Rakuten Officially Announces Masahiro Tanaka Will Be Posted, Cubs Expected To Be All In On Tanaka

The Rakuten Golden Eagles’ team president Yozo Tachibana ended all speculation about Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday night. During a press conference, Tachibana announced the team would post Tanaka and make him available to sign with a big league team this winter.

Negotiations with Masahiro Tanaka, by the teams willing to pay $20 million to negotiate a contract with him, are expected to start on Thursday. An announcement has not been made on which agent will represent him during the negotiations. Casey Close, Arn Tellem, Mark Pieper and Scott Boras are reportedly in the running to be Tanaka’s agent. And one of those agents is in line for another big payday.

Early estimates are the team that signs Masahiro Tanaka will be paying around $120 million over the next six or seven years, plus the $20 million release fee, for him to pitch at the top of their rotation. The 25-year old right hander would be in his early 30s when the contract expires and if he pitches to expectations could be looking at another large contract.

Teams that commit to paying the $20 million posting fee have 30 days to negotiate and sign Masahiro Tanaka to a contract.

Masahiro Tanaka owns a 99-35 record in seven seasons with Rakuten. In 1315 innings, Tanaka has allowed 1182 hits and 275 walks while striking out 1238 batters (2.30 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP). Tanaka led his team to a Japan Series title last season after going 24-0 in 28 games, 27 starts, with a 1.27 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP (183 strikeouts, 32 walks, 168 hits allowed in 212 innings).

As previously reported, the Cubs are expected to “be all in” on Masahiro Tanaka according to Bruce Levine and David Kaplan. The Yankees, Angels, Diamondbacks and Dodgers are also expected to be all in on him as well. Kaplan reported he spoke with a MLB source on Tuesday that told him the Cubs will “not be outbid” on Tanaka, but “convincing Tanaka to come to Chicago will be hard.” The same source told Kaplan he is not sure Tanaka would turn down either the Yankees or the Dodgers.

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  • SuzyS

    Merry Christmas to all at the CCO…May you have a blessed day.

    • Scott McMeekan

      Merry Christmas Suzy, and all! I don’t know much about Tanaka, but if he’s as good as they say I’m glad to hear Ricketts is willing to pay for the cornerstone of our future rotation.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you Suzy … Merry Christmas to you as well.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Have a blessed Christmas one and all.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Merry Christmas to you and your family

      • Ripsnorter1

        Thanks so much, Neil, and right back at you. And
        we are praying that 2014 will be a great year for Neil & family as well.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tanaka: if the Cubs land him, there is absolutely no reason to trade the Shark.
    They will need to keep him and pay him.

    Then if Tanaka is as good as they think….
    #1 Tanaka
    #2 Shark
    #3 Wood
    #4 Ed Jackson
    #5 Arrieta

    They might as well buy Garza back, too. No sense in having this
    rotation. Then they could pitch Jackson/Arrieta on a rotating basis as their
    #5 starter.

    Jackson’s ERA with 6+ days of rest: 3.11. (His best ERA by far)
    Arrieta’s ERA with 6+ days of rest: 4.29 (His best ERA. 5.74 on regular rest).

    • Ripsnorter1

      One more thing: it would be foolish to sign Tanaka and not
      then solidify the rotation. Furthermore Team Theo would need
      to bring up Baez and Bryant whenever they are baseball ready, and
      forget about the Super Two status.

      In other words, it would be foolhardy to sign Tanaka and then
      not put a team on the field around him, imo.

      • SirGladiator

        Don’t forget, Japan’s #2 pitcher wants to be posted as well, and apparently he’s already MLB ready too. So I suspect after (or maybe before) we get Tanaka, we’ll get him too, and our rotation will be HUGELY improved.

      • GaryLeeT

        I am OK with Garza in the rotation, especially if he can pitch for the Cubs like he did for them last year. Baez might need a little more time, but Bryant has had 4 years of baseball post high school. He won college player of the year, then won about every accolade, and award that was available to him in the minors. He looks like he’s only a spring training away from being ready. .

      • Tony_Hall

        Merry Christmas Rip!

        They will be putting a team around him, but are not going to rush anyone to make it happen in April or May.

        They will also take note of Super 2 status if it means waiting a week or 2 longer.

      • cubtex

        Yep

        • Ripsnorter1

          It probably isn’t snowing in Texas, but it is here. It was 10 below zero on
          Saturday morning,

          Just bringing you this Christmas cheer in Austin. : )
          Here’s to you having a great 2014.

    • GaryLeeT

      I already stated on an earlier thread that if Tanaka is signed Samardzija will follow. He’s just waiting for a sign of hope, and I don’t blame him.

    • cubtex

      100% agree Rip!

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

    Merry Christmas and Happy Channukah, Kwanzaa, et al to all of my friends and fellow posters here at the CCO. And a special shout out to Neil and the other editorial contributors on this day to be grateful. This site is legendary and it’s probably not a stretch to say it has changed my life. Living in Oklahoma, having this site makes me feel clue’d in as if I were in the Windy City. Also, love getting to know all of my buddies on here. You all are a part of my life and I love being passionate for the Cubs together.

    • Ripsnorter1

      MLBTR says Samardzija now wants to stay with the Cubs.

      • Tony_Hall

        Samardzija has never said anything differently. Just reporters doing stories.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you very much. You are too kind. I hope you and your family have an excellent Christmas.

  • John_CC

    Happy Holidays all!

    The next few weeks should be fun. I hope that twitter doesn’t break the internet.

    I must say this will be a huge gamble. The 1300 innings could be an issue…?

    What do I know?

  • cubtex

    Merry Xmas Y’all! Casey Close represents Kershaw and Greinke. He got Greinke a 6 year 159 mil deal. Will he get Tanaka a bigger payday than that? My bet is another year at around 25 mil. 7 year at 175. Like I mentioned before and others today….if they go there they better put a more competitive team behind him. I agree to then hold onto Shark and go get Garza. You will be instantly better and could be playoff bound in 2015.

    • cubtex

      Of course that could also give the Dodgers the inside track if they want him as well.

      • BosephHeyden

        I was also thinking that when I saw it. He knows the Dodgers have money. He knows the Dodgers like to spend that money. And he knows they’ve spent that money on his guys. I would put LA just slightly ahead of New York as far as potential landing spots now.

    • GaryLeeT

      He represents Jeter, and Teixeira too. So it would seem like the Cubs are on the outside looking in. However, he does represent Vitters…..so we got that goin for us.

      • cubtex

        Lol. Just saw a report that Yankees are all in on Tanaka. Cubs will have to pull a Seattle if they want to win this player.

        • GaryLeeT

          Well, sometime shortly after Jan. 1st the ARod verdict comes in, and I believe that will have a fairly big effect on what the Yanks will do. I am hoping for only a 50 game suspension.

          • cubtex

            Yea. I have a feeling it will be at least 100 though

          • GaryLeeT

            That’s the sentiment, but technically, it would be his first offense, and the guidelines say 50 days. Plus, there is an appeal process to go through as well.

  • J Daniel

    only way Cubs get him is to way overpay!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Cubs could have him for 7 years, $250 million dollars.

      • Ripsnorter1

        And that would be a pure crap shoot, wouldn’t it? He hasn’t even
        1 IP of USA baseball behind him.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Just for fun I watched the August 19, 1965 Cubs get no hit for 10 IP by Jim Maloney of the Cincinnati Reds this morning.
    Maloney had to have thrown 200 pitches. He fanned 12, but walked 10! And it seemed that everyone who hit the ball, did it on a 3-2 count. It was incredible. He faced 40 batters. Sweet Swinging Billy, Ernie Banks, Santo, Ed Bailey, Kessinger and Beckert, and Larry Jackson was pitching.

    Pete Rose played 2B for the Reds. Deron Johnson at 3B. Frank Robinson in RF. What a lineup! What a game!
    And it was the first game of a double header. Lou Boudreau and Jack Brickhouse announcing, along with 1 commercial between innings!

  • Ripsnorter1

    1. Jeff Clement
    2. Adam Jones
    3. Chris Snelling
    4. Matt Tuiasosopo
    5. Asdrubal Cabrera
    6. Shin-Soo Choo
    7. Emiliano Fruto
    8. Clint Nageotte

    Who are these guys? These are the top 8 Baseball American prospects from 2006 for Seattle.
    What’s the point?

    The point is that of these 8, only 3 became MLB regulars.
    #1 Jeff Clement became a .218 hitting 1b/DH with no ML power.
    #2 Adam Jones smacked 33 taters in 2013.
    #3 Chris Snelling was a .244 hitting OF who went bust. Only 225 ML AB.
    #4 Matt Tuiasosopo–not a household name, eh? He finally got 164 AB in 2013 with the Tigers.
    He’s 27 now, a reserve of sorts, and not a big winner in the prospect game.
    #5 Asdrubal Cabrera–Indian’s everyday SS, hit .242 in 2013. MLB regular with some pop.

    #6 Choo–okay, he’s worth $130 million now.
    #7 Emiliano Fruto–another M.I.A. type. 36 IP in 2006, and out of baseball. 5.50 ERA.
    #8 Clint Nageotte–16 ML games. El Busto. He once had a 2.16 ERA in Rookie League. Wasn’t that good in major leagues, though, and he went bust as well.

    The point–“Don’t calculate the number of your juvenile poultry until the process of incubation has fully materialized.”

    • Tony_Hall

      There are also lists that have almost everyone becoming regulars. Not all teams are equal and not all prospects make it. But teams that invest in their farm system and player development, produce MLB players and they also do it from outside their Top 10 as well.

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