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2014 Cubs ConventionI’ll be up front: with apologies, no typical Bullets this morning. I’d say that’s two parts the schedule of CubsCon, and one part the fun of last evening. I’d mention everyone I saw/met last night, but invariably, I will leave folks out, and then I will have a sad. Suffice it to say, if I met or saw you last night, I enjoyed your presence thoroughly.

I am currently sitting (front row – nerd alert!) in the ballroom where the Ricketts Family will soon address the gathered fans, and probably face some uncomfortable questions. The opening ceremonies last night were relatively subdued, and, even at a fan convention (where you’ve got to be a big enough fan that you’re paying to be here in January), I wonder if there are going to be some fireworks. For the most part, folks here still seem happy to be Cubs fans, though. Just to be clear.

I’ll do my best to put together a recap of sorts from this and other panels at some point today, but your best bet for tidbits is going to be to follow me on Twitter. Simply, Twitter is made for this kind of stuff.

Obviously if there is big news announced, I’ll write it up (I’m not expecting it).

It’s amazing, and disappointing, to think that the Wrigley Field renovation was the belle of the convention ball last year … and, outside of the approvals, nothing has happened in the last year. I’m thinking that might come up at this panel.

UPDATE: Nothing earth-shattering from either the Ricketts Family panel or the front office panel. The Cubs are still negotiating with the rooftops to get the renovation underway. No comments on the TV deal, other than some hemming and hawing about whether Cubs can stick with WGN after this year (obviously it has become my expectation that the Cubs will be leaving WGN for greener pastures after this season, and nothing that was said dissuaded me from that belief). It sounds like the Cubs are still negotiating with Tanaka, but the front office obviously wasn’t going to give up the goods on that right now.

  • wasssssup

    Brett.. did you see that the cubs made a offer to Tanka per Bruce Levine?

    • wasssssup

      *Tanaka

      • Xruben31

        Exciting right?

    • NorthSideIrish

      Bruce also Tweeted “living near and being a part of the American Japanese community ,is a key element for Tanaka and his wife.”

      Unfortunately that is not a strong suit in the city of Chicago…especially compared to LA or NYC.

      • wasssssup

        And the heated toilet seat. We could buy the roof top buildings and turn it all I to Little Japan!

      • frank

        Actually, there is a very large Asian-American/Japanese population in the northwest suburbs. Also on the north side, but the Asian-American population on the north side is less Japanese than it is Korean and Vietnamese.

      • jp3

        Sounds to me if his wife is demanding where they live to be this or that and painting him and his agent into a corner, she’ll be soon faced with another “American pastime” called divorce.

        • Funn Dave

          Wow. Go away.

    • Assman22

      Tanaka has all offers in from interested teams…six offers made…Cubs are first team to give BAFO…

      • VittersStartingLF

        What is a BAFO?

        • Greenroom

          My guess: “Best And Final Offer”.

        • Cyranojoe

          Best And Final Offer.

      • Xruben31

        “BAFO”??

        • CubFanBob

          Best And Final Offer

          Not sure if thats good or bad

          • VittersStartingLF

            Must be a pretty high offer….

          • Xruben31

            Hopefully they sent an offer that was their max reasonable offer.

        • Xruben31

          ^^Weird… The 6 offers from Cubs, Yankees, Dodgers, White Sox, Angels and Mariners??

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

        I don’t see how making a BAFO is helpful unless the Cubs are certain it’s well above the others and are playing chicken with him about taking the offer else where to match. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Or unless the agent is calling for BAFOs.

          That’s not impossible either. They do need to get a decision made in the next few days. And I suspect even a BAFO isn’t necessarily finally final.

          • When The Musics Over

            Could also be a case of not wanting to get used to pump up the price for teams Tanaka might prefer a bit more to sign with. Similar to the A. Sanchez negotiations last year.

            • scorecardpaul

              Why would the Cubs not want the price to be as high as possible if they couldn’t sign him?
              This makes no sense to me at all. If the Cubs absolutely are sure that they can’t sign him I hope the price is 40 mil per year for 20 years. If another team beats you , at least hope they feel some pain?

  • Diehardthefirst

    Look for Cano to restructure deal so Tanaka can be signed and Seattle accepts diversity with large populations of various nationalities- unlike Chicago which is still segregated

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

      Ah the Saturday morning funnies

      • Diehardthefirst

        Which part?

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

          Anything you suggest buddy it really brightens my day.

    • jp3

      Lols. Im going to bench press a 747 before Cano restructures his new contract.

      • Diehardthefirst

        He doesn’t get a ring without Tanaka assuming the kid has any sizzle left in that overcooked wing

      • blublud

        Hey, I have an aircraft mechanic background. I can bench press a 747 in about 32 days or so. That is, with it all broken down into pieces. :-)

    • Tommy

      With Jay-Z as his agent, I don’t see him restructuring anything.

      Did I just say that?

    • Patrick W.

      Cano (nor any other Mariner) will not do any such thing.

      Mariners are (foolishly bu absolutely) out.

  • JM

    I have an unused convention ticket sitting on my counter if anyone wants it.

    Was supposed to go but a death in the family prevented it. Still, I’m jealous as all get out of everyone there.

    Guess I’ll echo a common Cub’s refrain… Maybe next year…

  • Truth factor

    Hi Brett:

    First time poster here at Bleacher nation. Say Hi to Neil from the CCO at the convention.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Chicago is the most segregated large city in the world

    • cm

      With all due respect, I wholeheartedly disagree. I moved to L.A. seven years ago from Wicker Park, and I can tell you with no hesitation that L.A. is by far the most segregated city I’ve ever been in. The funny part is as it relates to this conversation, Dodger Stadium is the only venue I’ve ever been to where you literally have to enter almost in the exact section and level you are sitting. And believe me, there’s a reason why they do that. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      That might be true, but if so, then it’s also a little misleading. Chicago still retains some very strong ethnic neighborhoods where their has been much less integration of people of European descent that you would expect, never mind integration across those lines. (The two major Polish communities historically did not mix, even! One was 100 years older than the other.)

      I lived in Hyde Park for almost 20 years, and I was really impressed by how well-integrated that region is. I realize that Hyde Park is exceptional in many ways, but it is quite a model in my opinion. (Part of me very much wishes that I’d never had to move away!)

    • CubFanBob

      Must have never been to Albany Park.

    • frank

      I work in Uptown and that area is tremendously integrated; in fact, it is one of the most diverse neighborhoods, by zip code, in the country. Of course, I’ve also seen Uptown described as “Roaring 20s charm in a psych ward without walls.”

      • Diehardthefirst

        But is it safe for kids and how are schools and can you stroll safely on a warm summers evening before mosquitoes attack?

        • frank

          Depends on where–the area includes Uptown, Andersonville, Ravenswood, and — I forget the name of the neighborhood just northwest. Ravenswood and Andersonville are safe neighborhoods (as far as city neighborhoods go). I don’t know much about the schools there. Uptown itself is spotty.

  • Tommy

    The one difference with Tanaka from all the other international signings the Cubs have just missed on is that it’s not a blind bid anymore. Cubs are going to win this one, as Tanaka fits the mold for the type of player they’ve always said is worth spending on – mid-20′s prime.

    If it comes down to money, the Cubs will land Tanaka. If he wants nice weather or the big lights and showbiz for him or his wife, maybe we lose him to NY or LA. NY for the latter only, obviously.

    On a bright note, it’s not as if you can’t find riches and fame by becoming a sports icon in Chicago – and as Mike Ditka points out, if you win in Chicago, you’ll own the town for as long as you live.

    • Isaac

      Good morning, Tom. Saw a great game last night, eh?

      • Tommy

        Hey Isaac! Yeah – Bradley finally pulled off a win!

    • jp3

      You know what’s funny? I was excited that there was a cap put on the bidding process so the aholes yanks and dodgers couldn’t outbid us all the time… Now it’s going to be tough to convince a lot of IFAs to come here now that I think about it

      • Tommy

        I think we have a better chance with it not being blind, then with it being blind. The blind bid always seemed to have that one team that was just crazy high over everyone else. I have confidence in our FO’s ability to convince FA’s to want to come here. We’ll get a chance to find out over the next year or two, I suppose.

  • Kyle

    Lots of smoke now that the Cubs have blown everyone out of the water on the Tanaka bid. Now all that’s left to worry about is that he’s the rare player who doesn’t take top dollar (they exist, but are the minority) or that someone like the Yankees swoops in at the last second and snipes us.

    I’ll never be happy with what they did in 2012 or what Ricketts has done in his first four+ years owning the TV. But signing Tanaka and completing the TV megadeal that is being rumored/hinted at would go a loooooong way toward solving a lot of these organization’s problem.

    • blublud

      I agree. From everything that I have read, it going to take a lot for the Cubs to lose this one. While I don’t think Tanaka is worth even close to what he’ll probably get, this is at least a good sign that the Cubs will spend if the player is there for them to spend it on.

    • brainiac

      yeah, this would be a great signing and an incentive for other players to think the team is serious. it would also attract international dollars and attention for the team, much in the way that darvish and ichiro do. i just don’t see why tanaka would choose the worst team in the league when he can win the world series in LA, have significantly better owners, great weather, and a shorter flight back home.

  • Johnny Chess

    After looking at the Japanese population in Chicago there appears to be a pocket of 20,000 in the area as opposed to 50,000 in New Yirk and 150,000 in LA just saying

    • half_full_beer_mug

      Since they will have so much time to spend in the community during baseball season, and won’t have enough money to travel back home during the off season.

      I would imagine that there would be plenty of play, TV, and talk show opportunities in Chicago if she wanted to pursue them. I don’t think Hollywood or Broadway is in her immediate future no matter where hubby is playing baseball.

      • Diehardthefirst

        How long have you been friends with them?

        • half_full_beer_mug

          Well I don’t think I have to be friends with anyone to know that a baseball player is gone roughly half the time during a baseball season.

          I also don’t think a personal connection is needed to know that if a person is making $1M+ per year they can probably afford two houses and a few first class plane tickets to anywhere.

          It’s also a pretty safe bet that a relative unknown from another country isn’t going to get their first “big break” in an “On Broadway” to “A list Hollywood” production.

          So why don’t you inform me on where all of your wonderful insight to the likes and dislikes of the Tanaka family come from?

      • Cyranojoe

        She’s a singer. Looks like she’d be wanting to tap into the Japanese pop scene, which is biggest in the U.S. in Los Angeles and maybe NYC. While I agree they can afford first class plane tix and so on, from what I can tell she’s not big stuff yet, so not living locally would hurt her chances in those markets. I just don’t see Chicago being attractive to her… it may be a deal-breaker for him, it may not. They’ve only been married for a little over a year, so they may still be in honeymoon phase. Or he may say, I’ve been working toward this my whole life, and put his career (and huge payday) first. Either way, it’s a strong negotiating point, I’d say.

  • Johnny Chess

    You may be surprised to learn Seattle only has 9,000 Japanese residents

  • Johnny Chess

    We do have Benihana’s

  • Johnny Chess

    Census reports

    • Diehardthefirst

      But City is very diverse and safe too

      • half_full_beer_mug

        How long have you been a city planner and census taker? :o

  • http://BN Sacko

    Interesting part of the plan is we are particular about who we want to get and what fits but those that we pursue don’t sign with us. This plan is working?

    • Danny Ballgame

      Who hasn’t signed with us that we actually had a chance and money to get?

    • Tommy

      Last I checked, Shark is still in a Cub’s uniform, and the jury is still out on Tanaka, so not real sure what point you’re making.

  • http://BN Sacko

    Tanaka and Shark

    • Danny Ballgame

      It takes two to tango in both instances. There are many reasons that Tanaka could sign anywhere else that are totally out of the Cubs control. We shouldn’t outbid the Dodgers and Yanks by so much that the contract could prove to be ridiculous for us.

      Shark has been made fair offers in the past and he hasn’t proved that he can reach his potential as a starter. I still think he gets a deal sooner than later, but he will be the one backing down and accepting the offer made by the FO.

    • half_full_beer_mug

      Like Tommy said above Shark is still in uniform and under control for two more seasons.

      IMO the only reason for an extension not being completed is that the player wants to be paid on projection and the owners want to pay based on performance. Neither of the two sides are wrong in their desires or in their unwillingness to compromise at this point.

      Jeff is going to say that he has the “stuff” and “make up” to be a front line type starter. The team is going to say yes we agree but you haven’t proven that you can pull all of that together to make it happen.

      Both parties have time to wait to see if:
      a) Jeff does become the pitcher he (and we) think he can be
      b) Jeff continues to pitch as a high level 3 (or low level 2 if you prefer) and accepts an extension based on his past production
      c) both sides meet in the middle.

      • http://BN Sacko

        Sounds all good and plenty of rational on why THEY haven’t sighed!

        • Danny Ballgame

          Why would the Cubs want to give Shark #2 money when hasn’t proved that he can consistently be a #3?

          I don’t think that Shark will ever have a serious effect on “the plan”, unless he is traded for a young stud.

          • http://BN Sacko

            Once again the fact remains that players we are after have not sighed. I guess we will see what the arbitrators will decide but shows how far they are apart.
            This doesn’t look good for anything long term so yea they might as well trade him at some point. Having an bad team to sign with isn’t helping as it is also part of the plan.

            • Tommy

              We went after David Dejesus and he signed. Nate Shierholz signed. What about Edwin Jackson? Doesn’t he count as a signing? Or Paul Maholm? Last I checked, both Rizzo and Castro signed extensions.

              I think what you meant to say is they haven’t signed anyone you wanted them to sign.

              • Danny Ballgame

                That sounds more like it

              • http://BN Sacko

                your checking on history I’m talking about now.

                • http://BN Sacko

                  By the way where is Maholm DJ and Schierholtz will be gone in July at the latest. Jackson got good money and is worse then Shark. I’m not saying who I want and I’m saying who The FO wants bad enough and can’t get the job done because we are crap.

                  • Tommy

                    Sacko – I was just giving a reply to what you’re stated. If you want to change what you said to begin with and start a whole new conversation, that’s fine. You said the Cub’s don’t sign the players they go after and I gave you several examples of where that statement was false.

                    If you’re just looking for a reason to complain, there’s nothing anyone can say to stop you. Negative people will always find something to complain about.

                    • http://BN Sacko

                      Tommy I clearly said Shark and Tanaka and clearly said said why I think they haven’t sighed. I’m following your conversation after that and giving replies to what you are saying. They are not complaints they are facts and opinions.

                    • http://BN Sacko

                      I would change my hopes with this plan by what pitchers the do sign when Tanaka signs elsewhere. And how that would influence Shark to hopefully sign long term.

        • half_full_beer_mug

          I think both sides have sighed a lot in this process

          • Diehardthefirst

            I pledge no more comparing Shark to sushi while Tanaka talks ongoing

  • Danny Ballgame

    @ESPNChiCubs Almost all the top prospects will get ML spring invites. At least all position players. So will see Almora etc in spring games

    Great news. I will be glued to those games to get a glimpse of the future.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    As much as I want to get my hopes up..I just don’t see the Cubs getting Tanaka. .with the the money they could have both Jimenez and Santana! With a rotation of Shark, Jimenez, Santana, Wood and Grimm that looks pretty good rotation to run out there!

    • smackafilieyo

      You forgot Edwin (insider for the cardinals) Jackson

    • dunston donuts

      Jimenez and Santana are too old for what the FO is looking for. Also, neither guy is a top of the rotation pitcher. Tanaka’s age plus his potential is why he is being favored over both Jimenez and Santana.

      I like that the FO wants young impact players who will have their best seasons in the years to come versus aging players who are getting paid based on past results. Especially when some of the past year results are mediocre.

      • YourResidentJag

        One thing I would say to that is that a primary pitch of Tanaka’s is the splitter. That could affect his shoulder….and is concerning. That’s why not too many American SP throw a splitter as one of their primary pitches.

        • Cubsleeram

          I know this sounds bad, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if he has a serious injury in his first 2 years of the contract. His pitch repertoire, along with his mechanics (all my information is by hearsay, of course), suggest he may have some issues in my opinion.

          Despite this, I think the FO recognizes the risk, but decided the potential upside is greater in this case.

          • YourResidentJag

            I agree with your position on the FO. I just wish his repertoire was more like Darvish.

  • ruby2626

    Samardzjia gets me sick, if you think you’re an ace here’s a thought, start pitching like one. Is anyone surprised that he has the biggest arbitration difference? Guy is a legend in his own mind.

  • The Ghost of Brett Jackson

    Ricketts mentioned it is not as easy as buying out the last 10 years of the roofie deal. There are different agendas. I assume the hold up is they are negotiating multiple deals at once?

  • bushybrows74

    @ruby2626- It is impossible for me to wrap my head around the logic around Smardzjia making people sick. He has every right to negotiate. I don’t get the leap to he is a legend in his own mind.

    I suspect, what makes folks uncomfortable is that his price to play for the Cubs is higher, because they are not any good, than to play for other teams.

    • Tommy

      I can respect your point on Shark’s right to negotiate – fully agree with you on that. I haven’t seen any indication that he’s asking for more from the Cubs than he would be from other teams were he a free agent, though. I think the market is inflated, and he realizes that, and is most likely interested in making the most money he can make (like most athletes these days). I personally don’t have a problem with that, as I don’t find organizations to be any more loyal to their players than the players are to them.

      The one organization that seems to break this mold might be the Blackhawks – but then, I’m a little biased when it comes to them, but you can’t ignore how they bring back the legacy players just to be figure heads within the organization, and Wirtz has already stated that Toews and Kane will retire as Hawks because of what they’ve already done for the team and the city. It’s refreshing. We can only hope the Cubs take a page out of their book moving forward.

      • dunston donuts

        I hope the Cubs keep players during their prime years and then cut bait. Similar to what the Cardinals did with Pujols. I’d much rather have players for 2 years of development and 4 prime years then 2 prime years and 4 years of declining performance.

    • geo

      He has the stuff, but doesn’t have baseball iq he’s a dumb pitcher who easily gets rattled. Kurt Gibson was right when he told him through the media to stfu & pitch. He kind of has a bad attitude that I don’t like. He’s made some comments after the mid season trades the last couple of years I didn’t like & I suspect rubbed of wrong on this fo.

      • geo

        Cut your hair, grow up & mature, quit throwing whiny tantrums in the dugout & on the field, stop getting rattled when things get rocky & stfu & pitch would be my advice to him!

  • itzscott

    bushy rows74:

    Nooooo….. More like it’s he hasn’t pitched like an ace to demand ace money.

    • dunston donuts

      If you can’t pitch like an ace when trying to obtain a big contract it isn’t likely that you will start pitching like an ace after you receive the big contract. I don’t see the Cubs bending to his demands.

      I don’t blame Shark for holding out with how these pitching contracts are sky rocketing. In two years if he gets paid like a SP #3 it will be the same as a SP #1 a couple years ago.

    • bushybrows74

      Of course he can demand ace money without pitching like an ace. And the Cubs can decide not to give it to him. Its ok. Doesn’t need to make anyone sick.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Hopefully someone from front office will explain at the Convention how they plan on scoring more than 2 runs a game with projected lineup- Only Sandy Koufax could win that support and last time I checked he’s retired

    • Tommy

      I think that is a good question, Diehard. Let’s hope we have some bounce back from Castro and Rizzo, and some continued development from Castillo and whoever ends up at 2nd and 3rd base. Maybe we get lucky with our OF offense – Schierholz wasn’t too bad for us last year, and Lake played pretty well in the time that he was up.

      It’s a lot to ask for – but if all the stars align, it’s not impossible, however it is unlikely.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Seattle is home to famous song artists- eg Hendrix

    • Drew7

      Yeah, here’s the thing – I think I read somewhere that Hendrix, um…died. Some time ago apparently.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Well, what about Kurt Coba…. oh, Nevermind.

  • Diehardthefirst

    And don’t forget Judy Collins did ok too

  • Diehardthefirst

    So is this about her or him? If he is doing this for her hoping to cash in on some teams ignorance of the fact that his best days are likely behind him so he can afford to sit back and enjoy watching her work on her career then back up the truck

  • NorthSideIrish

    Bruce Levine ‏@MLBBruceLevine 1m
    MLB source believes Cubs are lead team for Tanaka .

    At least it’s not Nightengale saying it…

    • NorthSideIrish

      Bruce Levine ‏@MLBBruceLevine 2m
      Japanese source said Tanaka loves a challenge and wants to be the man. All that is waiting for him at Clark and Addison.

      Have we got a deal for you…

      • Kyle

        Japanese sources = Tanaka’s people laying the groundwork for Cubs announcement. (Or maybe not, but maybe?)

        • Xruben31

          Everybody on twitter is saying 8 years 200 million… (Disclaimer: twitter)

          • Seth

            Source(s)?

          • Jason P

            I’m sorry, that’s way, way too much. That would be the second highest contract ever signed by a pitcher behind only the Kershaw deal. Justin Verlander couldn’t get that (yes, I know, age difference, but Verlander’s a proven ace).

            Which is to say, I don’t buy the rumors one bit.

            • Kyle

              Verlander wasn’t a pure free agent, was older, and didn’t sign his contract this offseason.

              Baseball’s financial scale has completely changed in the last two years.

              • Jason P

                It has, but not to the point where a young Huroki Kuroda would be worth $25 million for 8 years. 8 years on any pitcher is asking for trouble.

                Even if the Cubs payroll gets back to where it should be, that’s still at least 1/6 of it locked up in a #2/#3 starter for the next 8 years. That’s even before you factor in the real possibility that he could underperform.

                • Kyle

                  Old Kuroda has been a 4-win pitcher. I would *totally* pay 8/$200m for a young version.

                  • Xruben31

                    I agree completely. But how do we know if he’s a Kuroda.

                    • Kyle

                      He’s a pitcher, they aren’t that hard to scout. Hitters are tricky, but pitchers are pretty much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get proposition.

                  • Jason P

                    I would not.

                    Kuroda throughout his career has been mostly a 3.0-3.5 WAR pitcher (and he’s actually gotten better as he’s aged). I suspect Tanaka’s peak seasons will probably be in the 4.0-4.5 range with the lower ones 2.5-3.0.

                    In that case, $25 million would be an acceptable and necessary overpay as long as it’s not for 8 years, which is too long for any pitcher.

                    I’d say there’s at least a 20-25% chance Tanaka significantly underperforms, and that’s before you factor in injury risk.

                    Honestly, I want Tanaka as much as anyone, and I think any chance the Cubs have of surprising in 2014 lives and dies with Tanaka, but I would be shocked if his contract ends up surpassing 6/7 years and $150 million.

                    • Kyle

                      It’s odd that you want to discount for the risk of him underperforming, but you don’t seem to think there’s any chance he’s better than you are projecting? It should cut both ways.

                      Kuroda has been above your “3.0 to 3.5″ range three of the last four seasons.

                    • Jason P

                      Because I don’t think there is a chance he becomes an ace. Or at least, the chance he underperforms is a whole lot higher than the chance he overperforms.

                      As I posted below, back in the summer when reports of Tanaka coming over first surfaced, the scouting consensus was that he was probably a good 3 with a chance to be a 2. Now suddenly he’s a possible ace and at worst a 2. I think he’s an impact pitcher, but probably slightly overhyped.

                      My Kuroda range came from an average of his 6 ML seasons.

                    • Kyle

                      A range which he only fell inside once, and beat three times in six years.

                    • Jason P

                      Yes, a range he fell inside once, beat 3 times, and failed to reach 2 times – for an average of 3.2.

                    • Rebuilding

                      After being the first to say that Tanaka would definitely be posted and laying out the reasons why – and then having to argue about it for a month. And then being the first to say the Cubs would definitely get him and laying out the reasons why – and then having to argue about it for a month. I’ll be the first to say that Tanaka will be a Top 5 pitcher in baseball – and wait to argue about it for the next 5 months. Tanaka is far more polished and a better pitcher than Darvish. Darvish throws harder than Tanaka so he lights up scouts eyes, but Tanaka has better command and the best splitter on the planet. Darvish made MLB hitters look silly last year and Tanaka is better

                    • Jason P

                      If the Cubs get him, I hope you’re right. I just don’t think, for contract purposes, you can count on it.

                • Tommy

                  Jason P – there is just as good a possibility that Tanaka could be a #1 as the possibility of him being a #2-#5. Either way, getting the opportunity to sign a 25 year old FA #2 or #3 starter doesn’t come along very often (almost never). So why wouldn’t you sign him – especially since it’s not your money we’re talking about here!

                  • Diehardthefirst

                    Tkt prices and concession prices and memorabilia etc go up to pay for contracts- like taxes it is our money

                  • Jason P

                    I do really want to sign him, and I don’t think it’s going to take 8/200 to get him, so this may be a moot point anyway. But I do think Tanaka has been hyped above his abilities. He almost certainly isn’t an ace and is more likely a borderline 2/3.

                    Back when the first rumors of him coming over started to surface (and before the hype machine did its thing), Ben Badler said in his writeup that Tanaka’s a guy “some scouts think could be a 2″. As in, that’s the best case scenario. Jason Parks said in his chat yesterday that he doesn’t think Tanaka will have as great a career as many expect.

                    Again, I want Tanaka. He’s be a huge boost to the rebuild. But 8/200 is a little ridiculous.

                • bbmoney

                  The 1/6th payroll thing also assumes it only bounces back to prior highs. If they get a good tv deal set up and get the reno (along with related advertising going) is be dissapoointed if their payroll isn’t higher than that in 5 or so years. Especially with inflation being considered and they better still not be rebuilding….

                • Rebuilding

                  Normally having such a large percentage of your payroll in one player is a bad thing. But we are in such a unique position in that once Baez and Bryant are up we will be paying under $20 million a year for all 8 position players combined

                  • Funn Dave

                    Wow. Great point.

                  • When The Musics Over

                    This is a point a lot of the sign some big free agents side has been making for a while. If the Cubs plan on filling such a huge portion of their team with cheap, pre-arbitration home grown talent, they should in theory have plenty of money to fill in gaps with large free agent signings.

                    The Cubs could have signed whomever they wanted in the past few years to 4/100 contracts if they were motivated to do so and 100% of that money would have been off the books by the time they needed money to resign their studs once they got through their original control years.

                    The reason the Cubs didn’t go this route (they really could have been poor) was tanking seasons was firmly the center point of their plan. Stressing extreme payroll flexibility was sort of a nice excusable story for them to drive forward to the fans.

          • Assman22

            Cubs offer to Tanaka is in the neighborhood of 6/125…out clause after 4…standard for Close these days…

            • Rebuilding

              This sounds about right. A touch more that $24 mil AAV including the posting fee. Hate that there is an out clause, but that was prob always going to be necessary

              • Xruben31

                The out clause is for arbitration purposes, right?

                • Kyle

                  Presumably it would be a pure out clause.

                  • Xruben31

                    That would suck…

                  • When The Musics Over

                    If this is the case, I’m not really sure how it makes sense. What’s the point of signing a guy in the early part of his prime if your team is built to compete for likely only 2 years of that time. I thought the whole point of paying massive dollars for Tanaka was because of his age. If you’re only going to give someone 4 years, any 28-30 year old free agent should work out just about fine.

            • CubFanBob

              6/125 with an out at 4 doesn’t feel like a blow it out of the water offer. I can see any other team seriously wanting him offering much more.

              • Rebuilding

                $24/25 Mil a year (including posting fee) + an out clause is a pretty big offer. It makes him one of the Top 5 paid pitchers in the game. If it comes to pass I think it’s around his ceiling, but not so outrageous as to hamstring the Cubs in the future

                • CubFanBob

                  What am I missing ? 6/125 is closer to $20 mil not 25.

                  • When The Musics Over

                    Posting fee

                    • CubFanBob

                      If 125 mil 6yrs includes the posting fee then Tanaka is getting under $20 mil year. Even if it doesn’t the posting fee split up over two years and multiple payments isn’t a big deal plus is only paying roughly $21 mil a year to tanaka. Maybe I am wrong but don’t see how 125/6 pays him $25 mil a year.

                      Just seems serious contenders could easily match it plus some.

                    • When The Musics Over

                      I have no clue, just backing in to the ~$25M/year would suggest 6/$125 plus another $20M, or 6/$145M total, which would = about $24.2M/year.

              • Pat

                I hope for the 6/125 (plus posting). I would like the signing at that point. I think it would be an overpay, but an acceptable one.

                On the other hand I will not be particularly happy if the 8/200 rumors are true. 8 years for any pitcher is a bad idea, nevermind one who has never pitched in the league before.

  • Jon

    Looks like Albert Almora has a new lady in tow…

    https://twitter.com/cynthiacaneja

    Nice work Al…

    • cubzfan

      You mean, his fiancee?

      • cubzfan

        Oh, his fiancee was Cindy, this is Cynthia…sorry. New girl, indeed.

  • TanakaWillBeACub

    Tanaka will sign with the cubs its only a matter of time before he accepts the cubs offer he isn’t going to tell people what other teams bid so the Yankees and dodgers will have to guess how much the cubs bid and try to beat it but it wont happen bcuz he is a perfect fit for this club diehardthefirst you are so annoying hes not going to sign with the mariners get over it I am a Yankees fan but lets be honest we don’t need him and the cubs will outbid anyone who tries the dodgers don’t need him nor should he want to go to a team that would have him a #4 or #5 starter so im sticking with what ive been saying all along he will sign with the CUBS

    • NorthSideIrish

      I hope e e cummings is right…

      • Soda Popinski

        hahaha. Me too.

    • Seth

      Holy run on. Gave me a headache reading that.

  • Jon

    I must say, it is hilarious to hear Clown Kenney bash the rooftops for stealing money from the Cubs, considering he was the idiot that signed the 20 year deal with them in the first place.

    • roz

      Was Crane Kenney involved with the Cubs at all way back in 2004 when the rooftop deal was signed? I didn’t think he was.

      • Tommy

        Ah, I just saw NorthsideIrish’s post below about Kenney’s comments at the convention. He said they’re a $20M drain. I assume he’s talking about the limitations on signage they are placing on Wrigley that is costing them dollars.

        I think that’s a fair assessment, but my assessment is based purely on all the articles that Brett has written in the past about the renovations and possible new revenue. Sounds reasonable.

    • Tommy

      Jon – where did this come from? Was there a recent article siting Crane Kenney talking about the rooftops?

      For the record, I think roz is right. I don’t think Kenney was with the Cubs until 2010.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Lots of big news coming out of the business presentation at the Cubs Convention…

    - expect to have the video board in LF up by 2015
    - expect to make an announcement on the TV deal by Opening Day 2014
    - could still keep a package of games on WGN-TV
    - Crane Kenney called the rooftops a $20M a year drain on the team’s resources

    I actually wish I was there for this and I do not usually like the convention.

  • Funn Dave

    Hey homies.

  • Funn Dave

    2014 Cubs alternate and throwback uniforms are up on Uni Watch.

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