The Daily Tanaka and Other Cubs News, Notes and Rumors

Weekend Update

It is the final Sunday of the year, 2014 is just around the corner. MLB teams will get back to work this week and it could be rather busy end of the year.

The talk and focus around the game continues to be Masahiro Tanaka and where he will end up pitching in the upcoming season. A couple of new teams entered The Tanaka Sweepstakes on Saturday while the Toronto Blue Jays might not offer a six or seven-year deal that many feel it will take to sign him. The Twins will be part of the Tanaka process according to a report from Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com in Minneapolis. As Wolfson reported, many teams are interested in Tanaka under the new posting system and soon it will be easier to name the teams not involved in the process than those that have submitted the paperwork to MLB and NPB they are willing to pay the $20 million release fee. With all of the teams that have jumped into the process, it would be interesting to know how many of them actually spent the time scouting Masahiro Tanaka over the last two seasons preparing for him to be posted.

Jed Hoyer, Theo Epstein and Jason McLeod are on record stating the Cubs have scouted Masahiro Tanaka and have done all of their due diligence on him.

The Cubs, Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, Mariners, Astros, Red Sox, Twins, Braves, Rangers, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Giants have been connected to Masahiro Tanaka. And multiple teams have reportedly contacted Casey Close about his client. Now the question becomes, which team will make the first offer to get the process moving? Teams have until Jan. 24 to sign Masahiro Tanaka to a contract.

The L.A. Times and Ken Rosenthal addressed the report from Japan that surfaced on Thursday that Masahiro Tanaka plans on “giving back” to the Rakuten Golden Eagles with financial support and donations. Tanaka told the Japanese media he is going to “help” update Rakuten’s facilities and stadium “to make sure the Eagles are a team the Tohoku fans continue to love.”

Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez reported Friday night “the commissioner’s office is expected to review the winning bid to ensure his Japanese club does not get more than the $20 million promised under a new agreement between Major League Baseball and its Japanese counterpart.”

MLB spokesman, Pat Courtney told the LA Times, “The agreement between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball expressly prohibits a Japanese club from getting any value other than the so-called posting fee, directly or indirectly, including through the player.”

MLB will enforce the new rules of the posting agreement. And according to the report, Casey Close has not responded to the Japanese reports of Tanaka plans to give back to Rakuten to help his team. Shaikin added to his report on Twitter and said MLB’s main concern is that a team will try to circumvent the posting process in order to sign Tanaka.

Ken Rosenthal reported there is a concern teams will find loopholes in the new agreement and “back-channeling” is “the biggest concern under the new agreement.”

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija spoke with Patrick Mooney last week about his future with the Cubs, trade rumors and that he is tired of the quote-unquote rebuilding word. Samardzija wants to stay and win with the Cubs. But Samardzija was back in the rumor mill on Thursday thanks to a report from Rock Kubatko.

Samardzija’s future with the Cubs could be tied to the front office being able to sign Masahiro Tanaka according to Bruce Levine. Signing Tanaka would accelerate the building process and would send a message to Samardzija that the front office is trying to win games. Plus an Opening Day rotation of Samardzija, Tanaka, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta would look pretty good on paper.

Roster Moves

The Cubs announced the signing of Jose Veras on Friday to a one-year contract. The addition of Veras puts the Cubs’ 40-man roster at 40 players. The front office will have to make a roster move to add any more players to the Major League roster this off-season.

The Cubs’ claimed RHP Brett Marshall off waivers from the Yankees last Monday and lost RHP Liam Hendriks on waivers to the Orioles.

News, Notes and Rumors

Javier Baez will be ranked among the top five prospects in the game on Baseball Prospectus’ 101 Top Prospects of 2014 and three of the top players in the Cubs’ system will be ranked in the top 25. Jason Parks indicated on Saturday that as of now the Cubs will have seven prospects in BP’s Top 101 for 2014.

RHP Jesse Crain is on the Cubs’ radar. According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs have checked his medicals and would like to sign the veteran reliever to a one-year contract. Crain would provide veteran leadership and another reliable arm in the pen, if he is healthy. And the Cubs would be able to flip a healthy Crain prior to July’s deadline.

According to multiple reports, the Cubs were one of the teams interested in signing Korean RHP Suk-Min Yoon. Yoon spent time in the states working out for teams before returning home last Saturday without a contract. Yoon is represented by Scott Boras and he is trying to find a team for his client.

The 29th Annual Cubs Convention (Jan. 17-Jan. 19) begins in just 19 days. This year’s convention pass features a photo of Wrigley Field with the caption “The Party of the Century Celebrating 100 Years of Wrigley.” Wonder what will be the two main topics of conversation that weekend?

According to Jim Bowden, the best comp for Masahiro Tanaka is Dan Haren from 2006-2011 due to Haren’s “great command and a 70 split” during those seasons. And Peter Gammons tweeted a quote from Bobby Valentine that Tanaka has the best splitter in the world. Baseball America also labeled Tanaka’s splitter (forkball) as the best in the world.

Peter Gammons reminded those that follow him on Twitter that when Theo Epstein took a “break” in Boston, Rakuten contacted Epstein about doing consulting work for them.

Athlete charities are not always winners according to the Tribune.

Steve Clevenger is ready to compete for a job to back-up Matt Wieters according to Roch Kobatko. Clevenger was sent to Baltimore, along with Scott Feldman, in the deal the Cubs acquired Pedro Strop and Jake Arrieta.

Cubs’ pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 13, 46 days, and the first Cactus League game at Cubs Park against the Diamondbacks is Feb. 27. So only 60 days until there is baseball again.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

Share on Fancred
  • Josh Man

    Happy birthday to my birthday twin, Theo! I am excited about the future, even though the losing has gotten tiresome, the winning that I believe is coming will more than make up for it. Here’s hoping Theo and I get a belated birthday gift in the form of Tanaka signing with the Cubs and a Shark extension to go with it! Of course for my actual birthday, I want an NFC Championship for Da Bears!

    Thank you Neil and all the CCO posters for playing a part in making this latest year of my life a good one even with the 90 plus Cubs losses. Here’s to a better year this year in everything, especially the Cubbies’ record!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Cutler is 1-9 vs the Packers. Talk about futility….

      It says right here he throws 3 interceptions and loses the game today.
      And yes, I am a Bears’ fan. It’s just that Cutler always chokes on the big games.

      • raymondrobertkoenig

        Unfortunately, I agree. Cutler will play poorly again and he’ll leave the game with an injury again.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I don’t want people hurt, but the truth is this:
          if he leaves the game soon enough, it gives us a chance to win.

          • cubtex

            Have you forgotten about that weak a## defense the Bears have? Josh McCown is having a stretch like Casey Coleman did during a September callup. Cutler is the better qb by far.

          • Tony_Hall

            Something we agree on.

          • cubtex

            Bears Defense is disgusting!

          • GaryLeeT

            and don’t forget the special teams. Holding, or a block in the back, is pretty much the norm, on any given kick return. Especially on a big one.

          • GaryLeeT

            Physically, but not mentally. Every QB makes mistakes, but Cutler’s are always devastating, and demoralizing. McCown has only 2 turnovers this year, and a better feel for pocket pressure.

          • cubtex

            alot of the lack of turnovers from McCown is luck. He has made several ill advised passes that very easily could have been turnovers. Bears have such great receivers that they can make a lot of qb’s look great.

          • Ripsnorter1

            If they can make a lot of QBs look great, then they could make Cutler look great as well.

          • cubtex

            The Bears receivers are incredible. Lets hope the offensive line give Cutler plenty of time.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I agree as well. Cutler has a better arm and is more athletic. Who cares if he doesn’t have a cuddly personality? Barry Bonds was a douche and he was awesome.

          • cubtex

            look at that. we agree and Tony and I agree on a couple of issues today. Mark it on your calender.

          • Ripsnorter1

            No, I haven’t forgotten. But who has the hot hand? McCown is the #1 rated passer in the NFL
            (Total Passer Rating). 85.1

            http://espn.go.com/nfl/qbr

            Question: How does Cutler rate?
            Answer: 63.8, #8 in NFL.

            How does he do in big games?
            Always the same: he chokes.

          • cubtex

            You would really want to risk the entire season on a guy who was a school teacher 2 years ago? I understand he has played very well the 4 games he started. They were 2-2 in those 4 games. They probably would have been 1-3 in those games if Rodgers hadn’t gotten hurt in the 1st game. Will Cutler win the game today and play well? Who knows…but I would rather see if he can do it than McCown.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You are getting your wish. I hope they win.

          • cubtex

            It will be nice to make the playoffs but this team is not good. They are a 1 and down playoff team(if they make it)

          • Ripsnorter1

            If they don’t make it, I will have to listen to the Packer fans cackle for a whole year.
            That’s worse than one and done, imo.

          • cubtex

            agreed. My daughter just got engaged to a “cheesehead” It’s always great to make the playoffs in any sport. Bulls,Bears,Hawks and of course the Cubs. It seems like ages ago the last time the Cubs were there.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree, and have removed the Cubs from my “bucket list”:)

          • cubtex

            did you see the example I gave to John about our sons and playing college athletics?

      • cubtex

        Cutler is now 1-10 but that wasn’t on him. He played a very solid game. Defense is the worst D in the league. Absolutely Pathetic!

        • Ripsnorter1

          Now what?

          Re-sign Cutler to long term contract? Franchise tag him? Can’t let him walk,

          can we?

          I know everyone would have laughed at me, but I would have went to
          Lovie, told him, “I have to have an offense. Please stay as Defensive
          Coordinator. You’re the best there is.” And I would have signed Marc Trestman.

          The money already spent on Lovie would not have been wasted, and you would
          have had a better D than this mess. Impossible situation the way they played it.

          And now another year wasted. The Chicago Cubs, er, Chicago Bears continue to
          stag along.

          • Tony_Hall

            Lovie would have never said yes to being demoted. That is not reality, that is fantasy. The mess on the defensive side of the ball is from an old defense that lost way too many key players.

        • Ripsnorter1

          670 the Score radio, three weeks ago when the Bears landed in first place.
          A caller says, “Well, the Bears will lose against the Eagles, it will all come down
          to the last game against the Packers, and we will lose everything to them in Chicago.”

          The announcers scoffed at the caller, saying, “Yeah, you must be a Cubs’ fan, aren’t you?”
          He was. But you know what else?

          THE CALLER LIVES IN REALITY.

          I want to know who scoffs at the announcers?

          This loss absolutely stinks.

    • cubtex

      Happy B Day. Hopefully you are not tearing down your long term assets with short term assets at your nest egg like your birthday twin. The winning is coming. 2017 or later!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Happy Birthday!

    • Josh Man

      Didn’t mean to start a huge Bears discussion, still
      Haven’t gotten over that ending. But thanks for all the B-day wishes, and Let’s Go Cubs!

  • Brp921

    What would the Commissioner’s office determine a “loophole” or “back channel” to be? What if a team signed Tanaka and gave him a 50 million dollar signing bonus along with a little lower average salary, than has been predicted and he donated it to his old team, or even the same bonus along with the $’s predicted? Will the Commissioner’s Office now be determining how individual players can spend their money?

    • Ripsnorter1

      I agree. UNLESS the contract specifically indicates that the signing player
      may not give any money to his previous employer.

      And I think they should do that.

      • Brp921

        I don’t agree with the posting fees either, but if that’s what it takes and the Cubs don’t do it then someone else probably will.

        • Tony_Hall

          Let’s reverse it then and see what you think.

          What if Rakuten wanted to sign Jeff Samardzija and Jeff wanted to go there to play? Would it be ok for Rakuten to sign Samardzija and give nothing to the Cubs?

          • Brp921

            In a word yes. I wouldn’t be happy. But it’s a free market.

          • Tony_Hall

            But it is not, Samardzija is under team control for 2 more years.

          • Brp921

            True and I’m not up on international law and/or the agreements between the two leagues of what the consequences would be, I just dislike having to pay the Japanese teams and the player. If there was no agreement I think the Japanese players would still want to play here and would pay to buy out their contracts in Japan.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not sure any team (MLB or NPB) would allow a player to buy out their contract. No team has to pay a posting fee, if all players waited until they were free agents.
            The agreement between the 2 leagues is the posting system.

  • Tony_Hall

    After reading this this morning, I wrote this out as a way to give the Cubs an advantage in signing Tanaka, similar to what I have said in general about the Cubs signing Tanaka.

    Let’s say the contract ends up being 7/155, just over $22M/year. Here is how I would do it, to put it over the top.

    Signing bonus $40M (plus $20M posting fee)
    Annual salary of $16M over 7 years.

    Now that’s a lot of money, but how much more would a team have to pay if they had to do it on a yearly basis? I would say a bunch, as this would pay Tanaka $56M the first year. Do the Cubs have it? I would say yes. They haven’t been spending every dollar in their pocket like a…..let’s just skip the comparison today, but they have it. If they don’t have it in a Cubs account, we know the Ricketts could figure it out. This would also not make the salary as big of a deal moving forward, especially if he performs at least like a 2/3, let alone if a 1/2.

    As I was catching up on other sites articles over the last 2 days this morning, I saw a similar idea, but at much lower numbers, that I don’t think makes as big of a difference. But if this is the Cubs offer, the question is, when to make it. Well not early that is for sure. This is the type of offer you make, more near the end when the decision has to be made and when other teams have less time to figure out how to make it work. To me that is how the Cubs can sign Tanaka, and not have it effect the Cubs future payroll flexibility, all the while using cash they should have from the last few years of cutting payrolls and from 2014’s payroll as they have so little committed.

    • cc002600

      exactly. not too mention, if the yankees or dodgers want to match that, they will have to ante that up PLUS the luxury tax, which is 50% of any amount that is over the payroll threshold (189M). That blows them out of the water, IMO.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      In all seriousness, why would a pitcher like Tanaka, a player who wants to win now, take the Cubs over everyone else?………even if Theo had the highest bid, I doubt very much that Tanaka would come here…….this Cubs team lacks hitting…..it has not won nothing in 105 years, three straight 90 loss seasons……..Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox Giants all have more to offer………if the Cubs were in the playoffs in the last several years, then “yes”, I would say Cubs have a real good shot at Tanaka…….listen what Shark said about the Cubs…..tired of rebuilding…..Tanaka may not want to be in a rebuilding process……he is looking for a team missing that one “last piece” to the puzzle to be a World Series team…….the Cubs is a puzzle that need many pieces to win……..LF, CF, RF, 3B, 2B are all positions that need work on……..that is more half of your lineup.
      Would be great if Tanaka signs with the Cubs, but don’t count on it.

      • cubtex

        Your logic is deafening. I am on Tanaka overload. I hope he signs quickly(probably won’t happen) so we can all move on.

      • cubtex

        And Rakuten was 82-59 this year and finished in 1st place. It is hard to go from that to a team 20 games below .500

      • Cubbiemacg

        There its no report saying he wants to win, stop making things up your worse than fox news. He only said he wanted to play in America for better competition sand he knows he will get three times the salary he could have gotten in Japan

        • Cubbiemacg

          He also has said in reports they he wants to be be asst the top of rotation

        • cubtex

          Put it this way….If you have a choice and the money is comparable..who would every professional athlete rather play for? BTW. You should listen to Fox news more often.

          • John_CC

            BTW, why would tell someone here they should listen to Fox “News”?

            I’m sure Tanaka and Close will not openly accept the fact that there will be learning curve, learning the MLB grind, the travel, dealing with the fact that you are not nearly as dominant here as you were last year in Japan…it takes a season. It is fair to expect Tanaka will not be as great as advertised next year but year two he could begin to dominate, ala Darvish.

            He is 25 years old. The Cubs are essentially a 25 year old club with all the younger guys coming very soon. By Tananka’s second season, 2015, he will really start to make a difference on a young team that will just be coming into it’s own. Try to remember when you 25. I had some friends in their 40s but also remember not really knowing if they were 38 or 48.

          • cubtex

            read his comment to see why I said what I did.

            I don’t care if you are 25, 20, or 35.
            Paul can relate to this example since his son played college football. My son had several scholarship offers at D1 schools to run cross country and track a couple of years ago. He had options of going to rebuilding programs or winning programs. What do you think he chose or most athletes would choose? I am not saying all would….but definitely the majority would go to a winning program.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree again. Actually 4 div I programs. 2 sons and two grandkids and a total of 5 bowl games.

          • cubtex

            very impressive! A lot of talent in that Catanese family!

          • paulcatanese

            Thanks, and another coming along. 16 yrs old 6’2″ 175 soph at a div 1 high football program.
            QB 22 tds passing and 18 rushing the first two years.

          • SuzyS

            Lots to be proud of, Paul…I’m happy for you.

          • cubtex

            My track guy is 5’8 135 with not an ounce of fat on him. Slightly different frames :)

          • paulcatanese

            Hey, any of these could not run with you’re son. A special breed, and indeed at div 1 on top of it.
            What will be interesting is the last grandson has to run track this spring (a prerequisite by the head coach) if not playing another sport. I watch the track team work out every day during football practice, they run their tails off.

          • John_CC

            This is not even close to the same situation. You’re argument doesn’t make sense.

          • cubtex

            Not close? Offers from several teams. Some good,Some exceptional and Some poor. Money is close. Who would you choose?

          • cc002600

            you are assuming the money will be the same. I think that is bad asumption. The cubs are going balls out for this guy, and if cubs offer big money, you really don’t think he would take it ? come on. Players go for the money many times over a winning team. Look no further than Cano.

          • cubtex

            I believe I have said that all along. Comparable offer with a playoff team…extremely slim chance. Blow other teams away like Seattle….welcome to Chicago.

          • cc002600

            Then why do you think the cubs have almost no chance to get this guy ? You really think they will be outbid ? I disagree. Yanks / Dodgers have some limtations that cubs don’t have – luxury tax and bloated payrolls. I think cubs have a real shot at this guy.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          If Tanaka does not want to win but to collect a big check………then I don’t want him on my club.

          • cc002600

            Please.

            Cano took the money and went to crap team. Would you want him ? gimme a break, There are millions of examples of guys taking the dough to go to a bad team.

        • Henry

          This is not a political web site. Some of us happen to like Fox news. Please refrain from using Fox as an example of making things up

          • John_CC

            Calm down Henry. He never said anything about politics, you are projecting and being defensive.

          • Henry

            Not a big deal. I just wanted to stop any further comments before it got out of hand.

      • John_CC

        The agent is more influential in this decision than usual. It is Close’s
        job to get the best contract for his player. If that contract is coming
        from the Cubs (which we have no reason to think it won’t, and some
        reasons to believe it will be) then it will be his job to educate his client on the team.

        Surely Mr. Close knows Epstein, knows his competence, understands his strategy, sees the building effort. Also Close understands much better than a player from Japan what the Chicago Cubs mean to MLB and the history of the game. He fully understands that the Cubs are finally committed to building a franchise and that within the time frame of Tanaka’s contract (assuming its 6-8 years) the Cubs will be fielding young, exciting, competitive teams. He also knows like everyone in baseball, that when the Cubs finally make it to the Series it will be the biggest deal in ALL of the sporting world.

        There are so many reasons and ways to see Tanaka making to the Cubs. I’m not saying he will, but I’m just sick of this completely simple logic that no young players would chose to sign a 6-8 year contract worth boat load of money with the Cubs. Your logic is simple and flawed. Because in pro sports, money talks. Agents earn on commission and will persuade their clients anyway they can.

        Tell me the last top FA that chose a lesser contract to go to one team rather than the other? Robbi Cano just went to a last place team rather than sign for less with the team he’s been with his entire career…and not just any team but the Almighty Yankees that are always going to be great! Think a few years back when Boras convinced Werth to go from a championship team to a last place team…how did that happen?

        • cubtex

          the only points that you made that matter are the Cano and Werth examples. Money does talk and the Cubs will have to BLOW the playoff bound teams away to win the Tanaka bidding.

          • John_CC

            I’m glad you got it, that was the main point!

    • cubtex

      If Ricketts can figure out how to pay out 56 mil in additional salary for 2014….the team has a ton of holes to fill in other areas. I would rather re-sign Garza and sign Jiminez and still have another 20 mil left for a power hitting outfielder.

      • Tony_Hall

        Maybe you don’t understand then, your $56M would be followed by another $56M next year and very likely the year after. This is front loading the contract because they can. They have said they would be in on Tanaka, even under the old system. Do you think they didn’t prepare for this by having the cash needed to post a large bid?

        It is just an example of how the Cubs could win the in bid, even if they bid the same total value in dollars as someone else.

        • cubtex

          Dumb. 56 mil for 1 player for 2 years in a row? If you are the Yankees and will have a 200 mil payroll….OK. but not on a 90 mil payroll team for the next 2 years.

          • Tony_Hall

            What? Where do you see $56M for one player 2 years in a row?

          • cubtex

            Excuse me. 3 years in a row you are saying

          • Tony_Hall

            The $56M, maybe 3 years in a row is in your example of signing Garza, Jiminez and an OF. My example on Tanaka is $16M in years 2-7, which still gives payroll flexibility to the Cubs.

          • cubtex

            I know what you are saying. I don’t agree with it.

          • Tony_Hall

            Then why did you say 56 mil for 1 player 2 years in a row?

          • cubtex

            That is the number you used.It is the same as paying EJAX 19 mil this year.

          • Tony_Hall

            Where did the 2 years and then in the next post 3 years for one player come from? That is what I don’t understand.

          • cubtex

            your post.

            Maybe you don’t understand then, your $56M would be followed by another $56M next year and very likely the year after.

          • Tony_Hall

            Oh my, why did you think it was for just one player?

          • cubtex

            off to church! Go Bears but I am not very confident :)

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      I agree…they have it, yet I am repeatedly scolded when mentioning they are not spending, and the reasons given are not just that we are rebuilding, but that Ricketts has a ton of debt and we are investing in the stadiums, etc etc…

      So if they do this, it seems a bit contradictory.
      No idea if he is worth that money, but I would like to see them get him, as I believe it will accelerate their plan to get competitive, as you don’t give away a king’s ransom just to have a guy be an Ace on a horrible team.

      • cubtex

        Exactly. They are crying poor and that is why they are not improving the product on the field but then (with Tony’s scenario) come up with 56 mil upfront for 2014?

        • SuzyS

          Cubtex, et al…The rebuild is not going on forever. This is the pivotal year where a lot will be sorted out…Does 3rd get settled with Olt/Villanueva/Bryant???
          What pitchers emerge as viable candidates going forward?
          Can EJAX improve enough to be flipped or counted on. Can Arrieta find consistancy?
          Do Bryant/Baez/Almora/Alcantra/Soler advance and become relevant to the mlb picture.
          What about Rizzo/Castro??? Etc.
          What about peripheral talent…ie Vitters/BJAX/Szczur/Ha etc.Can they add value?…and either join the mlb club or be traded for pieces that can.
          Adding Tanaka to the talent pool would be the first signal that the Cubs are getting ready to compete.
          Other large FA signings wo0uld not really make sense until the answers to some of the questions become apparent.

          • Tony_Hall

            I think overpaying to get Tanaka is actually worth it, since he is 25

            What would Kershaw, Verlander, etc have been paid if free agents at 25?

          • SuzyS

            I’m in agreement. Tanaka fits right into the plan…if we could land him.
            Theo and Hoyer are on record saying that they don’t believe you can build a championship rotation in one season…This would be a good start.
            That being said…even if we make the best offer…there’s so

            many others interested, we might not land him.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree they may not land him, as all 30 teams would like to have a 25 year old pitcher with his record.

          • cubtex

            2 agreements in one day.

          • Tony_Hall

            Technically a third, but I try to not even go near politics on here :)

          • cubtex

            I know. I couldn’t help myself on that one :)

          • paulcatanese

            Those two would command a ton. But not really a fair comparison. Kershaw and Verlander if free agents at that age, would have had a track record in the majors and Tanaka does not. That would have been the only difference though.

          • Tony_Hall

            That’s kind of my point, we would be talking $30 and $35M as numbers instead of $20M range.

          • cubtex

            Almora is 19 and hasn’t played beyond Kane County. Soler has only played A ball. Kris Bryant has only played A ball. Olt had a terrible year in AAA due to his concussion and vision issues. Baez needs to become more polished defensively.
            What I am saying is that this is not a pivotal year. The only prospect that I see that could be brought up as a potential “core” piece is Baez. Bryant possibly if he crushes AA pitching like Castro did years ago.
            And…..It isn’t just about FA signings. It is about making trades to add quality players for longer than 1/2 a season.

          • SuzyS

            Well, I guess we disagree once again.
            If you read my post, basically I said it was a pivotal year to see how our key prospects progress, (or not…ala BJAX/Vitters).

            I’m in a agreement with you that it is time to start making trades to add quality players that will be part of the team for awhile.

            This year should provide us with more clear cut answers as to who are keepers and who is basically trade bait to fill needs with.

            IE…if Baez improves defensively…Alcantra advances…Olt settles in and performs at 3rd…while Castro returns to the 200 hit level…2015 has several options:
            Olt/Villanueva/Bryant at 3rd
            Alcantra/Baez/Castro at 2nd
            Castro/Baez at ss

            Depending on 2014 performance…someone could be traded in a package for mlb pitching or catcher.

            So it IS pivotal in determining who will be with the team as the Cubs return to competitiveness..

          • cubtex

            What I was mostly pointing out are the top 4. Is it pivotal if they advance to AA and kick butt? Almora is 19. Soler is years away imo. If they struggle does it change the direction or plan? Nope…no bearing. Is it pivotal if Baez struggles if brought up in June or July? Will they give up on him? Nope again. We are at the same stage that this team was last year. Trades for prospects at the trade deadline and another high draft pick for 2015.

          • SuzyS

            OK, I see your point…however, I view it with different glasses.

            As the prospects approach the mlb team and start filtering in. I see Theo and Jed begin to make trades…not with an eye for flipping…but for complementing and aiding in the development of the prospects.
            Everyone was clamoring for quality veteran presences to be aided through FA this season.
            But it is just a tad too early until we see which prospects break through to see where we are truly going to need help…cost efficiently.
            The guys that might have helped the most this off season are getting ridiculous contracts in terms of both $$$ and years.
            When we do dip into FA…I want to see guys that can really make a difference with what we already have….It’s nopt there yet….with the exception of a possible Tanaka signing.

          • cubtex

            Vitters and BJax are not looked as top prospects anymore. I don’t think the FO considers either one future starters.

          • SuzyS

            Read my post again…I never said that.

      • Tony_Hall

        They are not going to go out and sign a 30 something FA to a 7 year huge contract. That just doesn’t make sense, but a 25 year old, yes. The money in my scenario is very logical, because they already were prepared to do this under the previous posting system, that just changed.

        My belief is that Theo has not been spending every dollar of his budget the last 2 years in a constant preparation to have a need for a posting fee.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Any team willing to give Tanaka big time $$$$$, will not care about a luxury tax.

    • GaryLeeT

      Some are much higher than others, but every team does have a limit. The Yanks have to pay 140% of their offer to Tanaka. That’s beyond staggering, and I think they will have to pay a good chunk of ARods salary too. The Dodgers have a one Clayton Kershaw to pay, and I am thinking it will be close to 30 mil per. Tanaka would put them into the luxury tax, so they have to pay 122.5% of his salary. And don’t forget that California, and New York hit pro athletes with higher taxes than most other States. .

  • Dorasaga

    A Cubs historical party? None will do much without the presence of Phil Cavarretta.

    The initial-R owner and his PR commando might as well rename this a “Wrigley Celebrates One More Fruitless Century: We Only Care About 1969 And Death To October Baseball.”

    God saved Phil’s lonely soul. Pray for the Cubs be saved from its sin of no respect to its own history.

  • endy

    The cubs have to sell an opt out in 3-4 years and the projected roster in 2015-2016, payroll, business plan, vs yanks/dodgers. Also first year has usually been an adjustment for players.

    The potential 2016 lineup is exciting…and the 2014 draft should land a top college arm.

    I hate waiting, but now much else we can do

  • cubtex

    This was brought up by Nick Cafardo but one of the teams that should be all over Tanaka is the Red Sox. They will be searching for a lot of pitcing in the next couple of years. Lester,Lackey Peavy and Dempster are all aging. Buchholtz can’t be counted on. Tanaka makes a ton of sense for them.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yup.

    • SuzyS

      I’ve thought they would make a strong bid as well….But the RS are keeping it mum.
      Only makes sense.

  • cubtex

    How did Ripsnorter miss this one??? Chris Volstad has been released by the Angels to allow him to go overseas and pitch in Korea.
    There has been more buzz in Korea about what Volstad can do for Korean baseball than Tanaka coming to the US. Korean teams are ready to go “All In” for Volstad. He is still only 27 and many baseball experts are thinking it could get into an all out bidding war with several Korean teams. It will be interesting to follow the Volstad saga :)

    • SuzyS

      mmmm…roasted dog!!!

      • paulcatanese

        Poodle to be exact. Years back my daughter pitched for the State of California on a Far East trip, and it was served at a state dinner over there.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I saw that, but my stomach could not stand the excitement of it all; therefore,
      I did not post anything about it.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    been quiet for the last eight hours….no NEW Tanaka or Samardzija rumors.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Good game for Cutler. Bear’s d’ still sucks.

    • Bryan

      Watching the game you just sensed that the Bears defense would fold…yet again. The secondary was truly atrocious today.

  • Pingback: The Daily Tanaka: MLB Asks Rakuten for Written Assurance No Side Deal Exists with Masahiro Tanaka - Chicago Cubs Online()

  • Pingback: The Daily Tanaka and Other Cubs News, Notes and Rumors - Cubs Chronicles()