Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

masahiro tanakaA Saturday piece just a day after there were already two other Masahiro Tanaka pieces? Yeah, that’s an Obsessive Watch.

  • Speaking of yesterday’s bits, Bob Nightengale, who reported that the Dodgers would not be outbid for Tanaka, walked that back a bit shortly thereafter – presumably having heard from a Dodgers exec or two who didn’t want the public perception out there that they were going to go nuts on Tanaka (either because they are, and they don’t want competitors to know, or because they aren’t, and they don’t want fans disappointed). Instead, Nightengale said that the Dodgers confirmed their interest, but “won’t spend wildly” on Tanaka. That’s pretty much a rejection of the “won’t be outbid” thing, though, as I noted in the parenthetical, there could be an agenda there. Nightengale later added on an MLBN appearance (per the CCO’s watchful eye) that he expects the Yankees and Cubs to be the serious contenders with the Dodgers.
  • Interestingly, two local Dodgers writers – Bill Shaikin and Ken Gurnick (erh herm) – quickly said the Dodgers aren’t going to be all-in on Tanaka, despite Nightengale’s reporting. So, the Dodgers went from clear frontrunners to afterthoughts in less than a few hours? Hooray rumors!

  • San Francisco writer John Shea reported that Tanaka’s geographic preferences are Los Angeles, New York, and Boston. Good teams in good cities. No surprise there. Hopefully they are but mere preferences on which he’s open to being swayed. I doubt the Cubs’ front office is interested in being a patsy to help drive up the prices on the locations Tanaka actually wants to go.
  • Patrick Mooney wrote about the Tanaka situation yesterday, confirming via sources that the Cubs are willing to make a “nine-figure investment” in Tanaka, which sounds like a lot until you note that, technically, that could be a mere $80 million deal and a $20 million posting fee. Mooney’s tone, as it has been from the start, is markedly pessimistic. I certainly wouldn’t characterize my tone as optimistic, though, so we’re probably just about on the same page: the Cubs will try, but there are significant financial and competitive (not to mention geographic, apparently) hurdles to actually landing Tanaka.
  • In the wake of the Derek Holland injury, Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he didn’t expect his team to add a front of the rotation type – i.e., Tanaka – to fill the hole. The Rangers have always been a quiet, fence-type suitor for Tanaka, though. Even if they aren’t trying to get Tanaka to replace Holland … maybe they were always trying to get him anyway, and this is just a further nudge.

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