “fantasy football” mentality just don’t get

          • nkniacc13

            atleast the Cubs FO was up front with the fans

            • jon

              Every opportunity to win is sacred

              • CubFan Paul

                Building on parallel fronts

          • TK

            I love expression such as this one . . . they are CHOOSING TO TANK. As if they “had” the talent, or *reasonably* could’ve acquired it, to win the last 2 yrs. So many like to make this assertion, but NONE OF YOU can or will ever submit YOUR AMAZING PLAN of how this team wouldve been built to be a winner. LETS HEAR WHAT YOU WOULD’VE DONE DIFFERENTLY ! ! ! ! Who would you have kept/traded/signed/released/etc… that would’ve given us a significant chance of having won ONE playoff series (not even the WS – just 1 playoff series) the last few years?

            C’mon man! This is your chance to shine! Enlighten us! Let us marvel in your genius. Just remember, its not fantasy baseball . . . there are NTC’s, FA free will, other teams’ willingness to make trades, etc… So lets hear y’alls’ plans.

            • YourResidentJag

              The larger problem is who is selling the “tanking”. One of the most high profile executives out there…that’s right, Theo Epstein. It magnifies everything right or wrong, regardless of any alternative to anything anyone would do.

      • TK

        And of course Masahiro Tanaka only exists to please you. Its The Matrix, right? He has no say in who he is or what he does. Its all up to FO, isn’t it? Like, for example, if you could choose a job that pays less, but is in Miami, of course you would stay in Chicago, right? Chicago is a great place. That doesn’t mean that all people will chose it. Perhaps the guy has been to LA or NY & loves those places. Perhaps he even already (and has known for a few years) knows that he will chose those places without even hearing any other offers. Perhaps he will consider other things than the needs of the jokers on this MB when making his decision. So, regardless of how enticing Chicago (Cubs) may or may not be, if FO cant break into Tanaka’s person and change his personal likes and dislikes and thought patterns and values, obviously our FO is crap, right?

        Do you clowns ever take a second to read the junk you right? To just think . . . even just for an instant?

        • Kyle

          This is a fantastic example of a strawman fallacy. With some reductio ad absurdum thrown in the mix.

        • Kyle

          To expand, you lack nuance.

          Yes, it is perfectly possible that the front office will do the best job they can from this point on to sell Tanaka, and he will choose to go elsewhere. If we limited our analysis to this simple truth, it would appear that they are blameless in such a situation, sure. And this is a desirable conclusion for many fans, who seem to be very invested in making sure that the current front office does not take any blame, for anything, ever.

          However, failing to sign Tanaka would simply underline two deeper problems with the organization that can quite easily be placed at the feet of the front office.

          First of all, convincing desirable player to sign with the team is very much an important part of their job description, and it doesn’t just begin with the pitch to each individual player. The Cubs’ front office has allowed the team’s brand to be significantly damaged by some significantly awful teams, making the team a less desirable destination. They can’t soak in the glory of “smartly” tanking the team in the second half and getting a higher draft pick, then ignore the damage that has done to attract a player like Tanaka (and to the revenue streams as well).

          Second, they have claimed that they are marshaling their resources for just such a player as Tanaka, as a response to criticism that they are wasting the Cubs’ significant financial advantages over the rest of the division by simply not using them. Players like that on the free market are exceedingly rare, so failing to sign Tanaka would put a magnifying glass on the fact that they have chosen a plan in this area where the only two outcomes are signing a difficult-to-sign, rare player or simply sitting on a pile of cash watching the wins and players go elsewhere. It was their choice to wait for Tanaka and his like, no one else’s, and so they do get blame when Tanaka and his like prove out of their reach.

          • Jason P

            For the most part, I agree with you. If we offer Tanaka the most money and he signs somewhere else, that’s a problem.

            If the money’s similar, however, there may be other factors out of the Cubs control that lure Tanaka to one of the coasts (California’s close to home, has a relatively large Asian population; Mariners same thing and they had Ichiro; New York’s the biggest and most famous city in America and they have 30 World Series titles).

            While it was the job of the Cubs FO to make us an attractive FA destination, if the goal was to make us THE premier free agent destination, head and shoulders above everyone else, then that probably just wasn’t a realistic goal.

            • Danimal8

              Most money? So a number if teams will post the $20 million for exclusive deal rights. Then the team will have to make a reasonable pitch to acquire him correct? This isn’t about lack of funds, this is about his choice as to where he wants to play. It isn’t like we are going to attempt to lowball the posting fee, everyone knows he is going to max it out. Only one team gets to negotiate a deal so it is all about the most attractive site to play in for him. Seems to me there is very little anyone can do about the whole situation. To speculate that we should have, somehow, positioned ourselves seems silly to me, as no one even knew if he would post. He would be a nice addition, but it is his decision where he wants to play.

              • Jason P

                Tanaka’s basically an unrestricted free agent to all the teams who post the $20 million fee. Unlike with the old system, Tanaka’s free to negotiate with multiple teams, and teams are free to offer whatever amount of money they so choose.

            • Frank

              You forgot one thing. What teams are known as.
              Yankees: Bronx Bombers
              Cubs: Lovable Losers

            • When the Music’s Over

              That’s the issue. If the front office/ownership is as smart as some people think they are, then they should have had a real good idea that holding all their chips for Tanaka was a very risky plan. In other words, if they fall to sign him, it shouldn’t be a surprise in the least.

            • Kyle

              All reasonable.

              Which is a good reason why we shouldn’t have let our team get to the point where signing or not signing a player like Tanaka represents such a significant crossroads.

              • Jason P

                I wouldn’t go quite that far. Not getting Tanaka would be a bummer, but it wouldn’t completely alter the course of the franchise.

                • Kyle

                  To me, it looks like it shifts our reasonable contention projection by at least a year or two, maybe more.

                  • Jason P

                    Maybe more than two years? That seems excessive. Putting an exact timeframe on when we’re going to start winning is nearly impossible when you don’t know exactly how prospects/young players will develop, which free agents we will sign in the coming offseasons, and of course, the infamous luck factor.

                    Interesting fact: Did you know that the 2007 Diamondbacks, the team that made it to the NLCS and swept the Cubs in 3 games, had a lower regular season team WAR (26.0) than the 2013 Cubs (26.7)?

                    If you’re hinging your hopes on being as lucky as that team, you’re probably going to be disappointed, but my point is, it’s essentially impossible to predict who’s going to break out, who’s going to regress, and how many 1-run games you’re going to win.

                    Right now, with Tanaka, the 2014 Cubs have an outside shot at being the 2012 Baltimore Orioles or 2007 Diamondbacks. Without him (again, hard to say), I suspect that year would be 2015.

                    • Kyle

                      It is very hard to predict actual contention, which is why I said “reasonable contention projection.”

                      Without Tanaka, I think it would take an uncommonly good year in development and/or unprecedented offseason aggressiveness and resource commitment to get the team to project to competitiveness in 2015.

                    • Jason P

                      And with Tanaka, the same could be said of this year. It would take an uncommonly good year of development to make us competitive.

                      Like I said above, Tanaka would be a boost, but not getting him and his 3-4 WAR isn’t going to completely alter the course of the organization.

            • TK

              A lot of fans ignore the factors that ANYONE would consider with the choice of an MLB FA. Of course there’s money, but there are other considerations for many. Some want to play in warm weather. Some want a certain type of ballpark – pretty safe bet Tanaka wont sign with Colorado, even if they double every other offer. Some want to play with the Yanks as a life-long dream and would never ever chose another team over them. Some HATE the Yanks, for good reason. Some care about their family, and their family’s wishes. When you have a guy like Tanaka, I don’t see $$$ as being the biggest factor. He’s getting paid BIG $$$$ no matter where he signs. he’s also gonna get a lot more for endorsements and commercials (Japanese). And if he’s successful, he gets the stature, within Japanese society, that will accompany that success. Its gonna be more about HIM and his FAMILY, and where he will have the greatest odds to be successful. I guarantee you he does not want to follow in Irabu’s or Fukudome’s foot steps. He wants to be like Nomo and Ichiro. THAT, along with his wife’s desires will weigh heavily in his decision.

              • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                If they doubled every offer, I would be shocked if he didn’t pick a Sudan team who played twice a day for 500 days straight. You are underestimating the power of money. No team will double every other team. You are acting like playing for certain MLB teams willing to pay him is like playing in hell. At most he pitches at his home park 15-20 days per year, dependent on rotation and schedule. If he didn’t care about the money, he wouldn’t move his family half way around the world to better their life even more. He would stay home.

          • dakota

            If you much about running a baseball team why aren’t you in the FO? Forget that theo has already successfully Proven his rebuilding plan works in Boston, which are the cubs of the AL might I add, and take your free spending philosophy all the way into the crippling luxury tax land. I couldn’t be happier with the way the FO is running things

            • CubFan Paul

              “theo has already successfully Proven his rebuilding plan works in Boston”

              What a joke/delusion.

              • dakota

                How do you figure?

                • YourResidentJag

                  You can tell?

                • dakota

                  I’m just saying he was in the FO when the sod broke the curse.of the bambino, why not let him have a run at our curse? Can you think of anyone else who would do a better job?

                  • YourResidentJag

                    Hiring Jason MacLeod individually to be GM, adding a consultant like Paul Beaston to help him initially with baseball ops, and letting MacLeod handpick his player development staff???

                  • Kyle

                    If he was running this team remotely similarly to the way he ran the Red Sox, then many of these criticisms wouldn’t exist.

                    Heck, signing Tanaka would be the first Boston-Theo like thing we’ve done in a while.

                    • nkniacc13

                      different CBA

                    • TK

                      Perhaps the reason the Cubs are being run differently is bc Cubs didn’t have the quality at MLB level BOS had, and was one of the WORST MiLB systems in MLB . . . again, very much different than BOS?????????

                    • Kyle

                      “Perhaps the reason the Cubs are being run differently is bc Cubs didn’t have the quality at MLB level BOS had,”

                      That part is true. Which is yet again emphasizing the point that Epstein’s success in Boston in no way justifies or legitimizes anything he does here.

                      ” and was one of the WORST MiLB systems in MLB”

                      This part is a myth, though. The system wasn’t that bad.

            • Frank

              Did Theo gut the Redsox when he did the rebuild?

              • nkniacc13

                didn’t have to they had a different CBA allowed a rebuild and a continued mlb team

                • Kyle

                  I’m pretty sure they had several different CBAs during Epstein’s time in Boston. It’s not unusual for baseball to have new CBAs every few years.

                  The new CBA tweaked amateur talent acquisition, but it wasn’t a completely new paradigm, and scouting and development remain essentially unchanged.

                  • nkniacc13

                    true but in building the core he had a cba that allowed him to spend at the majors and then there wasn’t a cap on amature talent so they could go over pool amount easily because of no restrictions. It also allowed much easier to aquire extra picks thru Type A and B players

                    • Kyle

                      I think if you actually study the history of Boston’s farm system under Epstein, major overslotting and spending on amateur acquisitions played a much smaller role than you are imagining. They overslotted some, but no more than most teams.

                      They did do a good job with supplemental picks, but the vast majority of their success came from the same place it should always come from: Strong scouting and good internal development programs. The rest is mostly just gimmicks.

                    • nkniacc13

                      Which is what they are building here a strong scouting department and developing their own talent

                    • Kyle

                      “Which is what they are building here a strong scouting department and developing their own talent”

                      Which is a very good thing. But that could have been done without the more extreme rebuilding initiatives the club has undertaken in the last two years.

                    • nkniacc13

                      They could have but without doing everything that they have done to improve. With the new DR and Mesa facilities. While I wished they had been more competitive and and been better in the minors they were left pretty baren.

              • 70’scub

                Not one core piece from A ball up has been gutted… the Cub FO

    • baldtaxguy

      I agree. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that the Cubs are also competing with other teams as well. This guy seems to fit perfectly with “The Plan” (I hate that term, however.) and fits with the activity happening this off-season, or lack thereof. I can’t imagine being less than very aggressive in landing this guy. But there will be only one winner, just hope its the Cubs, and I believe it will.

  • preacherman86

    Remember of guys they wanted bad…Sanchez preferred Detroit and our only shot was if they didn’t pony up the cash…they matched our offer so stayed there. Darvish got a posting fee double of what was anticipated! If the cubs say they went 32 mil I believe it and think they had a right to assume it was enough!

    • Kyle

      I don’t recall the Cubs ever saying that.

      • Jason P

        It was reported they finished in second place. And I’m guessing it was a whole lot more than $32 million if they finished in second place.

        From CSN Chicago:
        “The Cubs bid aggressively for Darvish – and reportedly finished second to the Texas Rangers in December 2011 – but didn’t have the financial flexibility to put together the more than $110 million it would have taken to pay the posting fee and sign the Japanese star to a long-term contract. ”

        • Kyle

          It was reported that a lot of teams finished in second place. It was also reported that the winning bid wasn’t remotely close to the winning bid, so I don’t think we can assume that it was at or above $32 million even if it was the Cubs in second.

          None of which supports the notion that the Cubs have said it. I don’t believe they’ve said anything on the subject.

  • Adarecub

    Tanaka needs to be got. $120/6 years. Max 130m. Then resign shark to $60/5. Shark would need to be signed before tanaka in case he digs his feet in. Busy times for epstoyer

  • TommyK

    The optimist in me thinks: If the Cubs get Tanaka and he lives up to the hype, and they keep Samardzija and he lives up to the hype, and Edwin Jackson progresses to the mean, and Travis Wood repeats what he did last year, the Cubs could have one of the better rotations in baseball. That’s a lot of “ands” to string together, and we still wouldn’t be able to score runs, but try to have a merry Christmas anyway.

    • baldtaxguy

      At least 1 or 2 teams make the post-season with those “ands” strung together. This scenario, with the attention paid thus far this offseason to the bullpen, it could be fun.

    • woody

      sounds real IFFY to me.

  • ColoCubFan

    Hope the Cubs sign him, but I’m betting on the Dodgers. Unlimited checkbook, west coast, history of winning, etc., etc., etc.

  • Satch Dobrey

    The NYTimes mentions the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox as the teams most likely to sign him. No mention of the Cubs.

    • CubFan Paul

      Because the NYTimes is where I go for sports updates.

      • Kyle

        Why wouldn’t you? They have an excellent sports section.

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Ha. ^

    • TK

      Keep in mind, NYT also reported, as fact, that Rakuten had announced that Tanaka would NOT be posted. They have ZERO credibility in this matter.

      But my money is on a West Coast team.

  • jeff feichtl

    Sign Tanaka and trade Shark! We can get 2 arms for Shark!

  • Stevie B

    Just remember, after next season, Soriano comes off the books. How much of his salary are paying ?

    • Troy

      14 mil I think.

  • Fastball

    I think if we sign Tanaka before Shark it’s going to drive the price up for Shark even more. Shark is just going to say you signed a guy out of Japan for twice what your willing to pay me. No Way Theo. Cubs need to make Shark an offer of 5 and no less thamn $70MM. That’s a risk but you don’t get pitching unless you pay for it. He is not going to give a home town discount. Also he has to be looking at Jackson’s deal and saying I am not taking a penny less. I am not sold on Shark but at this point it makes more sense to keep him than trade him. I would like to see a big trade for another pitcher like Hamels. We have plenty of depth in our system to make a trade without giving up any of the top of list talents. Philly is in dire straights internally and need to rebuild. Only thing they have is Lee and Hamels.
    Pitching wins ball games. With our improved BP we can get buy with a few less runs til some of our better players show up in June then the Cubbies could go on a run.

    • TK

      I disagree. I don’t think Shark is that shallow. I think he wants to win and he’d like to do it in Chicago. I think he will accept a fair offer, excluding consideration of Tanaka’s contract, because he is intelligent enough to understand that its a very special circumstance. It also gives him a much better chance to win. he’s not a moron and gonna try to get Tanaka money. Really, he’s not an idiot dude.

    • jsorensen

      Remember Shark got a pretty big ML contract when he signed with the Cubs, not only in bonus but his salary was much bigger than most young players. I agree he must be thinking along the lines of Jackson’s deal & is maybe shooting for somewhere between that & what Anibal Sanchez got.

      • TK

        I truly suspect that the major issue of delay in extending him is actually Shark not wanting to commit to less money than he’d get as a FA to toil on a cellar dweller whose main goal is profit rather than a WS win. I think IF we get Tanaka, Shark will be much more willing to sign an extension. I think that salary range is probably pretty close to what he wants. Seems very reasonable for a major market team that claims to be dedicated to winning a WS in the next 5 years, and projects to fill most positions with cheap homegrown talent. Actions like extending him are exactly the reason why they went to The Plan instead of the old way of spending huge on old FA has-beens. If they’re not gonna extend him, why the heck are we going through all this garbage excuse for baseball seasons?

  • Ty M

    If our scouts are high on the guy, I don’t see how we’re not going all in on him. Every team gets an additional $25M this year from T.V. revenue and we’re well below $100M in obligations for 2014 with Sori FINALLY coming off the books after this season. If they don’t give Tanka a substantial offer (doesn’t mean we have to actually sign him), I think we know where we stand financially and it could indicate we’re going to have a very long and frustrating time with free agents over the next few years.

  • steve

    I hope we get him. But the FO has dopped the ball before and we will lose out to the Yankcrankers

  • jsorensen

    Uh oh, Cotillo wasn’t perfect. Announcing Tanaka wouldn’t be posted. Is he gonna get suspended from Twitter?

    • TK

      It all started with Belson at NYT. I think he used some kind of (google?) translation software that lost, in translation, the true meaning of the actual Japanese reports. All of those reports said that the team was undecided, discussing internally, conferring with Tanaka, and that NO DECISION had been made. They said they WANTED to keep him and would try to do so (by convincing to to want to stay), but none of them said what Belson reported. They said the team would meet with Tanaka Friday (a couple days after Belson’s article) and then decide some time afterward. Belson F-ed up. Then every other outlet, without confirmation, regurgitated his blunder as if it was gospel. And they all cited that clown’s article as their source. Hello, Journalism 101 anybody? Cant believe nobody (ESPN, CBS, SI, etc…) has called out Belson for starting that BS rumor.

  • Drew

    I think the Dodgers will actually stay away from Tanaka and not get into the “bidding war” with other teams. I could see them posting the 20 mil so they can talk but, They have so much pitching already that Tanaka is not going to be that star pitcher of the team he wants to be.
    Also, I have to believe Seattle is going to be in on this, they have a deep pocket owner too and they need to revive their fan base even more so after the Cano signing.

    I believe the Cubs will fully be involved down to the end with Tanaka and put as much money on the table as needed but it ultimately will be up to Tanaka and the Cubs will have to do their best. If they do obtain him, I say keep Shark then. You have to build on that rotation of Tanaka, Shark, Wood, Jackson and whoever takes the 5th spot.

    Final note, I have to believe there is money available to sign this guy. The Cubs have not done any renovation work this year and I know some people will say that money has been allocated and cannot be used. The money comes all from the same place and if you’re not spending it this year on Wrigley then use is on Tanaka. Tanaka will generate new revenues of money once he arrives. Invest!!

  • Cub Lifer

    Going “all in” on Tanaka is one thing. Actually getting Tanaka will be quite another. Hard to compete against the Angels, Dodgers and Yankees. They each have very strong selling points that go beyond also having deep pockets.

    So clear room on the mantle for another participation trophy I’m afraid.

  • jsorensen

    Though my feeling is that he will go to a coastal team, I think the Cubs are going to outbid everyone for his services. They have no ace, probably no ace candidates in the minors, and don’t want to dump anyone from their stockpile of youngsters for a guy like Price. He has the 2nd most perfect overall price tag for a #1 starter, cash. My other thought is, shouldn’t Boston be in on him big time as well? They’re just going to let the Yankees grab this guy? They might be the stealth high bidder.

  • Rich

    gonna be hard to sell on a last place team like the Cubs have been. I “HOPE” he gets excited to win a championship with the Cubs and the Cubs brass can convince him that we are moving towards that goal – ASAP

    • Cub Lifer

      The Cubs aren’t appealing for somebody like Tanaka. The franchise is a couple years from competing, the ballpark is a crumbling dump (even if the renovation starts next offseason the benefits to the players are a few years away), the Luvable Loser thing and the incumbent pressure that comes with 100 plus years of franchise misery.

      Why would Tanaka want all that extra weight in his shoulders when he can go to NY or LA and play for a strong team and immediate contender. He plays his cards right and he has great chance of pitching in the playoffs in 2014.

      Cubs can’t buy Tanaka. Not when the competition is what it is.

      • CubFan Paul

        “Why would Tanaka want all that extra weight in his shoulders…Cubs can’t buy Tanaka”

        When they say it’s not about the money…

    • jsorensen

      I agree it will be hard to sell the Cubs at this point, but the FO could offer 40 million more & still lose out to the Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers. Not convincing him is not necessarily a failure of the FO. If Tanaka goes some where like Seattle for 120 million over 6 years, then we can get pissed the FO didn’t do their job.

  • RoughRiider

    By definition a coast is land next to a sea. By definition a sea is a large body of water surrounded by Land and can be salt water or fresh water. Although Lake Michigan is called a Lake it can also be defined as a sea. Therefore Chicago is a coastal city. Problem solved, The coastal city that signs Tanaka is the city with the most Japanese Americans in the Midwest and the team is the Chicago Cubs.

  • Dr. Karl Kuenzel

    Brett, I’ve been a Cub fan since the mid 1950s. Why do teams like the Yankees and Dodgers have an endless supply of funds to sign big stars, but the Cubs always go after the cast-offs — with the exception of a few ridiculous deals in the past? It looks like the management is always in a rut rebuilding for some unobtainable future, and the fans are continually looking to “next year” or the “next five years” or the next decade. I don’t get it. Any insight?

  • Dumpgobbler

    As close to a must sign as I’ve seen in the past few years. Tanaka lines up perfect in every aspect for us. Won’t cost us picks, young, impact talent, pitcher.. Fits like a glove IMHO. Payroll is down, so it shouldn’t break us to give him a decent payday. I see us with a lot of competition though. Seattle and the Yanks especially. I’m hoping the Yanks have really moved on, and that Seattle trades for Price instead.

  • since52

    If/when Tanaka does not sign with Cubs, I don’t see it as a significant setback given the direction this team is going. There will be other Tanakas right around the corner. The argument that our FO has to “sell” Chicago over NY or LA is simplistic. Chicago and particularly the Cubs are still fabulous places to live and work.

    I doubt Tanaka has ever heard of Theo and company. He certainly knows of the Yankees and Dodgers. If the Cubs offer a better deal, Tanaka’s reps would be grossly incompetent if they do not encourage their client to consider the offer.

    In the end Tanaka and most players sign where they feel most comfortable. Money is certainly a factor, but not necessarily THE factor. Maddux, i.e. when he left the Cubs the first time, turned down more money from Mets and Yankees to go to Atlanta. When he left the second time, he preferred LA because he lives in Vegas.

    Hopefully, Theo and company learned their lesson from the Girardi joke and won’t let their team be used as negotiating leverage.

  • Spoda17

    I hope we get him, and I know the FO will push hard, but let’s keep this in perspective. Still not a good chance we get him.