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masahiro tanakaApologies for the late post – I’d been on my way to Chicago for much longer than anticipated thanks to Mother Nature vomiting snow and wind directly on top of me wherever I drove.

  • Jayson Stark sure is doing his damnedest to get Cubs fans believing there’s a real chance that the Cubs could land Masahiro Tanaka. In his latest tweet on the subject, Stark says it is “amazing how many owners in Ariz. were convinced #Cubs are ready to blow away the field & sign Tanaka to a monster deal.” Clearly word is getting around that the Cubs are not in this thing for the dog and pony show, and are legitimately trying to land Tanaka. But how and why would other owners be in a position to make such comments? Are they being that transparent about their desire to top the market in the bidding? Have they already made an offer that everyone knows will blow away the field monetarily? I suppose it’s possible, given what we think we know about Tanaka’s preferred landing spots (none of which are in Chicago), and what we believe to be true about the Cubs’ efforts to get him (i.e., that they’ll have to outbid the market and sell Tanaka on coming to a rebuilding team). Maybe there’s just some wishcasting going on by those other owners, though I’m not quite sure to what end.
  • Meanwhile, Jon Morosi went straight to the horse’s mouth, but Tom Ricketts wasn’t biting. Ricketts told Morosi of the Cubs’ Tanaka involvement that, out of “respect [to] the process,” he would not comment. Given how relatively open other organizations have been about their Tanaka overtures, it’s interesting that the Cubs are keeping mum. We heard earlier in the process that Tanaka was a private guy who preferred to keep this stuff out of the media. The Cubs, apparently, are taking that very seriously, and I say good for them. There’s really not much to be gained by saying anything at all at this time.
  • Dave Kaplan weighs in with an update on the Cubs’ Tanaka pursuit – recall, Kaplan was the first to report that the Cubs “wouldn’t be outbid” for Tanaka – and says that the Cubs are still prepared to spend “insane” money on Tanaka. Unfortunately for the Cubs (well, “unfortunate” if they’re happy to spend insane money if they get their guy), Kaplan’s source says it might not come down to money for Tanaka, who has family considerations. (The rumor there – not from Kaplan – is that Tanaka’s wife, who is a performer, prefers to be in New York or L.A. Just a rumor.) Kaplan’s source adds that the odds Tanaka choose a team that isn’t ready to win are “definitely slim.”
  • The deadline to sign Masahiro Tanaka is a week from tomorrow, but as Kaplan aptly points out in his piece, that deadline has to include everything signed-sealed-and-delivered, including a presumably exhaustive physical (beyond the one Tanaka already took in Los Angeles last week). If true, an agreement will likely have to be in place with the “winner” by the middle of next week at the latest. Pins + needles.
  • CubFan Paul

    Everyone will be shocked (shocked), except me.

  • hansman

    I’m gut-feeling that a deal will be announced tomorrow.

    Then again, I did eat A&W outside of Carroll recently.

    • CubFan Paul

      Everything else was a ‘leak’, but this is from mouths of owners/execs like the early Cubs rumors.

      All signs are pointing to Chicago

    • Joshua Edwards

      I ALWAYS go with the LJS at the A/W because they will die in our lifetime.

      And now I am sad.

      • hansman

        I don’t trust LJS (and I should never trust an A&W that is attached to a LJS)

        • mjhurdle

          i worked at quite a few fast food places in my younger days, and LJS is the only one that i stopped eating at after working there.
          Your lack of trust is justified.

          • Joshua Edwards

            I don’t trust any fast food, but I still eat it. And LJS had tasty grease.

            Don’t kill my dreams!

  • Cubz99

    I wonder if the latest Cubs buzz is simply the agent trying to increase the value of the contract that Tanaka is going to sign with a team that he wants to go to. As Kaplan points out, why would Tanaka want to go to a team that is not close to winning? The only shot the Cubs have is if they blow the other teams out of the water money wise and hope that Tanaka is only concerned about making a boat load of money.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Let me play devil’s advocate on the “not close to winning” point.

      Imagine you are Tanaka and you’ve narrowed your options down to the following three teams. Over the next six years, you expect them to have the following finishes in their division.

      Team A: 1,2,3,3,3,3
      Team B: 1,1,2,2,3,3
      Team C: 4,3,2,1,1,1

      Where are you signing?

      Let’s lay aside the hypothetical reality of those projections for now (and yes, Team C is representing the Cubs) and just work on the hypothesis that these are how he projects the three teams to finish.

      With Team C he projects three dead certain, guaranteed trips to the playoffs, with a chance (thanks to the Wild Cards) in 5 of 6 years.
      With Team A just one certain trip, but a chance every year.
      With Team B two certain trips, but a chance every year.

      What’s the call? Three certain trips, and therefore certain shots at a title, in six years at the cost of one lost year? Or fewer certain trips and no lost years?

      I’m not suggesting that this is exactly how Tanaka is going to look at things, but I think a case can be made that, if a player is looking past just 2014 (and why wouldn’t you on a six year deal?), signing with the Cubs despite the short term problems is not a bad idea for a player interested in winning lots.

      Team A was the Yankees, by the way, and I think that ranking is very optimistic. I’d realistically project NYY at 2,3,3,3,3,3, and I’m not sure I wouldn’t drop some of those later 3s to 4s. That’s an aging roster with a sparse farm system and some serious payroll baggage and potential luxury tax issues. And I don’t think they improved enough this winter to catch Boston (a team that can nearly match NYY payroll for payroll if it comes to that).

      Team B was the Dodgers, and I’ll admit I’m probably underestimating them a little at the end of the six years. I don’t think they’ll walk all over the division forever like they did this year (Arizona, in particular, I think will challenge them as soon as next year), but knocking them down to 3s in the final two years might be a bit much.

      And, for the record, to answer my own hypothetical, I’d take Team B.

      But C looks tempting.

      • Xruben31

        Considering he’s young, wouldn’t you think he would enjoy playing with people closer to his age, that will be around for awhile, as opposed to the Yankees average age of 30 years old. The Dodgers age as well is relatively high, I just don’t see why they would be willing to pay that much money for something they don’t even need, but they can, I guess.

      • hansman

        If I were Tanaka and all I cared about was contending year in and year out, I’d go Dodgers every time.

        What is interesting, to me, is how everyone jumps up and down about how the Cubs could be close to contending right now if they had spent more in FA. Well, the Cubs are about to have more revenue to spend in FA so who’s to say that isn’t going to start happening?

        • Xruben31

          Probably, but from the Dodgers standpoint, they absolutely have to re-sign Hanley Ramirez and there has to be some kind of a salary cap for the organization.

          • Isaac

            NYY is absolutely the third team I’d choose in this scenario. They are in for some dark days in the next half decade or more.

            • Edwin

              I think the Yankees will spend enough that they’ll be ok. All they need to do is get a couple decent players out of their farm system in the next couple years, and with their ability to spend they should be fine. The only big hurdle is having to deal with the Rays and Red Sox year in and year out.

      • Kyle

        By year three or four, all teams should probably be projected at 3.

      • Spoda17

        Very nicely laid out Luke

  • Rmoody100

    Got to meet Bryant and Pierce Johnson tonight. It’s things like that make me remember why I love the Cubs and baseball. They both stopped and signed something for everyone. Two great young men.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Shawn Ryan ‏@ShawnRyanTV 27m
    I’ll put Tanaka’s wife in a show if he signs with Cubs. Serious offer. RT @BleacherNation: #Tanaka Watch: http://www.bleachernation.com/2014/01/16/obsessive-tanaka-watch-more-strong-cubs-buzz-paired-with-some-buzz-killing/

    Problem solved…

    • Seth

      That. Is. Awesome.

    • hansman

      Well then.

    • TK

      Id definitely do my best to make HER famous! ;)

  • cubsnivy56

    When Tanaka signs with the Cubs, I am buying jersey……….

  • Patrick W.

    The only source I trust says there is no way Tanaka signs with anyone other than the Yankees and Dodgers. The only source.

    • DarthHater

      heh

  • BlackJeep

    These late rumors are exciting but always need to be taken with a grain of salt. So many possible reasons for rumors… they could be legit, or maybe Cubs want to push Yankee or Dodgers’ commitment envelopes to win out in future FA signings. Maybe non-involved owners want to drive the price up for their own reasons. Maybe Cubs want to appear they’re doing things to improve now, just as the convention kicks off. Maybe agents promise future concessions to rumor spreaders that help drive the price up. My gut is these rumors are legit and the Cubs are pushing hard to sign him. Surely the Cubs have done their homework and can accommodate the ‘wife is a performer’ twist to the story.

    I hope the Cubs get him. Along with Wood and Samardjiza in the rotation and hopefully a resurgent Castro and Rizzo, the team could surprise us but won’t make the playoffs. Outfield looks weak but if prospects come up mid-season and do anything, it could distract the fan base enough to focus on next year for real improvement.

  • brainiac

    i enjoy the anticipation and intrigue but i just can’t see tanaka signing with the team just because we offered a few more million. and why would we give him a contract of absurd proportions and then tank the rest of our needed positions for years to come? none of it makes sense. either something crazy is going on or this is just good PR, as usual, called “the plan”. The “plan” to look good for a while and then blame another club for spending their revenues on their team…what an idea.

  • doublep

    Is there any chance the cubs ever move the convention back to the hilton? Hated the Sheraton last year.

    • CubbiesOHCubbies

      Not in the foreseeable future. They signed a deal with the Sheraton last year that puts the cubs in a Starwood hotel when on the road, makes the hotel across from Wrigley a Sheraton and lock in the convention for many years to come. Get used to it, Starwood is a corporate sponsor for the cubbies now.

      • doublep

        Bummer, thanks for the info.

        • http://www.obstructedview.net/ aisle424

          Also, the Hilton is too small. Even if they quit the Sheraton anytime soon (not likely), it won’t be to return to the Hilton.

  • Xruben31

    Julie DiCaro ‏@JulieDiCaro 5h
    #Cubs are “major players” for Tanaka. One source would be “surprised if they DON’T get him.”

  • Cubsin

    Over a six-year contract, I’d expect the Cubs to reach the postseason 2 or 4 times, the Yankees 0 to 3 times (assuming they blow the doors off of the salary cap again in 2015) and the Dodgers 3 to 5 times.

    The Yankees are a very old team in a tough division, and have no great prospects down on the farm. The Dodgers have a very strong team, a decent farm system and a willingness to spend obscene amounts of money thanks to their TV contract. But there, Tanaka would be the #3 or #4 starter.

    With the Cubs, Tanaka would be the #1 starter on a bad team clearly moving in the right direction. He’d also have the 2014 season to make adjustments to living in a new country and pitching every fifth day instead of once a week.

    If location matters most to Tanaka, he won’t be a Cub. If money matters most, he might be a Cub. If becoming the biggest star on his team matters most, he will be a Cub.

    • http://bleachernation Peoria cubman

      I think 2-4 times out of next 6 years is wishful thinking. This team is a long way off with or without Tanaka.

  • ChiMike702

    I don’t want Tanaka for “insane” money.

    • Spoda17

      I agree ChiMike, I don’t want him for insane money either. I would rather save it for a proven ace in next year’s lot…

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        I just want us to sign him to shut everyone up… it’s a cranky morning Jr isn’t sleeping well and no amount of coffee will wake me up.

        • Jim

          Its funny, I think I agree. Something about proving to the world that dreams do actually come true.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            My fear (and it will be a reality) is if we sign him to a huge monster contract the “Ricky is cheap crowd” will become the “Ricky is wasting money” crowd because hate.

            • Spoda17

              hahaha, you are so right …

            • http://www.facebook.com/cubman87 cubman87

              because you can’t please any of them.

            • Edwin

              I’m worried that fans will get their expectations way too high for him, and when he turns out to be good instead of great, they’ll give him the Soriano treatment.

              For that matter, I think the same thing could happen with Baez and Bryant. It’s already happening with Castro, Samardzija, and Rizzo.

              • ari gold

                Winning will cure that kind of stuff.

    • oehly37

      I’m with you. Please stay away from crazy money. or is Hendry back with the Cubs?

    • CubsFaninMS

      With as many position prospects we have that look to make an impact over the next three years, it may be wise to sink most of their money in starting pitching if they plan to speed up the rebuild. I’m on the fenceline about Tanaka but, when it comes down to it, he will be a risk no matter what. Our scouts have seen him pitch and have the expertise to know how to manage expectations. If they can invest in three medium-to-high quality starting pitchers and a position player to fill the need our farm system cannot, this team will be a shoe-in to compete in 2016.

      • Voice of Reason

        While I don’t necessarily disagree with you on adding a quality arm, Tanaka is not the answer.

        $25 million a year for an imported arm? He has no track record. “They” say he projects as a #2. Well, I’m not paying that much for a #2 with no proven MLB track record.

        The Cubs should and will take a pass when the bidding gets over $20 million a year. Tanaka will end up getting right around $25 million a year when it’s said and done.

        I’ll wait for another year or two and either trade for a #1 or sign one via free agency.

  • Chef Brian

    The rumors leaking Tanaka to the Cubs are nice, but I’ve been down this disappointing road before. So I’m going to keep smelling the smoke and then keep an eye out for the fire. Hopefully it’s not the pulled pork burning.

  • Spoda17

    MLB said that an agreement needs to be in place by Wednesday to complete the process by Friday’s deadline. The Commissioner’s Office has already stated that they will not extend the deadline to “complete” the process.

    • Spoda17

      I meant to say MLBTV

  • Blackhawks1963

    Len Kaspar was on WSCR this morning. When asked the Tanaka question, he was not positive that the Cubs can get him. But some of you will be happy to know he thinks I’m dead wrong that the Yankees get him. Rather he strongly inferred without saying it that he ends up with the Dodgers. He said the Dodgers want him and are downplaying significantly their interest.

    Kaspar is traveling with the Cub Caravan and will be at the convention.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      So who do you think will sign Tanaka?

      • Blackhawks1963

        Yankees. I apologize if I haven’t already covered that. Still say the Cubs have zero legitimate shot. And yes, I think the feelings of Mrs. Tanaka will weigh in significantly.

        • fortyonenorth

          If Mrs. Tanaka’s career were a top priority, they’d be staying in Japan. As I posted below, unless she’s a fluent English-speaker, there’s simply not much of a market here.

          • Blackhawks1963

            Los Angeles has a Japanese language TV station that beams across the Pacific Coast and also back to Japan. Mrs. Tanaka also speaks English and is an aspiring media personality / musician.

            New York City also has a Japanese language TV station that beams Yankee games back to Japan.

            All things being equal, Mrs. Tanaka probably way prefers to have her husband play in Los Angeles…followed by New York City. And both cities have a substantial Japanese-American community. In addition to a bigger Asian American based population.

            • fortyonenorth

              I didn’t mean to imply she couldn’t find a job, just saying that the opportunities in LA or NY would pale beside those available in Tokyo. If she speaks English and is a legitimate talent, then that’s an entirely different story.

              I will say this, if I was on the cusp of signing a nine figure contract, “find a job” would not be at the top of my wife’s to-do list.

              • Blackhawks1963

                It’s not about finding a job for Mrs. Tanaka. But all indications she is very serious about her professional media / singing career. I haven’t seen pictures of her, but she is also said to be considered smoking hot in Japan.

                It’s not like she is applying for work at Denny’s.

                • fortyonenorth

                  Google “Mai Satoda”

                  • Voice of Reason

                    I googled her.

                    I’m just not into Japanese chicks.

                • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                  She will continue her career regardless of where her husband plays. They can have a home wherever they want and she will continue her career regardless of where he plays. A MLB players is on the road traveling more than he is in the town he plays and during the season she can spend a majority of her time in LA or NYC working. They will have the money and her career will continue, where he plays does not matter. This will come down to money.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    Exactly MG

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      I’m tired of all this over rationalization on reasons besides money that will make Tanaka’s decision. This will come down to money is fooling themselves. This contract sets an important precedent for future posted top tier players. If it comes out (and it will) that he took a lesser contract to play somewhere else it will not go over well with agents and players. This is simply about the money and possibly years.

                • CubFan Paul

                  I’m quite sure for $140M Tanaka would dump the [wife] and move to Chicago if he gets no comparable offers

                  • Edwin

                    Ummm, way harsh on the tone. Show some respect.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      Take a joke or go away hall monitor, it’s called sarcasm

                  • blublud

                    Dude, really.

                  • blublud

                    From a guy who yesterday said he’s not into name calling or calling people out of their name.

                    • ari gold

                      Seriously, you’re way too sensitive.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    That’s unacceptable. Clean it up from here on out.

                • hansman

                  If she is seriously serious, there is a job offer waiting for her when she signs with the Cubs.

  • Diehardthefirst

    If Seattle signs him they could have Superbowl and World Series wins same year- what other city can claim that?

    • 1ski

      Didn’t pittsburgh do that in 79?

    • Billy

      Seriously? Boston, 2004

      • 1ski

        I forgot about that, it’s just every time I see that question I think of stagell& bradshaw on the cover of SI and thinking why can’t chicago do this.

  • Blackhawks1963

    So….let me throw this out there. If the Dodgers get Tanaka, would TheoJed have any interest in picking up a past his prime and still expensive Josh Beckett from Los Angeles? The Dodgers will have no role for him. He’s obviously damaged goods at this point, but if LA paid most his salary I wouldn’t mind him being reunited with Theo. A rotation of Samardzija, Wood, Jackson, Arrieta and Beckett wouldn’t be terrible in 2014. With Hendricks and Grimm serving as insurance at Triple A.

    • ssckelley

      I would not give up more than a fringe prospect to get him plus the Dodgers would have to kick in some cash. Beckett is only signed through this year so he would be a low risk with potential high reward at the trade deadline.

  • fortyonenorth

    Maybe Kaplan can get Ms. Tanaka a gig on CSN. Seriously, what’s the market for a Japanese-speaking starlet in Hollywood? Even if she’s legitimately talented, I can’t imagine that there’s a lot of opportunity.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Kaspar added two other points.

    1. The Cubs had a personal trainer move in with Castro over the winter. He’s been working out intensely for two months and is said to be in the best shape of his life.

    2. Pablo Sandoval has lost 42 pounds and is the talk of baseball right now.

    • fortyonenorth

      I wonder how much was “trainer” and how much was “chaperone.”

      • Billy

        Such an asinine statement.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Not really… Castro clearly needs to get his head right and avoiding as much off-the-field drama as possible will help in that regard.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            That is far from clear: a lot of ballplayers had very active off-field dramas that had no effect on their playing. People simply selectively remember the dramas when they coincide with the poor on-field performance.

      • Jason P

        Most likely a combination. Castro came to spring training last year out of shape, and who knows how much that contributed to his disaster season?

    • Noah_I

      The “best shape of his life” story is among the dumbest in baseball every spring.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        It is pretty uncorrelated with any success in the season, that is for certain. Of course, people forget that 50 years ago, all of the players turned up in horrible shape, having done nothing remotely athletic in months. Indeed, most of them firmly believed that the stuff modern athletes do would *hurt* their performances!

  • Spoda17

    Doesn’t everyone come to spring training and claim they are in the best shape of their lives… I recall M. Byrd saying that… and then got suspended for 50 games… I believe Barney said last year he hit the weights and was in the best shape of his life…

  • TK

    So let me get this right . . . It MAY actually be possible that some of this site’s ignorant posters could actually be WRONG about their infallible insistence that Tanaka is some simple minded greedy robot type who will simply sign with the highest bidder, bottom line, end of discussion, period and exclamation mark, anyone who says anything different is dumb, etc…? That he actually may have geographic preference, and actually just might consider his wife in making his decision, and actually might take less money to play in a more personally desirable location?????? NO WAY!!!!! It cant be!

    I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see him decide to stay with Rakuten. Not predicting it, just saying it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • CubFan Paul

      “and actually might take less money to play in a more personally desirable location??????”

      This has never been reported

      • rcleven
      • TK

        Anyone above 3rd grade has the ability to infer context . . . Lets not play silly games.

        • CubFan Paul

          But calling people ignorant is okay…got it

          TK, are these the quotes/context you’re talking about (from rcleven above)?

          “Williams believes they left an impression with Tanaka, who apparently isn’t chasing the almighty dollar…We don’t believe that money will be the biggest factor…it appears that Tanaka wants to go where he’ll feel the most comfortable and have the best chance for success”

          If so, i apologize, I haven’t been following Sox news (I didn’t see them having the money to even make a competitive offer after the Abreu signing)

    • Edwin

      Nobody is calling him a greedy robot. It’s just that almost all the time, the player typcially goes where the money is clearly best. If the money is close, then some of those other factors start to play a larger role. Occationally, they play a large enough role that player takes a signififant cut in salary. What you’re doing is creating a straw man argument.

      • TK

        Context and insinuation ==> conveyed & perceived meaning
        Lots of folks here insisted he just signs for highest $ amount. Totally discounted/rejected others (minority) who argued theres probably more to him and to his decision than just $$$$.

        Anyways, lets cross our fingers that he comes to Chicago.

        • Edwin

          I’m hoping that the Cubs make an over-the-top offer. If they go over the top, and still lose out on him due to some other team going even more bananas, then I’ll feel like they gave it a fair shake.

          • CubFan Paul

            It’s looking like it won’t take an over the top offer with the Yanks’ ($189M) & Dodgers’ (committed to Kershaw) landscapes changing

            I’m guessing Tanaka only gets $16M AAV if that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cubman87 cubman87

    [img]http://24.media.tumblr.com/c3e82f9d5de0b5b78f2177edd49759a6/tumblr_mghu3aqcud1qgek74o1_500.gif[/img]

  • BenRoethig

    There are two people in this world who know the whole story: Tanaka and his agent.

    • mjhurdle

      and me

  • Jon

    David Kaplan “99% chance Smazardja is traded this offseason”

    • Voice of Reason

      I hope they do trade Shark if they can’t extend him!

      He has tremendous value to a team looking for a #3 to put them over the top because he is cheap. The next time we’re going to compete he won’t be cheap anymore and he isn’t all that.

      Make the trade and load up on some young talent. Keep building that pipeline of kids.

  • cubzfan

    Maybe nothing new here to close observers of the process, but this is my guess of how the bidding has gone down (up?).

    Casey Close announces it will take at least $16M a year to sign Tanaka. At least a dozen clubs offer to pay the posting fee. Initial offers come in over a few days of meetings in LA. The Dodgers and Yankees make offers of 5-6 years at just under $20M per. Several other teams inquire about the possibilities at around 5 years, under $90M total value and are told no luck. The Cubs set the bar for AAV at around $22-$24M for 5 years.

    Close tells the teams that there’s at least one offer on the table of well over $20M per year, and at least one offer of at least 6 years already, and it’s time to show Tanaka some love. The Dodgers and Yankees both raise their bids in AAV and the Cubs tack on a year. Everyone else drops out. Close is busy for a couple days with the Kershaw signing and arbitration cases.

    With the field down to three, Close talks to Tanaka about his preferences. They discuss the benefits of taking a slightly lower deal to get an opt-out clause or player option. Close tells the teams the contract needs to be at least 7 years, and there has to be an out clause after 3-5 years, with each year’s salary adjusted accordingly. For example, if Tanaka can opt out after 3 years, then the team can pay a bonus, a little less those three years and more later in hopes that he will not want to test the market.

    The Cubs offer to go about $20M above everyone else, but with some added protection. For example, Tanaka’s choice might be:
    Dodgers 6 years x $21M, 7th year x $25M if healthy or $4M buyout, opt-out after 4
    ($125 guaranteed, max $146, but earliest opt-out)
    Yankees 7 years x $22M, opt-out after 5
    ($154 guaranteed)
    Cubs 7 years x $25M, 8th year x $5M if miss > 100 games in a season on DL, opt-out after 5
    ($175 guaranteed)

    At that point, Close asks Dodgers to match Yankees guarantee. Close asks Yankees to match Cubs AAV. Close asks Cubs to move the opt-out clause to after year 3. Nobody changes their offer. Then who knows what Tanaka picks.

  • Porkslap

    Outside of Travis Wood, most all of the Cubs key players performed under expectations in 2013, and still were better than the 2012 team. I think a lot of the pieces needed to compete are already on the roster. While I don’t think the 2013 Cubs are a playoff team by any means, I think a couple starting pitchers (Tanaka and one of Jimenez, Garza, and Santana) and some bounce back years by Jackson, Castro, and Rizzo could vault the 2014 team into a wild card race. Bring in Baez and Bryant mid-season and it could be a fun Summer.

    Here’s hoping anyway…

  • Camiata2

    The whole argument that Tanaka’s wife prefers to be in LA/NY for business reasons seems to be based on old perceptions. If memory serves, wasn’t LeBron supposed to go to the Knicks or one of the LA teams based on the idea that there are better entertainment opportunities in those cities?

    • CubFan Paul

      LeBron will definitely opt out after this season and more than likely go to the Lakers, who coincidentally have cleared just enough room over the last 2 seasons

    • CubFanBob

      I heard Tanaka’s wife likes deep dish pizza and eats hot dogs without ketchup.

  • TanakaWillBeACub

    LeBron is going back to cleveland

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