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.
  • tgk

    Wow Brett, I’ve been at work for 2 and 1/2 hours and haven’t been nearly as productive as you have been this morning.

  • Kyle

    I’m already pretty sure we’re not getting Tanaka. I found it interesting that Mooney reported that Jimenez and Santana are not seen as Plan B’s by the Cubs.

    We’re really going to get the nothing-est offseason ever, it appears.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Yep. Ricketts is sitting on top of his cash and not spending it. understandable bc only Tanaka made sense from a FA standpoint for the Cubs possibly other then Josh Johnson (on a 1yr deal).

      • Corey C

        Really, that makes sense.

        There’s no sense in spending a lot now. Build build build the farm. get them in the league, THEN spend big money on FA.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      When the time come for the cubs to compete Ricketts better hand Theo/Jed a blank check if there are future FA’s that make sense for us to sign

  • Greenroom

    Sigh. Big cities, winning teams. If any of the big name SPs make it to free agency next year, we should have some cash to get 1 of them. Brett, you are on fire this morning.

  • mjhurdle

    A-Rod suspended all of 2014 according to arbitrator’s ruling. He plans on taking it to the federal courts.

    • Luke

      All of 2014? I thought it said 162 games. He’s already served some of that in 2013, hasn’t he?

      • bbmoney

        I didn’t think he served any in 2013.

        • Luke

          You’re right. He appealed immediately and played out the season.

          My mistake.

      • mjhurdle

        The headline on ESPN says 162 games, but the announcers keep saying it includes playoffs in 2014 (if the yankees make it).

        • jp3

          I think i read somewhere it could be 183, that would be the 162 + 21 potential games the Yankees could be in the playoffs.

  • CubbieBubba

    No mas Arod… I guess that settles where Tanaka is going.

    • Internet Random

      The bank.

  • Butchster

    Bret…..I worked in insurance for many years, and involved in several arbitration cases, usually parties waive their rights to litigate when agreeing to arbitration…soooooo as an attorney how can Arod take this court now???.

    • Diehardthefirst

      Ruling exceeded authority and was arbitrary and capricious is only ground for appeal

      • Rebuilding

        This is generally true. You can never really give up your right to go to court although courts look warily at litigants who come there after arbitration. In this case it was the union that agreed to arbitration in these cases. However, it is possible he can get a stay of the arbitration ruling until its litigated.

  • Luke

    Interesting that A-Rod is pushing the conspiracy theory angle that this is the first step to the league removing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining session. That appears to be an extreme reach, and one that is supported by no additional evidence that I’ve come across.

    And it makes me wonder if he is only inserting that theory in an effort to give the union reason to continue to back him. If he’s attempting to overturn the arbitration process as agreed to by collective bargaining, the union might be in a tricky position.

    • Diehardthefirst

      Would union allow Yankees to buyout ARod contract so he can go to Japan?

    • rcleven

      I would think he takes his lumps for next season and is attempting to protect his 15 thru 17 money.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I think contracts should still be guaranteed but voidable only if PED usage occcurs

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I’d also like to see a stiffer luxury tax penalty if teams go over the $189million payroll threshold

  • Serious Cubs Fan


    I don’t see why there should be ANY financial constraints on the in there pursuit for Tanaka. Ricketts should have the ability to spend $15o mil on Tanaka if the baseball guys thought it was the right move.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Ricketts can cry poor all he wants but that is not the case. Since Tanaka is a perfect fit for the Cubs rebuild he should be able to cough up the big bucks for one big FA signing. Tanaka is the one FA that has made the most sense for the cubs in the last 3 years

  • ssckelley

    I think it is unfair the Yankees get out of paying a bad contract and now have an extra $20+ million to spend.

  • Corey C

    Anyone else think it’s time for baseball to get a salary cap limit? It’s just so unfair.

    • Luke

      The newest round of luxury tax rules might be enough. We’re starting to hear about teams trying to get under the tax to reset the penalties, and that wasn’t really happening a few years back.

    • ColoCubFan

      Player’s Union would never approve that one!

  • nkniacc13

    Appareantly according to Sports Hochi NYY,LAD and LAA are finalists for Tanaka? Did I see that right?

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