12/3 Could Cubs bid for Tanaka?

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees and Dodgers are expected to be the most aggressive in pursuit of Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka when the posting system is finalized. Major League officials and the Japanese league are ironing out details.

Sherman said executives from two clubs expect the Cubs to be in the mix as well, with one saying they will be “really aggressive.”

Sherman notes that the Cubs have several impact position players (Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora) but not enough pitching.

Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have been involved in the posting process for Japanese players before. They were with the Red Sox when they gave $51.1 million posting fee to land Daisuke Matsuzaka. If the Yankees, Dodgers, Rangers and Red Sox are in pursuit of Tanaka, it will be expensive.

The posting fees are still to be resolved. According to Sherman, MLB officials have been trying to lower the fees transferred from their teams to Japanese teams as part of the process to gain negotiating rights. The Rangers paid the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters $51.7 million posting fee to get Yu Darvish, then signed him to a six-year, $60 million contract.

MLB has a current proposal that involves a limit of $20 million, Sherman writes.

Why is Tanaka so highly regarded? Tanaka, 25, was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 28 regular season games with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, that’s why.

– Carrie Muskat

3 Comments

Go for it Theo, Tanaka sure would look great in a Cub uniform. Would be an added treat to snatch him away from George Stienbrainless’s brats and La-la land.

I have mixed feelings on this one. There are many negatives, he is a Pitcher which means possible arm problems, does he speak English? How will he adapt to new surroundings? . Then there is his family, can he adapt without them near?
What we fans don’t keep in mind is: personality’s are all different. Management has to decide if the guy has the make up, drive and work ethics to make a huge move like this. They are not all Darvish & Ichiero
Positives are his age and talent.
After all that, the bottom line is, how much?
It would be an exciting signing now, there is no doubt there.

Agree with both sides of your coin Jasper. Having heard nothing from management in reference to Tanaka, makes one wonder if they are keeping their interest low key for a reason. Always nice to fantasize during the long winter wait for spring.

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