It may be Tuesday night in the States, but Wednesday morning rolled around a couple hours ago (complete with another tweet from Masahiro Tanaka for people to be ridiculous about – it’s OK to admit that it’s a little fun).
So, Tanaka will be announcing any moment, right?
Eh. Maybe not.
First, you’ve got Jayson Stark hearing things …
Now hearing Tanaka decision could go all the way till Friday. Clubs not in bidding hearing rumblings he took physical while in LA this month
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) January 21, 2014
I’m not so sure Stark’s report means much, given that we already knew about the blanket physical in Los Angeles. The question is whether the signing team will want its own doctors to get a chance to check Tanaka out. Maybe all they’ll want are the scans/files/medical history/etc.? But maybe not. This is a lot of money at stake, and, if it’s me, I want my own guys to check him out.
So, then, an announcement will come tonight?
Still not so sure. For one thing, I really doubt Tanaka’s new team is going to want him announcing anything until he’s actually signed on the dotted line. If he hops a plane for the States tonight – and he’d have to if he’s going to do a physical tomorrow – it’s possible that something will leak, but that’s far short of an official announcement. And we all know how flimsy breathless leak reports can be. (“The Cubs are the leader for Anibal Sanchez! The Cubs are out on Sanchez. The Cubs have signed Sanchez! The Tigers have kicked the Cubs in the grapes.”)
Dave Kaplan believes teams will find out what’s what by the end of Thursday, at the latest:
Tanaka took extensive physical in LA in early Jan. However, teams involved should know in next 24-48 hrs. Contract must be done by 5p Friday
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 21, 2014
Incidentally, Kaplan says that’ll leave time for the Dodgers and Yankees to up their offers (a scenario I recently described as the reason I wasn’t all that impressed with reports that the Cubs were, as of this weekend, the “leader” for Tanaka):
Also, there is no bidding process for Tanaka. Teams can increase offer up until decision. That’s why LAD/NYY can blow people out of water. — David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 21, 2014
If that wasn’t enough to bring you down for the rest of the evening, Jeff Passan earlier offered some additional cold water:
One official involved in the Masahiro Tanaka bidding believes the winning contract is going to fall somewhere in the six-year, $120M range. — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 21, 2014
That tweet stopped me in my tracks, because, if all of the bids are clustered in the same area – as opposed to the Cubs having a far outlier – it’s extremely hard to see Tanaka selecting the Cubs over, for example, the Yankees or Dodgers. Passan didn’t stop there …
For what it’s worth, plenty of the rumors — which most believe are spurious — have the Cubs in as the high bidder, blowing away the field.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 21, 2014
To the extent the brevity makes that tricky to read, Passan is saying that most folks believe the rumors about the Cubs blowing away the field are spurious (aka false).
Have a good night everyone!