Cubs Could Reportedly Challenge the Yankees for Masahiro Tanaka

Jed Hoyer said nearly a month ago the Cubs would be involved in the bidding process for Japanese right hander Masahiro Tanaka. The Cubs have done their homework on Tanaka and are very interested in signing him.

No one expects the Yankees to be outbid for the right to negotiate a deal with Tanaka, if Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball can agree on a new posting system, and he is posted this winter. The Dodgers, Rangers, Angels and Red Sox are also expected to place a bid for Tanaka. And while the Cubs have been viewed as a longshot at best, those reports might not be accurate according to Joel Sherman.

Joel Sherman was told by two teams that expect to place a bid for Tanaka “to keep an eye out for the Cubs” because they “are a candidate to be really aggressive” for Masahiro Tanaka.

During his meetings with the season-ticket holders, Theo Epstein mentioned that he wished there was free agency for young players and was looking for the Cubs to be more active on the international market. Tanaka would fit a need for the Cubs and if he can pitch near projections, he would give them a top of the rotation starter.

According to Sherman’s report, “there are officials who say the sale (of the Cubs to the Ricketts family) contains provisions that financially handcuff Ricketts that would not be a factor for a posted player.”

Masahiro Tanaka was thought to be high on the Cubs’ priority list this off-season, and if he is posted it will be interesting to see how aggressive the Cubs actually are in the process.

Posting Process

Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball are trying to hammer out a new posting system, one that was expected to be finalized on Nov. 1. The two leagues met last week prior to the holiday in New York but were unable to reach an agreement.

According to reports from Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown, there is a new wrinkle in the talks. MLB proposed maximum bids on players that are posted. Brown reported that if more than one team placed the maximum bid then each team would be allowed to negotiate with the player.

MLB is looking for a way to make the posting system an even playing field for all 30 teams, just not the high revenue clubs that can pay out the enormous fees just for the 30 day window to negotiate a contract.

Jon Paul Morosi reported an agreement on a new posting system is not close at this point. Morosi added that the uncertainty on whether or not Masahiro Tanaka will be posted is lingering over the pitching market.

Joel Sherman was told if a new posting system is not in place in the next 7-10 days, “the probability of having a system this off-season all but disappears, because MLB teams need to know sooner or later whether to budget for the chase.”

Sherman added to Tim Brown’s report and said the current proposal from MLB has a max threshold of just $20 million. It has not been determined what would happen if multiple teams put in a maximum bid. Japanese teams are “strongly against this system” because they would not receive enough for their players.

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  • J Daniel

    I don’t believe this is going to happen. IMO, they will put in a bid but fall short, intentionally. The PR of putting will say that we wanted him but were just outbid.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      They’ll submit a solid bid. They’d love to have him. Everything isn’t a PR stunt. There not going to bid the moon as the Yankees probably will. The Cubs have too much money committed to infrastructure projects in Chicago, Arizona and the Carribbean. Not too mention a ton of debt left over from The Tribune trying to avoid massive tax penalty.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        They’ll place a bid they are comfortable with paying if won. The Yankees will probably place a bid that they are certain will dominate the field.

      • cubtex

        cmon Rider. Too much money committed to have at least a 100 million payroll?

        • J Daniel

          I agree, Tex. Cmon Rider! I am tired of the to much debt in infrastructure excuse. Maybe he should not own the team then.

          Also, the payroll has been significantly reduced since taking over the team. I know they still owe some of Sori’s money but that is it, I think. All of the other stuff, I believe, is off the books.

          I understand all of the … he is putting in his own money … blah blah blah … this is a big boy market and there is no reason to at least have a semi big boy attempt. They don’t have to be the Dodgers or the Yankees but come on!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            It’s not just Ricketts, any owner would have the same issue. They’re trying to bring the team into this century. They’re spending a fortune currently, just not on players. As soon as the other projects are done and we are competitive they’ll fork over the big bucks and we’ll have a top 3 payroll in MLB.

          • cubtex

            cmon dude. save that for someone who doesn’t know any better.

          • Rational Logic

            If they win the bid, is it still a PR stunt?

            Also, there’s nothing wrong with stating your GOAL is to win every year, but recognizing the need to rebuild and the time that takes, both of which Theo has openly stated several times.

            They have spent a lot of money; they’ve spent very aggressively in the international market, in the draft, and selectively with the big league club. They have also spent wisely, locking up young players, ridding burdensome contracts, and signing low-risk, upside players to flip at the deadline with success.

            I just don’t see how people can hold a grudge against the FO, when they’re extremely transparent and honest. Not every move should be expected to work and things take time. As numerous people have stated, it’s only been a few years, but look at the farm system, the plans around Wrigley, and the current contracts and don’t tell me you’re not impressed.

          • cubtex

            EJax 52 mil
            Gerardo Concepcion 6 mil
            Ian Stewart 2 mil
            Scott Baker 5.5 mil
            Paying 18 mil of Soriano’s contract coming off 2 years of 30 plus HR’s and 100 RBI and only receiving a #15 prospect from the “BRUTAL” Yankees farm system.

            Do you care to rescind that line about spending wisely?

          • Rational Logic

            Hahahaha really? Is that your defense?

            EJax has pitched one year of his deal, Conception is still extremely young, and the rest are either dirt cheap, 1 year deals or in the case of Soriano, salary relief and a good, young arm that clears a roster spot of an aging veteran on a *rebuilding* team.

            Not to mention you only focused on the so called “bad deals” – shockingly you wouldn’t paint a more fair picture.

            I don’t want to offend you, but that was awesome.

          • cubtex

            I am glad that I amused you. Hahaha. It is good to laugh. You should do that everyday! What is the so- called defense that I posted? You say the FO spent wisely…..I put up some players to discredit that. You didn’t offend me but you didn’t really do anything to discredit anything I said. EJax is in year 1….Okay. He made 19 mil this year and is on the hook for 11 mil for the next 3 years. We cleared Soriano off the roster to make sure Bogusevic,Lake,Schierholzt and Sweeney get playing time…and that only cost 18 mil to get those guys playing time. What a bargain. FO is spending extremely wisely. I now understand your argument and thank you for explaining that to me. Well done!

          • Rational Logic

            We would still had to pay Soriano if he were on the team, so we didn’t “Pay” 18M to let the other guys play…instead we were able to let those guys play during a lost season and move Soriano to a contender and pick up a young arm. What a horrid move.

            The Ejax deal is very cheap, and if he can pitch better next year, is money spent wisely on a durable starting pitcher.

            I’m definitely not spending any more time on this, you’ll never see the forest.

          • cubtex

            sorry Rational Logic. I had to give you a down arrow on that.

            “The Ejax deal is very cheap” hahahahahahahahahaha. I love a good laugh!

          • Rational Logic

            $11M per year for a 200IP starting pitcher is pretty cheap if you ask me in the Free Agent market. However, you’re probably comparing his deal to rookie contracts, minor league deals, and other non-equivalent contract situations.

            If you want to take that one and concede on all your other ridiculousness I’m fine by that.

          • cubtex

            Are you just going to forget the 19 mil for this year? Are you an accountant? I could use one that could make some income disappear.

          • Rational Logic

            1. It’s a sunk cost
            2. No, isn’t it obvious?

            I’m an Astronaut

          • paulcatanese

            Cubtex, it’s impossible to reason with the mind set of those that are completely sold on what is being done by this FO.
            One thing for sure, they (FO) have done what they have set out to do, that is, completely
            confused the fan base with all of the meaningless signings that have happened over the last two years. I cannot believe that
            the fan base cannot see what is happening.
            Absolutely no guarantee that this will work now and the near future.
            The trades will continue and 2nd rate players will continue to be brought in. Completely ridiculous. All of this will be repeated next year.

          • cubtex

            Yea buddy! To think that this has to be a 5 or 6 year rebuild to me is “one flew over the cuckoos nest” material. But wait Paul…It is only going into year 3. Year 4, they could be close to .500. Year 5 they could be over .500 and maybe by year 6 they could challenge for a wild card. The excitement is too much to control!

          • John_CC

            Just as impossible to reason with those like you whose mindset is that the FO does not know what they are doing.

            I guess we are all doomed!!

          • cubtex

            I think everyone knows what the FO plan is. It isn’t complicated or original.

          • paulcatanese

            I didn’t think I implied that the FO doesn’t know what they are doing, on the contrary, I think they absolutely are aware of what they have been putting on the table.
            When they first took charge I was all for what they attempted to do, but as time wore on, it is just the same thing over and over again.
            Sign marginal (at best), injured, and people that they have a history with, whether they have talent or not.
            Keep loading

          • John_CC

            Castro: 7/$60M
            Rizzo: 7/$41M
            Villanueva 2/$10M
            Wood for the cost of a reliever
            Arrieta and Strop for the cost of a Feldman
            Almora bonus above his slot
            Baez bonus (Ricketts)

            And to say that Concepcion a 5 years and $6M is a terrible waste of money is silly.

          • brent carmona

            Wood only made about 500K this year I believe, and he pitched 200 innings, isnt that awesome? Still a few years left of team control with him as well.

            Scott freaking Feldman netted us Arrieta and Strop, had to point that out again because that is awesome.

          • cubtex

            John. The point was that Theo has not wasted money. I didn’t say there weren’t any good deals. I didn’t even mention Fujikawa.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            they haven’t spent a fortune yet…nothing has been done to Wrigley yet.

            Tanaka is a PR stunt.
            And if Cubs did outbid everyone, it would be for a guy that has never pitched in MLB and who has fared well against talent such as the Fukudomes of the world (who are considered awesome in the Japan league).

            It is like paying $50m for a guy that mows down High-A talent in the minors.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            This is not a PR stunt. Burning disco albums is a PR stunt. They will submit a number they can stomach and take their chances. “PR stunt,” google it and read what that means and see examples on Wikipedia. Submitting a bid for an overseas player isn’t a stunt. These guys don’t pat themselves on back for near misses. We will see, i bet we finish 2nd.

          • brent carmona

            Listen to the front office lately, Tanaka fits everything they talk about in terms of adding players…. This is definitely not a PR stunt. We put up competitive bids for Ryu, Cespedes, Soler and others, I don’t see why you would think this a PR stunft…

          • jtrain23

            They have lots of work to do.The facilities are barely in the last century.

          • daverj

            A lot of their spending is on investments that Ricketts either (i) knew he would have to make when he bought the team (improve stadium) or (ii) is making at this option because he thinks it will be profitable (the hotel and other improvements across the street).

            These should be unrelated to his spending on the Cubs players.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            How is it unrelated, all coming from same pocket? Arizona, Wrigley, payroll, Caribbean. All from the same fund and while some projects will make money for the team and Ricketts, it will also fund payroll etc.

          • daverj

            Wrigley and Arizona should have been taken into account as required capital expenditures when he submitted his bid for the team. In his mind, they should have been part of the price. The team operating expenses should be separate.

          • J Daniel

            To my down arrow friends:

            I am a full supporter of Team Theo and think that McCloud is the man! I have been ok with them intentionally losing for a couple of seasons to get high picks. I have been ok with them signing and trading guys for more build up of the system.

            But, they will not all of a sudden be good when the bring young guys up. They need to start adding guys to show the way and then can phase them out when more young guys are ready.

            The fans have been pretty darn patient with this process and have not revolted. It is time to start rewarding them.

            I stand by what I say about the market here though, it is a big boy market. This is not Kansas City.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          They could have a $100 million payroll if it is a good mix of talent. But not just for the sake of saying they have a $100 million payroll. Actually though who knows? I read somewhere that over the past 24 months the Cubs ownership has spent the most money of any owners in MLB.

          • cubtex

            A good mix of talent? hahaha. How about fielding a competitive team? This is year 3 of Team Theo. He lied like a dog saying that each year is sacred and the goal is to win each year.

          • 07GreyDigger

            What do you want him to say? We have no money so we’re going to stink until we have money? Please.

          • cubtex

            You want him to lie? How about being “transparent” the word he uses all the time. OK? Please! Character and integrity are not important I guess for many.

          • 07GreyDigger

            That’s lame. Even for you. Sports is a business. You have to keep the lights on, you have to sell tickets. How do you sell tickets if you say, “we have no money and we’re going to be awful until we can make some, but please buy tickets…”

            Furthermore, you can’t be transparent in sports. That’s how you miss free agents and get taken advantage of by competitors. You lose leverage when you’re transparent.

          • cubtex

            fans,agents and players are not stupid. they see what is going on.
            What do you mean you miss on free agents by not being transparent? Scott Boras to Jacoby Ellsbury…..”Hey Jake- What do think about the Cubs? Theo says that every year is sacred and they are trying to win. Why don’t we sign with them if the money is close.” Jake- “Yes. Theo wouldn’t say something that wouldn’t be true. I want to win now so if Theo says so…let’s do it.”
            Disclaimer- This was a fictional discussion between Scott Boras and Ellsbury because Digger says that Theo needs to fool free agents into signing with the Cubs or they will miss out on them.

          • cc002600

            That’s ridiculous.
            Have you ever negotiated anything ? Have you ever bought a car ? Are you completely “transparent” with the car salesman ? Come

            on.

            Live in the real world

            I think they have been very transparent and honest, relatively speaking. They have said from day one that when they make moves, it will be more with an eye towards the long term, not the short term. Does it take a genius to figure out exactly what that means ?

          • cubtex

            How did this get from telling fans that every year is sacred and being transparent in their plans of building a team to negotiating? I think you are not following along.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Because building a team through free agency is negotiating. Duh.

          • cc002600

            Simple. You have your panties in a bunch over the fact that Theo said every year is “sacred”. What do you want him to say ? You call that lying, which is totally ridiculous. They have said from day one they are thinking long-term, how is that not transparent and honest ? Most GM’s would never say that. Look at Hahn on the south side. There is no question they are rebuilding, but has he ever actually come out and said that ? Of course not. Is he a liar ? Please

            Your Theo hatred has your brain malfunctioning. LOL

          • cubtex

            How many years would you be happy with Theo putting this type of crap on the field? Your Theo love affair has clouded your brain thinking this is a small market team. Wake up Dude! It is a BIG Market. Chicago!

          • cc002600

            Yes, this is a big market and yes I expect to start seeing results by 2015 – 2016. If not then Theo should be criticized, I think everyone agrees to that. But you need to look at the big picture. Look at what he inherited. A COMPLETE TOTAL TRAIN WRECK, from top to bottom. And you forget, he has only been in charge for 2 years. People act like its been 6 years or something. Rebuilds take time. Holy crap.

            Let’s see it play out. He has made some good moves and he has made some bad news, just like every other GM in the history of baseball. No GM hits on everything. But when I look at big picture, I think they are moving in right direction.

            and contrary to what you believe, free agency is nice once in a while, but you no longer can build your team around it. Most FA’s fail and fail badly, so you have to build through farm.

            I ask you, what FA should he have signed in his 1st two years that would have made you happy and made a difference ? Come on.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Theo did not inherit a complete, top to bottom train wreck. That is simply not true.
            THINK:

            Here’s what Hendry had in the minors:
            Baez
            Jr. Lake
            DJ Lemahieu (he stole 18 bases last year)
            Flaherty
            Colvin
            Vogelbach
            Arismendy Alcantara
            Blake Parker
            Welington Castillo
            Clevinger

            Here’s what he had on the ML roster:
            Soriano
            Garza
            Dempster
            Andrew Cashner
            Geo Soto
            Castro
            James Russell
            Samardzija
            Marmol
            Marshall

            I don’t call this a total train wreck. This roster certainly needed some
            additions to make it competitive, but these players could play on most
            MLB rosters even today.

            The best talent that Theo has added is: Bryant, Almora, Pierce Johnson. Soler is a long way off,
            and I have my concerns about him. Perhaps he will pan out, too.

            Theo undervalued the roster he inherited. And it was better than what he is currently putting on the field.

          • cubtex

            He had a young top of the rotation controllable starter in Cashner and traded him with no power arms in the system?

          • cc002600

            top of the rotation starter ? LOL

            Whose rotation ? My travel team ?

            The All-DL team ?
            :-)

          • cubtex

            You are right again! He can’t pitch for the Cubs or your travel team. . Good points today! You are showing a lot of wisdom.

          • cc002600

            Ok, how about modified train wreck ? LOL

            While you make some good points, your list is very incomplete in terms of players that Theo has acquired. and you are listing some guys that he inherited that are completely useless, so I’m sure what the point is…Marmol ? Flaherty ? DJ ? Colvin ? an aging Dempster, Sori ? Clevinger ? please

            As far as players that Theo has acquired that you conveniently omitted –

            What about Travis Wood ?
            What about Strop ? Arrieta ? Schierholtz ? CJ Edwards ? Olt ? Vizcaino? Grimm ? Rizzo ?

            The farm system has gone from bottom shelf to top shelf in just 2 years.

          • Ripsnorter1

            My statement was a rebuttal of your statement that Theo inherited a top to bottom
            train wreck. I was pointing out the players that Theo started with, all who are viable
            ML players that contributed to the teams they were traded to by Theo.

            So I did not list players Theo traded for, like Wood, Strop, Olt.

            But let’s talk about those he traded for:
            Vizcaino–so far, a nothing. An absolute zero.
            Olt–damaged goods with a severe injury.
            Arrieta–great stuff, no control, a real crap shoot.
            Strop–might be a 40 save guy, or he might not.
            Rizzo–after signing the big contract, he hit .218, .315 OBP, and .381 slugging. That’s a fact.
            Schierholtz–a one way player who will not repeat his 2013 stats. (So says my scouting service).
            Wood–had a great season in 2013. Unlikely to repeat in 2014.(So says my scouting service).
            CJ Edwards–nothing yet, but looks very promising.
            Grimm–another nothing yet, but hopefully pans out.

            So far, Theo has hurt the team (check out the worst W-L record for the past two years in all of Cubs’ 143 year history).

            Look at that list of players you listed. What one of them is a full time, two way player?
            Not Rizzo. Not Schierholtz. Not Olt.

            Only Wood had a good year out of all of them.

            We do hope 2014 will be better. But let’s see Mr. Theo, Inc acquire some ML talent, instead of
            AA level talent.

          • Ripsnorter1

            And all of what I said above is with a smile. : )
            In other words, I hope I didn’t come across too strong. : )

            I love talking Cubs’ baseball with you.

          • Tony_Hall

            The team was put together to win in 2010 and 2011 and failed miserably. Most would call that a train wreck. The farm system was not that good and would have been much further along if Tom Ricketts hadn’t directed the 2011 draft and dictated to take the best available player, don’t let money stop you from drafting someone.

          • Tony_Hall

            No timetable. It will be done when the farm system is producing major league players every year. That very well could start in 2014.

          • daverj

            I don’t think Cubtex has “hatred” for Theo. Cubtex just strongly disagrees with way Theo has decided to field a team during the rebuild. I happen to like most of what Theo has been doing, but Cubtex’ criticism is legit. I also Cubtex would be thrilled to be wrong and see the Cubs win a World Series in the next couple years.

          • cubtex

            I want to see then try and win now. I agree that there was a lot of fixing to do with the farm system,facilities etc. The Twins lost 96 games last year and are adding pieces to compete. They have a top farm system. The Astros were in on several free agents so far this offseason. they were terrible and have a top farm system. Let’s stop with these stopgap AAAA players. Bogusevic,Sweeney,Valbuena,Barney.
            Move on and compete!

          • daverj

            I agree that it is getting a bit ridiculous with these AAAA guys. Would be nice to see better baseball in 2014. You would think the Cubs could sign some quality (not superstar) veteran players (like Beltran types) on 2-3 year deals so it won’t be a long term drain on payroll. Could at least produce a .500 team while we are waiting.

          • cubtex

            You never know from one year to the next. The Pirates hit on all their free agents and made the playoffs. Liriano, Russell Martin etc.

          • John_CC

            Beltran for 3 years is a bad gamble my friend. His career could end on any given day.

          • daverj

            There are no good gambles in free agency for quality players.

          • John_CC

            Well, I guess a gamble by definition means you win some you lose some, and in FA you tend to lose more. But a guy like Beltran is difficult, he has been so good and so consistent, but also has been defying his age and condition. I just fear that his leg could give out any game and he’d be done.

          • daverj

            That’s why he gets a 3 year deal instead of a 7-8 year deal. When you want guys for 2-3 years, you have to take the risks elsewhere.

          • cubtex

            Bingo!

          • cubtex

            You are the voice of reason today! Do teams honestly believe that 7 and 8 year contracts will be great at the end? Of course not. They pay the piper to win and bite the bullet for the last couple. Big market baseball to chase a WS.

          • Tony_Hall

            Please name the guys that you would like to have signed with these 7 and 8 year contracts.

          • Tony_Hall

            I am sure Beltran wants to spend his last couple of years playing for the Cubs as they rebuild and bring up young guys.

          • cc002600

            That’s awesome !!!! now come back to earth for a second.

            Gimme some names that would have made a difference.

          • cubtex

            why are you so angry? Are you implying that there are no other upgrades out there to improve the team and not block any positions long term. Take a deep breath and tell me that is what you are saying?

          • cc002600

            angry ? LOL .

            All I did was ask you for the names of the guys the cubs should have signed over the last 2 years that would have made a difference. Are you a little sensitive ? :-)

            It’s very easy to sit back and say you want this or that, but that’s not reality. That’s fantasyland. So all I’m looking for is the names they should have signed that would have taken them from 101 losses to the World Series.

            I need a good laugh.

          • cubtex

            Yes you need to laugh!

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes he is a little sensitive at times :)

          • cubtex

            That’s what wipies are for :)

          • Tony_Hall

            He is not angry. Why do you always turn everything to say that we are angry if we disagree with you?

          • cubtex

            I will even make you feel a little less stressed and give you an up arrow for that. Keep giving me all the down arrows you want if that helps you relieve some stress. Lol

          • cc002600

            that’s fine, but if that’s the case, I would like to hear from cubtex what he should have done instead.

            and oh just for the record, hindsight is 20/20, but I would still like to see his genius ideas that would have made a difference.

            Theo is not perfect, nobody said he is, but we at least need to let it play out. It’s only been 2 years, people seem to forget that.

          • cubtex

            How do you know I wear panties? Are you spying on me?

          • cubtex

            No I have never negotiated. You mean that I could get a better price on a car than what that sticker says on the side window?

          • 07GreyDigger

            Disclaimer – Your fictional discussion about me thinking Theo needs to fool free agents was inane and pointless.

            Anyway, my point with missing free agents due to transparency is about your competition. If your competition knows you’re going after a guy, that says to them, you’re willing to pay top dollar and they can OUTBID you for their services.
            Remember the whole Anibal Sanchez thing? Agent used the Cubs as leverage to get more money and no doubt the Tigers knowing what they were up against used them to.

            Since then, they’ve been a lot closer to the vest.

          • cubtex

            Are you serious? You don’t think agents use teams against each other to get top dollar for their clients? Wow!

          • 07GreyDigger

            When did I say they didn’t? Can you read?

          • cubtex

            Why must you always throw an insult after every post?

          • Tony_Hall

            I think it was a question, not an insult. You are sensitive today and it is not because of me.

          • cubtex

            How am I? Look at ccoo’s posts. It is comical

          • Tony_Hall

            I think he has been on fire today!

          • cubtex

            Lol. I am sure you do. Anybody defending “the plan”

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t look at it as defending the plan, I look at it as reminding you and others that you should know what is going to happen and not waste so much time bi###ing and moaning about it.

          • 07GreyDigger

            You frustrate me and I frustrate you. It’s a perfect relationship. :)

          • Tony_Hall

            He has been transparent and has told us exactly what the plan was and reconfirmed it with interviews and statements since. You just keep wanting the plan to be different. Good luck with that.

          • cubtex

            You mean if I keep bi###ing about it….he won’t speed it up? Lol

          • Tony_Hall

            No he won’t. But I do enjoy the bi###ing, from time to time.

          • Tony_Hall

            but then said they wouldn’t make short term moves that would effect the long term plan. You must have missed that part of his statement.

      • J Daniel

        I am up for season tickets … you want to buy mine?

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I wish I could, if I lived in Chicago I would in a heartbeat. Get in now while they’re still available. In another 24 months they’ll be the toughest ticket in town.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Once we win the World Series (between now and 2020 I’m confident). Those tickets will be like Packer tickets. Handed down in wills and 50 year waiting lists.

  • 07GreyDigger

    If MLB does make it a little easier for losing teams to get a bid, that’s how the Cubs will win here.

    • J Daniel

      IF. You know the saying … If a bull had …

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Cubs will not sign Tanaka……the guy is not coming off TJ surgery.

    • J Daniel

      And don’t have the balls of a bull

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Has anyone consider where this money is coming from to get Tanaka?……I was thinking how the Rickett’s did not get conformation yet from the roof top owners on them not suing the Cubs over the billboard signs……..any lawsuit involving the roof top owners will cost big time $$$$$ in legal fees………what about future free agent spending?………….that is allot of money tied up with one guy like Tanaka who has no history of pitching in the MLB………I remember how Cubs fans were thrilled to get Japan All Star Fukudome…….and how Soriano’s large contract was a heavy cross to bear on the front office………..as they say, “Never put all your eggs in one basket”……one pitcher is not going to get your team into the playoffs……..it takes 25 guys to do that.

    • 07GreyDigger

      That’s true. Fukudome was quite the failure. Tanaka worries me. He could be great, or he could be awful. That’s a lot of risk.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Braves beat writer named Scott Coleman is saying the Braves might make Samardzija a top trade target this off season.

    • daverj

      Not happening. The Braves don’t have the prospects to trade for Shark. And they won’t part with any of their young major leaguers like Teheran or Heyward.

      • John_CC

        They also are not stupid enough to trade Teheran for Shark!

  • cc002600

    Everybody just assumes that the yankees will post an enormous bid for Tanaka, but they don’t have as much money to play with as you think. They want to keep under 189M payroll luxury tax threshold. They have currently committed about $117M to about 7 guys, not counting Cano. I just read they want to sign Kuroda for $16M / yr. So if they sign him and Cano you are up to about $160M, with still a whole bunch of holes to fill. I’m telling you this team is going to be bad, real bad. Their best players are well past their prime. Just look at what they have right now.

    • cubtex

      Whew! And I thought only the Cubs were going to be bad, real bad in 2014. lol That is encouraging that there are other teams out there in trouble. Whew!

  • daverj

    I’ve read no rumors of this, but the Cubs should make a play for Cano and offer 8 years at $200 million. The way negotiations seem to be going with Cano and the Yanks, something like that might get it done. Given his age (just turned 31), health record, history of winning, consistency and ability to generate offense from 2nd base, I think this would be a good add for them. If the farm system develops major league players as planned over the next couple years, Cano will still be young enough to be key piece of the core of the offense. In the meantime, he gives the fans a reason to go to the park in 2014.

    • John_CC

      Whaaaaaa!??

      How old was Soriano in 2006? What did his injury history look like up to that point? He was a 2Bman that could produce runs, and more athletic. And finally, how did those 7 years work out?

      • daverj

        You can’t compare Soriano to Cano. Soriano was never the hitter (other than power) or defensive player that Cano is. Soriano was exactly the type of guy not to give a long term contract to. He relied a lot on his legs which expectedly, broke down. Cano has much better K rates and is the type of player that last much longer into his 30s as a productive contributor.

        • John_CC

          He is a superior hitter, no doubt. But as good as Pujols before he turned 30?

          I am just adamantly opposed to 8 year contracts for 30 year old players (or 28 or 27). Pujols was the best hitter of his generation, for a decade. And now?

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Waste of money…….Castro might move over to second if Alcantara is not ready…….anyway, Cano is heading to Seattle.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Twilight Zone music…

  • Tony_Hall

    Saltalamacchia to the Marlins – 3 years $21M

    Wow – the Marlins.

    • cubtex

      Marlins Twins Astros… Meanwhile back on the North Side???

      • Tony_Hall

        Who did the Astros sign? I’ve been out all day.

        • cubtex

          They traded for Dexter Fowler. Good trade for them

          • Tony_Hall

            Save the October dates now for playoff games in Houston.

          • cubtex

            I would take Fowler on Cubs today!

          • Tony_Hall

            Away from Coors last year.

            214/343/335

            At Coors
            311/396/478

          • Tony_Hall

            Career

            At Coors 298/395/485

            Super star

            Every where else 241/333/361

            Nothing special.

            Compare to Sweeney, someone you don’t like.

            278/336/385 career numbers

          • cubtex

            Don’t compare a starting major leaguer to a guy who couldn’t get a major league contract last year.

          • Tony_Hall

            Sweeney has over 2100 PA’s

            Fowler 2635.

            Maybe one shouldn’t be a starter and the other should.

            Wait a minute, Fowler has potential, and isn’t on the Cubs, so you like him.

          • cubtex

            Are you really saying that Sweeney is comparable to Fowler? C’mon Tony. I know you don’t really believe that.

          • Tony_Hall

            I am saying Fowler is not that great and that the stats show that he is a product of Coors Field. Those splits are huge.

            Lake reminds me of Fowler, loads of talent, but no sure thing he will put it all together.

          • cubtex

            You would not hear me complaining if Theo upgraded the team with talent like that.

          • Tony_Hall

            And that is our differences in one line. You are content to add someone like Fowler to make you feel better about 2014. But he will do nothing to bring the Cubs closer to winning a World Series as he is nothing special and he cost the Astros prospects.

            I want to win a World Series, not win 75-82 games to feel good about being close.

          • cubtex

            Fowler is a damn good player and could start on a championship team. The Cardinals would drool to have him starting in cf for them. You act like all these prospects will be all stars. You think Soler will be better than Cespedes and Puig. That is the huge difference with us. You think these minor leaguers will all be Mike Trout.

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually I don’t. I believe Mike Trout is the best player in the game.

            The Cardinals would not drool over Fowler, no chance.

            I think Soler has a higher long term ceiling then Cespedes and Puig, He obviously has a lower floor as he hasn’t made the majors.

            Why so angry?

          • cubtex

            Where are my !!!!!!!!!! that is a show of anger.

          • Tony_Hall

            You just sound angry tonight.

            As Sahadev Sharma said

            CHILL

          • cubtex

            I am not angry. I am envious that all these teams are getting better and…..meanwhile back on the North Side we are sitting on our hands with holes galore and another 90 loss season in store

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is a guy who agrees with you on Ellsbury.

            Keith Olbermann ‏@KeithOlbermann2m

            Just an amazingly bad #Ellsbury deal by #Yankees. A fragile outfielder whose power already vanished and whose speed will.

            Of course you think this is a great signing by the Yankees, but if the Cubs signed him for the same contract you would think it was a terrible deal.

          • cubtex

            Who said it is a great sign? Thank god the Yanks signed him so Theo couldn’t! He will help them for a couple of years and that is it. You need to quit adding things to my posts and trying to think what I might say.

          • Tony_Hall

            So it is not a good signing. I thought you were just praising the Yankees for signing him.

            My bad.

          • cubtex

            I said they improved with him for next year. Does that mean it is a good contract? It’s a terrible contract but they play to win. They understand the last 3 years will be bad. Big market baseball. Hopefully the Cubs will join that party soon

          • John_CC

            Exactly. Folwer is actually kinda a bum. He’s always been given more chances because of his prospect status. I mentioned Lake as a comp to ct yesterday, they are of the same mold.

            By July, Folwer would be the bane of most of these guys if he were a Cub.

          • cubtex

            I hope you don’t compare Donnie Murphy’s second half to Troy Tulowitski :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Yeah, no.

          • cubtex

            He’s a good player. He is not a product of Coors. Great glove, bat and athletic. And I think he is only 27 or 28

        • cubtex

          Tigers signed Joe Nathan so that Fister trade makes a little more sense now

          • Tony_Hall

            I guess. They could have signed Nathan either way.

          • cubtex

            You never know what restrictions the owner put on about adding payroll.

          • Ripsnorter1

            The Tigers GM is pulling a 2009 Jim Hendry: disassemble a championship team

            for a bunch of players that cannot play. If I were a Tigers’ fan, I’d be screaming right now.

            I wonder if Mr. Dombrowski is looking to sign Joey Gathright to start as his CF for 2014….

          • cubtex

            Let’s wait to see how it plays out

      • Tony_Hall

        I thought this was appropriate for you.

        Sahadev Sharma ‏@sahadevsharma2h

        People complaining that your team hasn’t done anything. Today isn’t only day teams can make moves. Plenty of players still available. Chill.

  • Tony_Hall

    Is not even the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry sacred anymore?

    Yankees closing in on Ellsbury…so much for waiting on Cano to make a diecision.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24325803/ellsbury-getting-close-to-a-sevenyear-deal-with-the-yankees

    • TheWrongGuy

      Cano is being targeted by other teams and the Yank’s won’t make a move on him until the A-Rod situation is resolved. Of course this is my opinion.

    • cubtex

      Don’t you know the Yanks are in trouble and don’t have any money. They will be bad, real bad next year.

      • Tony_Hall

        You don’t like Ellsbury, so I guess he won’t help them.

        They will be old.

        • cubtex

          I wish the Cubs had the Yankees problems :)

          • Tony_Hall

            I hope we never get old like that.

            They got there by using FA to buy players that are already 30ish. It is one way to build a team, if money is no object. If that was the plan when Ricketts took over then that would be fine, BUT, that is not the plan under this ownership.

          • cubtex

            They will compete each year. They have won a ton of WS. Big market. Big Money. Will never tank a season

          • Tony_Hall

            Good for them. I believe they will be hit the hardest with the new system of difference making players not making it to free agency. Plus they won’t have the depth and quality of prospects to trade for them.

    • cubtex

      Johnny Damon part 2

  • Tony_Hall

    SportsCenter ‏@SportsCenter8m
    BREAKING: Jacoby Ellsbury agrees to free-agent deal with Yankees for 7 years, more than $142 million (via ESPN & Media Reports).

    • Tony_Hall

      Seeing 7 years $153M

      I bet it is for a long 2014 salary to help them stay under $189M, with huge salaries the last 6 years.

      • cubtex

        Yanks go for it every year as I have tried to explain to you and Suzy and others. To think they were and are in trouble is comical.

        • Tony_Hall

          We will see next year how they compete. I think they will fall short.

          • cubtex

            Based on good old Tony Hall hope :)

          • Tony_Hall

            No, just from watching them and based on the age of the team and the hope that players can keep playing at a high level well into their 30′s. I believe those days are gone for most players.

          • cubtex

            They just added McCann who will be great at Yankee stadium with that short right field since he hits most of his HR’s to right. They upgraded with Ellsbury. They have Michael Pineda coming back. Tex coming back. No ARod. Life is good!

          • Tony_Hall

            Arod is not gone yet. Sounds like a lot of hope that players rebound, hopefully Aroid is still around, he may need to help some of these guys with his cousins friends.

        • Tony_Hall

          So they aren’t in trouble because they signed Ellsbury, yet it was a poor signing.

          Makes sense to me.

          • cubtex

            What? Bad contract long term. Will improve their team short term and if they win a WS in 2015 they are winners. Do you understand? Big Market. Spend money. Win a WS. Fans happy. Fans spend money and everyone is happy. Now you get it?

          • Tony_Hall

            I get it, but I don’t think the Yankees will be celebrating a World Series during his contract.

          • cubtex

            Yea. They never win. It’s a longshot

          • Tony_Hall

            Since their 3 peat with a homegrown nucleous, they have started trying to buy a World Series. They have won 1 time in the last 13 years, and yes I would love for the Cubs to have one 1 time in the last 13 years.

            Yet these 3 teams have won 7 times in those 13 years, using player development to build their teams.

            Boston 3
            St Louis 2
            San Francisco 2

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        There is an option for an eighth season and possibly a no-trade clause.

        • cubtex

          Thank god it wasn’t the Cubs

  • Bryan

    I come online each day to hopefully read some productive interaction on the state of my favorite baseball team. But today, like most days, provides yet another series of antagonizing and berating messages among the children on this site. Guys, your shtick is getting old. Why don’t you guys share your personal email addresses, and take your childish banter to a private conversation. Do you guys really think your crap is entertaining (or appreciated) by others on this site? Please stop the nonsense already.

    • Tony_Hall

      I didn’t know I or anyone else (I believe almost 20 people have posted on this thread) needed to entertain you. Not sure about all the posts tonight, but Tex and I have had a pretty good conversation tonight after he had many back and forths earlier with others.

      How about you try adding something instead of calling others out?

      • Bryan

        Do you really believe you’ve projected “good conversation” with Tex today? I would sense that most of us who come to this site regularly (whether we actively post or not) would disagree. But as usual, even to my post you have to “jump on it” to create yet another debate. And please explain why I need to “add something” for you? I just like to read the articles that Neil and his team provides, and to hope for some grown-up interaction here. In my opinion (and just my opinion) you are just a nasty adult brat, seeking to always win a debate.

        • Tony_Hall

          So much for you adding anything to the conversation. I don’t need you to add anything, I guess your point in posting is to just being critical of those that do post.

          If you don’t like my posts or Tex’s don’t read them. There is a very frequent poster who I find to be just a bunch of nonsense, so I skip his posts. It is really simple I scroll past them.

          And not sure how I win debates, if I have, somebody send me my trophy.

          • cubtex

            I believe I am undefeated in our debates. I already own the trophy :)

    • cubtex

      Tony shared what I would say. Feel free to add to the site. Sometimes we all get a little out of control because the regulars post a lot. It happens. We are all passionate fans. Add your thoughts. The more the better.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I don’t think you have read the posts today with the real heart that the posters
      wrote them. Everyone on this site is a friend. I think that any regular poster here
      would be glad to attend a game and sit with any other poster here, and they would
      have a great time together. Whatever banter is on this site is between friends.

      I think you should join the conversation, but join it understanding that every person on
      here is a true Cubs’ fan, and post your thoughts with the understanding that, though
      some may disagree with you, everyone here likes you.

      • cubtex

        I told you Rip. Round Rock Express vs Iowa Cubs followed by Salt Lick BBQ which is walking distance from the Dell Diamond on me!

        • Tony_Hall

          My bet is you get to the Chicago area, a lot more then Rip and I get to Texas.

          Kane County at Beloit, tickets on Rip, Pepsi’s on me. I’d even buy Bryan a Pepsi if he wanted to join us.

          • cubtex

            Let me know the dates and let’s see if we can make that happen. I would enjoy that.

          • Tony_Hall

            May 12th-14th
            June 27th-30th
            August 21st-23rd

            If none of those will work, we can look at Kane County’s home schedule, which would obviously offer more dates. Plus, it is a much nicer facility.

          • cubtex

            Would have to be June or August. Let’s talk about it next year

        • Ripsnorter1

          I’m going to make it down to Texas this summer, and
          I’ll take you up on it! : )

          • cubtex

            Please let me know

      • daverj

        Well said. I typically agree more with Tony than Rip or Cubtex, but I like the back and forth. If you don’t like it, skip those posts.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Now they are saying Tigers are first in line for Choo.

    • cubtex

      I heard that. I shouldn’t have jumped on Dombrowski after the Fister deal. He is one of the best in the business. Choo, Kinsler and Joe Nathan minus Fielder and Fister. They are better if that happens.

      • Tony_Hall

        So you can take into account what else a trade does for a team, versus just the return? Just checking, because I used that logic when Garza was traded to the Cubs, opening up a spot for Hellickson…..oh please close that can of worms :) FAST

        • cubtex

          The difference was that the Rays weren’t in a rush to clear salary to sign a free agent before another team did. The Rays wanted to get rid of Garza(just like Price) before they get expensive. By the way.,,,how does your boy Jeremy Hellickson look these days?

          • Tony_Hall

            I said close that can :)

            Hellickson had a down year, but is still just 26 years old. His XFIP was actually lower in 2013 then 2011 or 2012, his k rate was up and his BB rate was down. What was worse was his BABIP, that jumped from 223 to 261 to 307 in 2013.

          • cubtex

            I believe he was either the worst or 2nd worst starter in baseball. Pitchers like Garza who has had a sub 4 era for x amount of years in a row are rare. Garza will have a much better career than Hellickson

          • Ripsnorter1

            Let’s talk James Russell.

            What’s to love here? His 2nd half OPS vs RHB = 1.365!

            He should never face a RHB for the rest of his life.

          • cubtex

            Trade him

          • Tony_Hall

            I say use him smarter. If they use him as mainly a loogy, and don’t pitch him so much, he will be more effective.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Worse than Edwin Jackson????

            Actually, yes.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Check those stats on Fowler: 8 of his 12 taters were hit in April.

          Loves the fastball.
          Cannot hit the curve.

          I love Cubtex, but he is somehow infatuated with these
          Michael Bourn types that cannot hit for average or for power, but
          can steal a base…..sometimes. Fowler only had 19 SB in 2013.

          One thing is for sure: he won’t be starting for the Yankees.
          They only want top shelf talent.

          • cubtex

            Lol

  • daverj

    I think the Cubs missed out on a couple good opportunities by not trading for Fowler and Fister the past two days. I would have liked to see both of them in a Cub uniform and the prices (in trading pieces) were not high.

    • cubtex

      Totally agree. Both would be upgrades and locked up for a couple of years.