masahiro tanakaStill nothing firm from the stateside media on this weekend’s “three finalists” report in the hunt for Masahiro Tanaka.

  • The Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen hears from an industry source that the price tag on Tanaka could hit $140 million. That figure isn’t especially surprising, particularly from an industry source, given that six years and $120 million (plus the $20 million posting fee) is what most sources have been spitballing for a while now. Of course, if Van Schouwen is hearing six years and $140 million on the contract, plus $20 million for posting, that’s a significant investment, indeed. The AAV, to the team, of a six-year, $160 million contract is $26.67 million per year. Is that really a reasonable sum for Tanaka? Is it an amount you’d be pissed about the Cubs not matching?
  • To be sure, all that was said was a price tag of $140 million. We generally assume six years, since that tends to be the standard deal in these situations, but it’s always possible that a team could go to seven or eight years, making a $140 million contract slightly more reasonable. Of course, a seven or eight-year investment in an arm – even a 25-year-old one – is a considerable risk. Throw in the fact that he hasn’t been tested in the big leagues (as much as scouts love him) and the heavy workload as he’s come up … I start to hem and haw a little bit about what kind of deal makes sense here, particularly when you consider the possible pitching free agent class next year.
  • Ken Rosenthal says that the expectation in the industry is that the Yankees or Dodgers will land Tanaka. Buster Olney seems to concur. That’s pretty much the expectation here, as well.
  • As for the third “finalist” for Tanaka – the Yankees and Dodgers being the other two – the Angels didn’t actually meet with Tanaka when he was in Los Angeles, according to Angels’ GM Jerry DiPoto. That certainly suggests that they aren’t a serious contender for Tanaka, even if wishes they were. Outside of those “finalist” reports, the Angels have not been considered among the top tier – in terms of likelihood – of suitors for Tanaka. Candidly, Tanaka landing with the Angels would surprise me more than Tanaka landing with the Cubs. Again, the Yankees and Dodgers seem most likely.
  • It’s still unclear whether the Red Sox will be involved. We’ve heard strong reports on either side of the question, but Boston did not meet with Tanaka in Los Angeles, either. That said, Nick Cafardo reports that the Red Sox have had discussions about Tanaka with agent Casey Close. Can’t quite rule them out, I suppose.
  • pundits take a crack at projecting where Tanaka lands, and the Yankees loom large. Marlon Anderson guesses the Cubs, for whatever tiny bit that’s worth.

UPDATE for Jayson Stark (cue the “every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in” line) says: “Brought up the name, ‘Tanaka,’ to 2 people at owners meetings this morning. They both had the same response: Beware of the Cubs.”

  • Edwin

    Could the Cubs ever sign Tanaka to a deal that “Makes Sense”? I mean, if the deal makes sense to the Cubs, wouldn’t it make sense for a team close to being a playoff team to bid even higher than the Cubs, since Tanaka and his WAR is probably more valuable to them?

    I think if you want the Cubs to sign Tanaka, you need to be prepared for the Cubs to make a deal that doesn’t make sense. If you want the Cubs to only make deals that make sense, then you need to be prepared not to sign Tanaka (or any big FA for the next couple years).

    • Brett

      Pretty reasonable point.

    • Jon

      When you have a 25 year old in his prime as a FA, he should be just as valuable to the Cubs as any other team.

      • Edwin

        Not by margianl win value. Lets say 90 wins gives you a pretty high chance of making the playoffs. 85 wins might get you into the playoffs, but the chances are much lower. 80 wins is probably never a playoff team.

        So, making a move (or moves) that improves your current team from 85-90 wins is much more valuable than a move/moves that improve your team from 75-80.

        The wins that Tanaka adds to a team projected to win 85 games is much more valuable to that team than the wins Tanaka would provide to the Cubs. It’s economics.

        • blublud

          I disagree. You have to add enough to become a 80 win team, so you can add the piece to become a 85 win team, so you can add the piece to become a 90 win team. So at some point, 5 wins are 5 wins, and 5 wins should be just as valuable to every team the same, if even you believe in stupid things like WAR as it currently exists anyway.

          • Edwin

            WAR isn’t stupid. It’s just a more complicated way of trying to do what everyone is always trying to do: figure out which players contribute the most to winning games. If you have a better way to measure player production, by all means share it. But you’ll be doing the exact thing that WAR tries to do.

            You’re right, that eventually a team needs to get to 90 wins somehow, so 5 wins is 5 wins. But we’re not looking at the value of a win, we’re looking at the marginal value of a win.

            • hansman

              “If you have a better way to measure player production”

              Umm: RBIs, W/L and sCRAP+. Add all of those together and you get the Decisive Unilateral Metric for Baseball. The ultimate go-to stop for all old school baseball fans and front offices that really know the game better than stat nerds.

            • blublud

              My beef has never been WAR or the theory of it. Its the formula. Any formula that’s says Darwin Barney was worth almost 5 wins in 2012 is flawed much more than slightly. I understand the concept, but it needs to be tweaked quite a bit. This is also the reason I think Ozzie Smith was overrated. You can agree or disagree with the Ozzie Smith part, but no defensive player should be separated by any more than 2 wins.

              • Edwin

                Fangraphs had Barney worth 2.3 WAR in 2012.

                I get that it sounds strange to think that defense can make that big a difference, but so far all the advanced metrics are landing on that. Putting an artificial cap on how much defense can be worth just based on gut feeling seems to go against the whole point of statistical analysis.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                The formula is easy: 10 runs = 1 win. Moreover (and this is true of all sports), a point prevented is worth very slightly more than a point gained: that is, you have a higher probability of winning if you hold the opponent to 2 than you do if you up your score to 3.

                The problem is this: what is a defensive run saved? The oft-cited DRS metric is very context dependent: two great diving catches are worth different runs-prevented depending on whether guys are on base and even how many outs there are. However, the fielder has no control over these things: and guys with good pitchers are going to be in those situations less often.

                The range stats are better: every (I think) 5 outs should save a run. That is, randomly replace 5 non-outs with outs, and you expect to save one run. Every 50 outs should save you a game. (I might be misremembering: it might be 3 or 4, but you get the idea.)

                At this point, you still need to standardize for pitching: guys with high K pitching staffs obviously don’t get to turn as many batted balls into outs, and OFer with groundball pitching staffs do not get to turn as many batted balls as outs (with both statements relative to guys with identical ranges, gloves and arms on different teams).

                But if any guy truly saves 40 runs, then he’s contributed just as much to the run differential as a guy who created 40 extra runs (relative to other guys playing his position). (Indeed, slightly more!)

              • hansman

                You do realize that 1.5 of those 4.8 wins came from the offensive side of the plate?

              • beerhelps

                I agree with the Ozzie Smith thing. Never could understand how he was a “no doubt” HOF’er. All those flips I suppose. Could also be the fact I hate the Cardinals and everything associated with them.

          • hansman

            5 wins is 5 wins. Unless you are the GM of the team going from 90 to 95. Then you will always be willing to outbid the GM going from 70-75 wins or 75-80 wins because you need those wins NOW NOW NOW.

            It’s human nature.

            • Edwin

              At 90 wins though, you might be far enough along the win curve that adding those 5 wins isn’t worth it, since you’re already at 90.

              • hansman


            • Kyle

              90 to 95 isn’t where the great value is. 82-87 is roughly where the highest value in five marginal wins would be.

        • Kyle

          ” 80 wins is probably never a playoff team.”

          Several teams with projections around 80 wins made the 2013 playoffs. An 82-win projection won the World Series.

          • Edwin

            I wasn’t thinking projected wins, I was thinking actual wins. Nitpicker.

          • Xruben31

            …in a competitive division.

      • Scotti

        Tanaka is not going to sell more seats (or stop the bleeding–two separate things) in LA or NYY (at least not to the degree he would with the Cubs because those seats are sold whereas the cubs keep losing paying fans). So one could make a valid argument that while Tanaka is more valuable to LA and (maybe) NYY from a win now perspective, he is more valuable (by leaps and bounds) to the Cubs from a lose less money now perspective.

        Literally, for the Cubs, if Tanaka signs for $20-25 per, he could pay for his first year if his signing prevents 100-150k fewer lost sales and an additional 100-150k more sales (and this just in gate and concessions–not counting ad buys).

        Additionally, the cubs are unique in that they could pitch him on 6 days rest for the first year, or two, to acclimate his arm to the US style (he’s been going once a week). No other team could “afford” to sit his $20-25 million because they need wins now.

        • Bill

          “So one could make a valid argument that while Tanaka is more valuable to LA and (maybe) NYY from a win now perspective, he is more valuable (by leaps and bounds) to the Cubs from a lose less money now perspective. ”

          I made this same point on another fan site. People were saying that Tanaka wasn’t worth the money because the Cubs were paying him $25/yr for 2 years where the Cubs would be terrible.

          They fail to realize he helps them in the short term (increased attendance) and long term (chance to reach the playoffs). He’s a great fit because of his age. Signing him is a win/win. Helps the bottom line now, and he’ll help the team compete for a playoff during his contract. The bonus is the extra money he helps bring in now will also help the Cubs buy FA’s 2-3 years from now.

          I love your suggestion of giving him an extra day or two of rest to help acclimate him to pitching in the US. The team is going to be terrible the next two years, so as you say, the team has the luxury to take that approach. They could use Villanueva as the swingman in the rotation.

          • Scotti

            If the Cubs don’t stop the bleeding, by 2015 they will average 2 million per year (with massive no shows on top of that). That’s around $100 million south of just a few years ago in gate and concessions alone.

            The difference in ad buys (with the TV/radio/video board/partnerships all open) could be double that.

            Tanaka won’t make up the difference alone– ultimately they need to win. But this off-season, they need Tanaka more than any other team and they know it. Got to stop the bleeding.

            • Bill

              Agree, Tanaka isn’t going to get them to be contenders, but he’s a nice first step. Guys who are number 2/3 starting pitchers just don’t become available for FA at 25 years old and the Cubs don’t have any TOR starters near ML ready.

              I’m old enough to remember how empty Wrigley was during the 70’s when the team was terrible (actually they were much better than they are today).

              • Scotti

                Exactly. Folks can lose interest and they have been. The notion that Wrigley will always sellout is fiction. Of course more fans will attend a losing Cub team than a losing Tampa team (or winning Tampa team). The Cubs have a much larger fan base and a better atmosphere. But the Cubs only sellout when they win (or the year after–ticket sales are sold in the off-season).

                Have a good night, Bill.

    • lordbal4

      Tanaka actually could be worth more to the Cubs than to competitive teams because of the relative scarcity of players who make sense with The Plan. Very few players actually help us do what we want to do, whereas the Yankees can sign just about any pitcher and get better – which means their incentive to get this *particular* pitcher may be lower than ours.

      • brainiac

        the scarcity is artificial because there’s no plan. they’re just biding time. offering rationale why all kinds of great players aren’t a good fit for a team only about as good as a championship AAA team just placates us further.

        we’re not getting tanaka, and even if we had kershaw we wouldn’t sign him to a large contract to guarantee a staff ace. that’s just how things are going to be here. and i wouldn’t be surprised if theo and jed jumped ship at the end of their contracts for greener pastures. no self-respecting GM would stick with this team.

        • Chef Brian

          Wow. Is your Screen Name sarcastic?

  • Cerambam

    I just want him, ok? Geeze.

  • Jon

    If the Cubs don’t get Tanaka, and they aren’t in next year FA’s class(Scherzer, Masterson, Bailey, etc) I promise you, there will be a riot at the convention in 2015.

    • MichiganGoat

      Of course you do… kinda of sad don’t you think that you are already preparing for a riot next year?

      • Jon

        As a Cubs fan, preparing for the worst is kind of human nature.

    • josh ruiter

      What if they don’t get Tanaka, BUT….Shark turns into the #1 we want or is dealt for a top flight young arm, Edwards dominates AA and AAA sealing the deal on 2015. Pierce Johnson does similarly, Travis Wood matches his 2013 performance, EJax bounces back…Do you still want the Cubs to go all out on Masterson, Bailey or Scherzer? Just sayin, there are a lot of unknowns or what ifs to be seen. patience Iago.

      • Edwin

        The odds of those things happening are pretty low, though. That’s why building a plan for conention soley around events like that happening doesn’t work out well.

        • josh ruiter

          True, I’m just saying…it’s possible.

      • Jon

        Yes. Even if that ridiculously optimistic scenario plays out, you still have top of the line free agents in their prime. It’s an opportunity you shouldn’t pass on, especially if the Cubs pick is protected, again.

  • D-Rock

    At least we have a new mascot!

    • Jr 25

      Ya his name is RICKETTS!

    • http://bleachernation Peoria cubman

      Is he the consolation prize for not getting Tanaka?

  • David

    The cash being shelled out for these guys is just getting out of control. $30MM for one guy to start 32 games???? (Kershaw). $25MM for a guy that hasn’t pitched in the major leagues? Why? Why? Why? When does it stop?

    • Edwin

      It stops when MLB revenue stops growing.

      • MightyBear

        Which isn’t going to be soon.

    • Noah_I

      This is basic supply and demand. It’s really not that surprising or shocking.

  • MightyBear

    I know the Sox met with Tanaka in LA. Did the Cubs? I haven’t heard but maybe I missed it. They could’ve and it not be reported. This FO keeps its cards close to the vest, which I actually like.

  • cms0101

    It seems pretty clear from the reporting being done that this guy only wants to go to LA or NY. Is there a realistic dollar amount that the Cubs could offer him to change his mind? Who knows… If they went $200mil in on him, including posting fee, that would be fine with me. The signing doesn’t cost them a draft pick and he’s young enough to pitch effectively through the entire deal, barring injury. But the questions we need to ask are do they have that money available now? Will a contract like this prevent them from signing others as they move forward? I want them to sign this guy, but I get there are certain limitations that they have to follow. This ownership isn’t the Trib, limiting dollars spent to guarantee a certain percentage of profit on an annual basis. I won’t take any consolation in the Cubs coming in 2nd or 3rd, but it will give me some piece of mind if the Cubs make a legitimate offer that is competitive with what he signs for. Lip service that they want to kick the tires is not enough. But if he ends up in one of the places he wants to go to and not Chicago, there is really not much anyone can do about it.

  • ColoCubFan

    I personally can’t see the financial commitment necessary to land Tanaka for someone who may or may not be no more than a number 2-3 starter. Without MLB experience, he is pretty much a crap shoot.

  • BlameHendry

    If the Dodgers extend Kershaw for $30M per year, I don’t know how they could also pay Tanaka $20-25M per year and stay under the luxury tax cap. And if I’m Ned Colletti, and I have to choose between the two, I’d take Kershaw before I could blink. Kershaw is MLB-proven, Tanaka (even if he’s truly ace-caliber) is not actually MLB-proven yet. Kershaw is a safer bet, and apparently the Dodgers are “within the two- or one-yard line” of finalizing the extension (per Buster Olney).

    So unless the Dodgers are planning to blow through the luxury tax limit and just pay the massive premium, there’s no way they’re going to let Kershaw walk away next year just so they can have Tanaka this year (especially considering Kershaw is on track to be one of the greatest pitchers MLB has ever had). They’ll have just one year of a God-mode rotation and after that it will be an overall downgrade.

    Yanks are in the same boat, but they need Tanaka more than the Dodgers do. They’re much more likely to sign Tanaka. And if they don’t, then you got the Mariners to worry about.

    I sincerely hope there aren’t any Cubs fans out there who are STILL holding onto any hope of Tanaka coming here, or think there is any legitimate chance of it happening. Just look at the state of this team: the FO’s complete lack of interest in improving the team this off-season, the supposed “spending restrictions,” and the fact that this team is just so bad right now that Tanaka would hardly make a dent. It’s just not gonna happen. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment.

    • Brett

      The Dodgers are already way, way over the luxury tax cap, and will be for a long time. That’s not really a consideration for them.

    • Chad

      Luxury tax is 189million. The dodgers have a 2014 payroll of over 211 million for 19 players. I would say the luxury tax is not their biggest concern right now.

      • hansman

        Their biggest concern is actually building a team that answers the age old question:

        What would it look like if we were to take one of the All-Star teams and plop them on one roster for a whole season.

  • Kyle

    So when they said “the money will be there for the right kind of player” they meant “so long as we don’t have to pay market value.”

    If you can’t stomach paying $25m+ for a guy like this, then you can’t get a guy like this.

    • DarthHater

      “So when they said “the money will be there for the right kind of player” they meant “so long as we don’t have to pay market value.””

      A statement like that might have some value, if it were made after somebody had some actual information about what they or weren’t willing to pay. Earlier than that, well, it really occupies one of those areas on which I’m no longer inclined to comment on this board.

      • DarthHater

        *were or weren’t willing

    • mjhurdle

      I think the question most people have is “what kind of guy is Tanaka’.
      From most scouting reports I have read, his ceiling is a very good #2. That is if everything translates well, no injury concerns from increased workload, etc.

      I think most Cub fans (and the Cubs themselves) would gladly go $25+ million if Tanaka = Darvish. But the consensus seems to be that, even if everything goes right, Tanaka will still never get to Darvish level.

      So do you believe that Tanaka will come over and be a quality #2 for 6-7 years? if so, $25 million is reasonable given the current FA prices. But anything short of that, and he would not be worth it.

      To insinuate that the only reason to not be in on Tanaka is because you don’t want to pay market value is a myopic viewpoint. Market value is dependent on how you view Tanaka will perform. If you see a great #2, then your price is set at the market value for a solid #2. If you see a likely #3, or lower #2, then your market value is set there.

      • DarthHater

        Well, if $25+ million becomes the market rate for a very good #2 going forward, then you’re gonna have to pay that rate if you want that kind of player, whether it seems crazy or not. If it were really THAT crazy, the market wouldn’t go that high.

        • mjhurdle

          i agree.
          My point (that i did a poor job conveying) is that we don’t know that Tanaka is a very good #2, not to the level of MLB FAs.
          It is almost akin to a really good AAA player. We can analyze the talent, notice positive signs, but cannot guarantee what happens when they come to the bigs.
          Tanaka has lots of positive signs, but no one has seen him compete in the MLB yet, so you don’t know how the stuff will translate.
          In contrast, when/if Homer Bailey hits the market, you have years of data and experience of MLB level competition to say that he is a very good #2.

          So if market value for a solid #2 is $25 million, and a #3 is $18 million, and you big $22 million for Tanaka, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want him at below market value. It could also mean that your reports suggest he is more a #3 than a #2, and you are actually willing to go over market value for a #3.

          • mjhurdle

            *’big’ should be ‘offer’

            not sure how that typo happened

          • Kyle

            The market value for a 2 or 3 *at Tanaka’s age* is much higher than that. We just don’t get to see it very often.

      • When The Musics Over

        To be fair, to date, while managing the Cubs, this front office hasn’t been interested in paying market value for any traditional free agents. It’s been almost exclusively about capturing value, or as Kyle puts it, winning in efficiency. I’m curious to see how this front office operates going forward, especially when/if this team is ready to compete.

        • When The Musics Over

          Though I guess Anibel Sanchez, if the reports of what the Cubs were offering are accurate, was an attempt to pay at or above market value.

          And Edwin could be considered close to meeting that threshold, and they recently said, in so many words, that they regret making the signing.

          • Jon

            In regards to Sanchez, when you chose to “tank” and make your major league team a laughing stock, things like Sanchez are going to happen. Players that also like to “win” are just going to use you as leverage to get a bigger offer for other teams.

            It’s why Tananka isn’t even giving the Cubs a 2nd thought….

            • half_full_beer_mug

              Jon has spoken, all others need not apply

            • JB88

              These sorts of comments, repeated ad nauseum, were the sort of comments I really hoped the new posting system would prevent. So much for that.

    • roz

      This is just pointless FO-bashing until we know what Tanaka signs for and what the Cubs were offering.

  • woody

    Well if Tank’s wife really is a pop star and Hollywood wannabe then it could very well be like the Beckham deal in soccer. I mean Beckham left a real league and top level competition to play in an inferior legague for money and notariety for him and his wife. We don’t really know what motivates this guy. I’m sure Theo has done his back round work, but if his wife has her sights set on the limelight then we would have to give a ton of money to get him. Personally I am with those that say forget about it. It ain’t gonna happen. It’s a given that if Tanaka goes to LA and has a hot wife that they will both be on the radar for the paparazzi.

  • Ballgame17

    I’m curious to see the timeline on this Kershaw/Tanaka situation in regards to the Dodgers. If the Kershaw camp knows the Dodgers offered Tanaka an AAV of 26.67 and they’re the same age, why would Kershaw settle for $30mil. I guess that makes sense that the Dodgers and Kershaw are expected to announce an extension prior to the Tanaka situation being finalized.

    With all of this additional payroll for the Dodgers, why do the Cubs not seriously look at trading for Kemp. I know the Dodgers have an insane amount of dollars, but they have 4 starting outfielders and Kemp is signed to a long deal. Kemp has roughly 6yrs/120mil remaining on his deal and rumors earlier said the Dodgers would be willing to eat some of that contract. Even if they ate 30mil, that brings the deal down to 6/90mil (15/yr AAV). Other rumors state the Dodgers have no interest in trading Kemp. This could be a high-impact possibility, that I’d love to see the Cubs take a chance on.

  • EQ76

    “Beware of the Cubs” – Someone should have said that to me 30+ years ago when I became a Cubs fan,..

    • DarthHater


  • wegotwood

    Brett told me it was okay to post this, so giving it a shot. A friend of mine have a shot at Cubs season tix. We found a third guy, but need a 4th to make it financially doable. It would be section 509, row 3, seats 5 and 6. Roughly $900 for your 20 games, done as a ticket draft. Anyone interested can email me at rdhollywood86 @ yahoodotcom. Time is a factor and we don’t want to have to pass on Cubs season tickets!

    • @justinjabs

      Put something on the message board, too.

  • Justin

    The Cubs should sign Tanaka to a $200 Million deal and then flip him at the trade deadline for prospects while paying 100% of his entire contract to his new team. At that pt. I think there ma be a chance the Front Office feels they finally have a strong enough Farm system to try and win… Just maybe….

  • http://BN Sacko

    Fantasy is having Tanaka…Reality is we won’t..And, I still hope I’m wrong and will still write I was wrong 50xs on here.

  • CubFan Paul

    “Beware of the Cubs”

    means: They have the most financial flexibility of anyone involved and can make the Dodgers say eff it and concentrate on Kershaw…

  • Kyle

    That Stark news is awesome. I want this so badly that I’m willing to jump back in to optimism on the slightest scrap.

    • cubsfan08

      ^ WOW

      Kyle – did someone hack your account?

  • ari gold

    If the Cubs sign Tanaka, does Kyle stop bitching?

    • hansman

      Until there is a discussion in June about trading a reliever and how that indicates we are punting 2015.

    • Kyle

      It would significantly raise both my opinion of the front office and my projection for the next few years.

  • Ballgame17

    If the Cubs are able to indeed pull this off, I’m praying its max 6yrs/120mil. $20mil AAV is about as high as I’ll be comfortable at, but the FO certainly knows more than I do. Sign Tanaka, trade for Kemp…thanks!

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I seriously hope a report comes out stating what the Cubs bid was, after we lose out on him. I want to know if Ricketts truly was finically committed

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I never expect the Cubs to land Tanaka bc we won’t be competitive the next 2 yrs but I expected to FO to offer 6yrs $140mil. If takes it yay, if he says he doesn’t want to play for a losing team oh well who cares. But I seriously want to know 2 things.

      1) Was the money available to make a very serious run Tanaka?

      2) Was Ricketts actually willing to make a large financial investment for a FA that made sense for our team?

      • woody

        You will only hear the familiar phrase that “we were all in” used. And when the announcement is made and the numbers are released I think most cub fans will be relieved that we didn’t sign him. I think our FO is pretty much done making moves with the exeption of a back end starter type.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          Woody, There was reports a year after about Darvish posting of how much the Cubs bid. I forget how much though. Just hoping they weren’t just giving the fans lip service to say we tried and made a significant offer

          • DocPeterWimsey

            The reports leaked out of Japan (not from anybody in MLB) were that the Cubs bid was in the low $20M area, which was good for a very distant second. The primary focus of the reports stateside was not on the Cubs: instead, it was on how the Rangers badly overbid (something for which Daniels subsequently has taken a lot of heat, especially after the Rangers failed to re-sign Hamilton) and how the Blue Jays (originally reported to be the winners, then the #2 bidders) actually were the 3rd highest bidders (which turned the heat on Anthopoulos down on one burner, as Jays fans were upset that he “just missed” and up on another, as Jays fans were upset that he “didn’t try.”)

  • Blackhawks1963

    Kershaw is going to get $300 million from the Dodgers. They know it. He knows it. The only thing to derail this destiny is if Kershaw’s arm falls off in 2014.

    Tanaka is headed to the Yankees. The Dodgers will blink first in the bidding war between the two super powers.

    • Jon


    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I hope Kershaw hits free agency. I know the Cubs won’t land him just bc the dodgers would never allow themselves to lose in a bid to another team. But also with more bidders involved that means it will most likely cost them at least a little more, Even its going to be well north of $300mil contract anyways

  • Ballgame17

    +1, but who knows if that’ll ever happen. Regardless of how much/little $ a team has, you have to know when to say enough is enough. I trust the FO when it comes to this, so I’m anxious to see how this all shakes out. I’m hoping Cubs, thinking Yanks…

  • Ballgame17

    Sorry, +1 to SeriousCubsfan and how he/she wanted to see what the Cubs offer was if they don’t land Tanaka, so we can see how financially committed/serious they were…

  • darrellb

    “Still nothing firm from the stateside media on this weekend’s “three finalists” report in the hunt for Masahiro Tanaka.”

    Nothing? the Angels went public to say they didn’t even talk to Tanaka and agent when they were here.

    The would say the who “three finalists” report is bogus. Maybe we could actually wait and instead of all the daily speculation. When he actually signs with someone it will be news.

    • hansman

      “Maybe we could actually wait and instead of all the daily speculation. When he actually signs with someone it will be news.”

      Comments like these always intrigue me on a Cubs-focused website. I could understand the comment on a site like ESPN that covers all of the sports (there’s only football, right?) and all of the teams (Patriots and the Mannings, right?) but here, if Brett only covered the signings and BIG news items, we’d get very few posts.

      • DarthHater

        I think a lot of people come here to enjoy speculation and that’s part of the fun of being a fan. Some of the premature complaining is annoying, but I’m willing to accept that some folks derive their fan-fun from complaining, as long as they accept that I might derive my fun from sending a snarky remark their way. 😛

    • Brett

      As I think I saw Kyle aptly put it yesterday, the Angels being one of Tanaka’s finalists (in his mind) and the Angels not being interested are not mutually exclusive propositions.

  • Rebuilding

    I may be one of the only people who still believe, but as I said long ago – Tanaka would be posted and will be a Cub. This ownership/FO desperately needs a shot in the arm. They are well aware of what Wrigley looked like in August/September last year and can’t go into this season with no positive vibes or it will look like that in July. How much exactly is 300-500 thousand fans worth? I think it’s worth overpaying by quite a bit to give people some hope. That and the fact they have cleared payroll down to $75 million make me thing we make a huge offer

    • Tommy

      I agree with you, Rebuilding. The low payroll is definitely a good reason for a strong case that they are going hard after Tanaka, and you make some pretty valid points along with that.

      Also, with the contacts that are being signed these days, I don’t think the $140M contract that Brett mentioned today is going to look that bad come next year, as it looks like they’re going to be more and more prevalent as time goes on. No way the Cubs payroll stays under $100M for long.