It has begun …
As expected, Masahiro Tanaka is in the States this week to receive visits from interested suitors in their finest duds. Jon Heyman reports that Tanaka’s meetings started yesterday in the Los Angeles area, and it has all been very hush-hush. Those meetings, which will include upwards of 12 teams, are set to be completed by Friday.
The Cubs, together with the Yankees, Angels, White Sox, and Diamondbacks, are listed by Heyman explicitly as having a meeting lined up. In conjunction with these meetings, Tanaka is seeing a doctor in Los Angeles to provide interested teams any relevant medical information, per Heyman. In addition, I’m guessing teams will also receive information on what Tanaka is looking for – monetarily or otherwise – together with an opportunity to make an initial pitch.
We heard earlier in the week that a meeting could happen in Chicago, but it appears that, for now, Tanaka is taking his first meetings all in one location.* That actually makes a lot more sense than traipsing all across the country before making initial cuts. In other words, if Tanaka comes to visit Chicago after this initial meeting, then there may be reason for mild optimism.
*David Waldstein reports that Tanaka was initially scheduled to land in Chicago (to meet there? possibly), but had to change to Los Angeles because of weather. Grumble.