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The Cubs are “pushing hard” for Tanaka

Jan 16, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

masahiro tanaka getty Getty Images

Masahiro Tanaka has another eight days in which to negotiate with whoever he wants. Most are expecting the Dodgers or the Yankees to land him, but other teams aren’t giving up yet:


It’d be unexpected to say the least for the Cubs to get Tanaka. We know little about his desires apart from odd things like “his wife wants to be on the west coast” and it’s always smart to assume that money matters most. But one also has to think that going to a team in win-now mode is desirable for him too, and the Cubs just aren’t there yet.

That should also, by the way, mitigate how much the Cubs want to spend on a guy like Tanaka.

  1. poorwalt - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Why wouldn’t the Cubs go after him? Everyone knows Theo has a knack for signing top quality Japanese pitchers.

    • Old Gator - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      If they get him, the Feesh might be willing to part with Tweeter this time.


    • mmeyer3387 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Very true, His recorded is mixed in this area. Additionally, Japan’s pitchers have been boom or bust at becoming MLB pitchers. AS a fan I think it will be exciting to see how he shakes out.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 16, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      For all the (deserved) grief Theo got for Dice-K, Okajima was a bargain. The Red Sox paid him $8.5 million for five seasons. (The fifth year was a bust, as he only pitched 8 innings.)

      So for less than $2 million a year, Okajima provided amazing production, including a rookie year of $1.25 million, without which the Red Sox probably don’t win the World Series.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 16, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        It surprised me that the Red Sox weren’t able to trade Dice-K for SOMETHING in his last year with the club.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 16, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        @ 18thstreet, my friend I think you are mistaken. He played out his entire contract with the Sox. He pitched his last game for the Sox on Oct. 3, 2012 against the Yankees where he took the loss. He signed with the Indians on a minor league deal for the 2013 season and then went to the Mets. He was a FA for the 2013 season..

      • uyf1950 - Jan 16, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        @18thstreet, my apologies. I misread your comment. I thought you said you were surprised the Red Sox “were” able…..


      • 18thstreet - Jan 17, 2014 at 8:25 AM

        NO DEAL!

        This means war.

  2. holleywood9 - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Get chicago excited and talking…. Cubs won’t spend money. Stop talkin about it. I love the cubs and they need pitching. But this is a risk they won’t take no matter how much I want them to

  3. El Pollo Loco - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    With that new mascot the Cubs are a shoo in to sign him!

    • Old Gator - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM


  4. stratomaticfan - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    If you’re talking Win now, then count the Yanks out. No pitching=no playoffs

    • uyf1950 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      You do realize Tanaka is a pitcher don’t you. A starting rotation in no particular order of: CC, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova and either Phelps/Pineda/Warren or Nuno isn’t bad probably better then 70% of the starting rotations in the AL.

      Besides winning now doesn’t necessarily have to mean this year, it probably means winning much sooner rather then later. Like in the next couple of years.

      • mmeyer3387 - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        I’m not sure if the Yanks pitching staff will play out like that. This could go either way, from a neutral viewpoint; C.C and Kuroda are up there in years. Last year wasn’t C.C. best year, were his fastballs were down in speed and he seemed to tire a little. Kuroda seemed to tire a lot towards the end of the season. Additionally, Nova had a very inconsistent season. You may very well be right, to where they could have a very good year, but this staff could also go the wrong way and they could have a bad year. This being said, I do think that they have a very baseball savvy manger. Clearly Joe may help a lot, only time will tell. This one may be up to the baseball gods.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        @ mmeyer3387, I think CC is going to surprise fans in a good way. Is he going to be the CC of 2009 obviously not. But I’m confident he will be better then the 2013 CC. Keep in mind he was never really healthy in 2013. Just a guess but I think that’s in the past and he will be in 2014.

        Kuroda no doubt he tired the last 6 weeks of the season, he has to be managed better innings wise. Nova I don’t think was as inconsistent as some make out. Yes he did have bouts of inconsistency but overall especially the 2nd half of the season he was pretty good for the most part. He’s got another year of experience and maturity under his belt. I think he’ll do just fine.

        If they get Tanaka and that’s a big if in my opinion that starting 4 is pretty good in my book. The final spot will be up for grabs and to be honest any of the options is fine. Will it make or break the team? NO in my opinion.

        I do want to manetion that if the Yankees do not get Tanaka I still believe they will sign either Jimenez or possibly Garza. As most fans here know my choice after Tanaka would be Jimenez. We’ll see, the Tanaka bidding is coming to a conclusion in probably the next 7 days if not sooner.

      • spudchukar - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        I started to take issue with your 70% assessment, but closer examination of the AL rotations makes that tough. That is due more to the paucity of talent of AL starters than it is the strength of the Yankees.

        Only Detroit and Tampa Bay are clearly better. A good case can be made for Boston and Oakland, but I see issues in both camps especially Boston. The Yankees without Tanaka brings in almost every team except Houston and Minnesota, assuming Cleveland and Baltimore add an important hurler.

  5. asimonetti88 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    I’m hopeful the Angels can get a competitive bid out and possibly lure him to Orange County.

  6. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Might explain their choice of logo. Going for the Anime fanbase.

  7. tfbuckfutter - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Maybe he’s one of those Asians that is bad at math and won’t understand the Cubs winning percentage.

  8. paperlions - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    As a Cardinal fan, I am torn about this. The Cubs have some scary good position player prospects getting close to the majors….a LOT of them…but the pitching is severely lacking. This kind of signing (along with possibly one more of the high end starters that may become FAs next year) will really make them a threat starting in 2015. Still, it would be cool to have him in the NL Central and get to see him pitch all the time…assuming, that is, that he is good.

    • Alex K - Jan 16, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      Don’t be torn. Just let the idea wash over you that for the first time in a while the Cubs have a bright future. It feels good, doesn’t it?

      • paperlions - Jan 16, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Eh. It feels better than feeling like the Reds have a bright future, but it is still not really in the realm of “good”. I would love for the Cubs and Cards to have a hard fought rivalry again, as long as the Cubs keep finishing behind them in the standings. :-)

        The combination of money and smart decision making make the Cubs a potentially formidable force in the NL Central.

      • Alex K - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        We both know life is more fun when the Cubs win the division. Well, at least my life is more fun.

        Maybe try and start wrapping your head around the Cubs being competitive for more than 3 years in a row. It sounds pretty good, eh?

  9. sickcub - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    I’m sure the Cubs will get him-in 2024!

  10. yordo - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Love how the Mariners are never mentioned. That’s how you know they’re the front-runners.

  11. slaugin - Jan 16, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    I got a feeling there is a dark hoarse in the race, and that team will land him

  12. yahmule - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    If I’m the Cubs, I always pursue every top foreign player. Less chance that they’ll be aware of the dark curse that’s destined to befall them once they sign. Look @ Kosuke Fukudome. His first month in the majors in 2008, he posted a slash line of .327/.436/.480. Now, he’s wandering the streets penniless (probably).

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