1/7 Tanaka rumors

The Cubs and White Sox will reportedly meet with Masahiro Tanaka this week, according to Comcast Sportsnet’s Luke Stuckmeyer, who says the Japanese pitcher will most likely be in Chicago to check out both teams. The Cubs declined to comment on the report.

Tanaka, 25, was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 212 innings last season for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, who posted the right-hander for a $20 million fee. The bidding for Tanaka will end at 4 p.m. CT on Jan. 24.

There are several teams interested in Tanaka, including the Dodgers, Rangers, Mariners and Diamondbacks. The Cubs do need starting pitching, but at what price? The Japanese pitcher is reportedly seeking a contract that will likely top $100 million.

– Carrie Muskat

12 Comments

This is a possible signing I refuse to get excited about. Should he be signed for a 100 million or over, I think its crazy. To easy for pitchers to get hurt and thats alot of money. If he is signed, please get some INS.
Early April is very rough on Pitchers in Chicago and thats alot of money. lol
I see alot of Pitching prospects making their way up the ladder. Of course you never have enough Pitching, but 100 million dollars is alot of money.
Then you have to wonder if he can adapt to a new Country. Not everyone is Darvish or Ichiro. What if he is a Fukudome? That was alot of money too. Fujikawa didnt make it past April, that was alot of money.

Hard to believe but this may be the one and only time I completely agree with Jasper. I have been feeling negative vibes about Tanaka from the very beginning. 100 million is a lot to put into a player who hasn’t even been tested in the MLB yet.

I find it interesting that Carrie omits the Yankees as one of the organizations most focused on signing Tanaka. Did I miss something? I was under the impression the Yankees had the inside track on attracting the impressive talent. Are the Cubs not at a distinct disadvantage in this matter, given that it is an open secret we are not going to be a serious contender in 2014? By the way, I do believe Tanaka is the real deal, and will be an instant sensation with whichever major league team acquires his services.

Time will tell jhosk, because he will be signing with someone.

I have read jhosk that the Mariners are very serious about signing Tanaka and that they have the resources to do so. If Tanaka is going to be touring the cities of those interested in him I would bet you that he will LOVE Seattle and would feel at home there more than anywhere else – which could be a big factor in his decision.

That’s interesting, White. I think you are referencing the large Japanese community in Seattle, and also the organization’s willingness to open its wallet, as demonstated by the Cano signing. I would much prefer seeing him go to the northwest rather than the Yankees.

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Having been associated with baseball for years with college ball and mlb affiliations along with being part Japanese, having lived in Japan as well as to be with a ball club there, and a life long Cubs fan, I would not get too excited about Tanaka coming to Chicago. Sure I would love for him to come but I know from first hand experience the expectations and desires of future ball players coming from there, and sad to say, usually they want to be a part of a contender. The way it is set up now, even though the “entrance fee,” has been capped, the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) and its players are in the driver’s seat. They can dictate, at least at the beginning of a player’s MLB career where they go. If they had to enter the draft like everyone else it would be a different story. Also, for the NPB and the people, the pride that comes with one of theirs playing not only in the MLB but for a contender is immense and Major League Baseball knows this too. Lastly, growing up in America with the opportunity to live and exercise certain traditions, as I said earlier I lived in Japan, Tanaka and his agent will meet with every team if they have to, not because they must. But rather, it is “saving face for them,” and for every team that will not get Tanaka. But at least they all had a chance at a “sit-down,” with him. Some will say my folks are overly polite, there is some truth to that as well as years of tradition. Again, I would love for him to choose our Cubbies but would not be surprised at all if he ends up on the West Coast (yes having ramen and good ramen is important and in the states the best is either in Hawaii or up and down the West Coast) and a contender like the Dodgers and/or the recent moves by the Mariners with “Ichiro’s” history there is a big plus. New York will always be in play because of the love and admiration Nihonjin have for the pinstripes as well as Texas because of Darvish-sama. Tanaka-san ganbatene!

Well explained. I think he will end up with the Mariners,Dodgers,Yankees or the Rangers. If he does not end up with the Cubs then that means a lot of money to be spent somewhere else. The only scary part though is the price of the AVERAGE free agent. Tanaka will cost a lot!

kenlyCub, exactly why the money is being poured out for prospects and building the Farm System. The average FA is not worth their price.
When the Cubs Farm System starts to produce at the ML level and it will. You will have a Castro at SS, when he becomes a FA, demanding much more money, there will be someone to take his place. ( Castro EXAMPLE )
If a player starts causing problems ( Big Z, Bradley < Examples ) get rid of them, there is someone to take their place.
I am sure there will be a FA signed here & there, but I am sure even then, they wont be worth the price.

you can’t build a complete team by a farm…. you got to spend that money on FA… eventually when everything is high priced (which it is) that price becomes MARKET PRICE…. you got to pay to play buddy. We got to produce runs … i think that out of the last 5 WS Champs something like 3 of them were the at the top of run production. Pitching and defense is great but scoring runs beats those two EVERY TIME

Thats why I said they will add a FA here & there. Not every prospect will make it, we all know that. I just like the way they are doing things, I can be patient. Tanaka will not be worth the money it takes to sign him. My opinion of course.
Organization depth is building and prospects on the way. Add more quality prospects when SOME do make it and the depth is there.

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