Cubs Reportedly Make Formal Offer to Masahiro Tanaka

According to multiple reports including one from Bruce Levine, the Cubs submitted a formal offer to Masahiro Tanaka. Bruce Levine added his sources are indicating the Cubs are “the lead team” for Tanaka as of Saturday.

The Japanese media is reporting Tanaka received at least five offers worth more than $100 million. The Cubs, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and White Sox are believed to be the five teams and the Angels are no longer in the running for Tanaka. Another report from Japan indicated the Diamondbacks offer is for six years and $120 million, plus the posting fee.

Theo Epstein stated during the Meet Cubs Baseball Management session on Saturday morning the Cubs are not done adding players to the roster this off-season. The Cubs are “always looking to add impact players at the right age.” The Cubs held back spending some of their budget this winter in case an opportunity presents itself to add impact talent. The front office will likely be able to rollover the earmarked payroll to next off-season if they are unable to use it this year.

The Cubs could not comment publicly on the ongoing negotiations with Masahiro Tanaka during the convention. Five members of the Cubs’ brass (Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Randy Bush and Rick Renteria are four of the five) met with Tanaka in Los Angeles and spelled out their vision for the Cubs and how he would fit in.

It was revealed during Saturday’s ‘Scouting and Player Development’ session at the convention, the Cubs have scouted Masahiro Tanaka extensively. Joe Bohringer first saw Tanaka in 2008 when Tanaka was just 19 years old and Bohringer worked for the Diamondbacks. The Cubs have “a book” on Tanaka.

There are a lot of teams interested in Tanaka. Theo Epstein said they have to wait to see how the process plays out and how it pans out for the Cubs. According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs are still a longshot to land Tanaka.

David Kaplan reported late Saturday night he spoke with a pair of scouts about the possibility of the Cubs signing Masahiro Tanaka. An AL scout told Kaplan “he believes the Cubs offer is very strong but still believes the state of the team will make it tough to land Tanaka.” Kaplan indicated Tanaka should make a decision by Tuesday or Wednesday so the team that agrees to terms with Tanaka has a chance to have their doctors perform a physical before finalizing the contract. The other scout Kaplan spoke with, one from the National League, “believes Tanaka is worth the risk and the Cubs are willing to spend huge” money to land him. But not being a contender “is a huge impediment.”

The deadline to sign Masahiro Tanaka is Friday, Jan 24 at 4:00pm CST.

For more on Masahiro Tanaka from the convention:

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  • raymondrobertkoenig

    I’ll predict 8 years at an AAV of 19 million.

    • JasonPen

      Ive heard reported from multiple sources, including yahoo sports, that the Cubs may of even outbid themselves. Reports are 8 years 200 million.

      • Tony_Hall

        I bet they are offering at least one if not two different times Tanaka could opt of his contract and become a FA if they are going 8 years.

        • JasonPen

          Now I’m seeing 7/160. Basically all over the place and no one really knows.

          • TheWrongGuy

            “…no one really knows.”

            This is the most correct part of any statement on the “Tanaka watch”

            Some may want him to be a Chicago Cub and some may not. The varying reports means no one knows anything. They all will support their favorite team regardless. We all must for the few days and see how it all turns out.

          • TheWrongGuy

            We all must *wait*…

            sorry my fingers are not the best at typing :)

  • GaryLeeT

    For the Cubs to land Tanaka the contract will have to be massively front loaded, with a relatively short period to get to an opt out year. That way, if Theo’s vision does not come to fruition, Tanaka can still get out of Dodge.

  • Tony_Hall

    Not a big fan of GDub as he paints the most negative view of the Cubs every chance he gets, but in his latest ripping he has a few paragraphs that I was surprised he allowed in his article. Mentioning how the biggest big market team did a rebuild in the 90’s similar to the Cubs. I guess it has been done before, and may I say very successfully.

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/25029402-419/so-far-ricketts-family-last-in-standings-among-cubs-owners.html

    “Edelman, an associate law professor specializing in sports-related fields at Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York, compared this stretch of Cubs history to the losing New York Yankees teams in the early ’90s that had Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Andy Pettitte developing into a core that would deliver six pennants and four championships in eight years.

    ‘‘There were similar concerns that the Yankees were tarnishing their brand equity based on performance and on-field record,’’ he said. ‘‘But if you look at the Yankees today, it is clear that the rebuilding strategy they took in the early 1990s ultimately led to a colossal increase in the franchise’s brand equity.’’”

    • GaryLeeT

      If the Cub’s trophy case was half as full as the Yankee’s, I would be the most patient fan in the world.

      • Tony_Hall

        LOL, I read Tom’s first and my reply to him is more fitting for you.

        I get the impatience, and would love to fast forward threw this, but past failures just should not change what a new ownership group and new front office do to bring this organization to what they envision. That is why so many fail. Someone just wrote an article on what the Royals and Blue Jays did, by going for it last year with trades of young good players for win it now type guys. They have maybe one more year to win with this group or it will be for nothing. Actually is will make them have to do what JH did and keep going for it.

      • John_CC

        That is such bologna Gary. Did you read the part about how the Yankees hadn’t even been to the playoffs in 14 years? The Cubs were in the NLCS 9 years ago.

        Say you were a 40 year old Yankees fan in 1994 and the last time they had made the playoffs was when you 25 years old. You are telling me that you wouldn’t care because they won back when you were a teenager? Come on!

        • GaryLeeT

          How many WORLD SERIES have the Cubs won in our lifetimes, and how many have the Yankees won? You are talking apples & oranges here. Come on John don’t just say something to contradict me for the sake of doing it. Take a closer look, and think it through.

    • Tom U

      in 1990, the Yankees were dead last in the AL East with the likes of Steve Sax, Steve Balboni, Mel Hall, Tim Leary, and Dave LaPoint.

      Williams joined the team in 1991, followed by Pettitte and Mariano Rivera in 1995, Jeter in 1996, and Posada in 1997.

      In the ’95 – ’96 seasons, the Yankees also made a decision to “go younger” in the acquisions, getting Tino Martinez (28), John Wetteland (29), along with Kenny Rogers and Dwight Gooden (both 31).

      1995 was the first playoff appearance for the Yankees in 14 seasons. They would make the playoffs the next 13 season and win the World Series 5 times.

      What is surprising (or maybe not so, when you think about it) is that it took three years of the Cubs’ present management team for a mainstream media member to actually realize this.

      • Tony_Hall

        And to think Yankee fans were ok with this time frame because they have already had many World Series trophies, is just not true.

        • GaryLeeT

          That’s what happens when you expect your team to win, instead of hoping it does. Do you think the Yankees have a slogan like “wait til next year”?

          • Tony_Hall

            Absolutely. But look at how their attendance figures dropped. Yet we all know and can see how they came roaring back.

            http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/yankatte.shtml

          • GaryLeeT

            They still drew close to 2 million a year. Down for the Yankees, I guess, but a damn good attendance total for a team that bad.

          • Tony_Hall

            I would say then that the support for the Cubs is much off the charts!

            2,642,682 in 2013

          • GaryLeeT

            Support? Insanity is more like it.

          • Tony_Hall

            I think I would call most Yankee fans insane.

          • SuzyS

            Actually, fan is short for fanatic.
            That makes us all fanatics…and basically nuts…lol.

          • GaryLeeT

            Hmmmm, I dunno. Verses the fan that sticks by its team even though it hasn’t won in over 100 years?

          • Tony_Hall

            Didn’t say anything about Cub fans, one way or another.

          • GaryLeeT

            Why are you telling me this?

          • Tony_Hall

            Hmmmm, I dunno, replying to your last post???

          • GaryLeeT

            That’s what I don’t understand. Why did you need to tell me you didn’t say anything about Cub fans, when I didn’t ask you to comment on them?

          • Tony_Hall

            Is there another team that hasn’t won in over 100 years that you were referencing?

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

          Yankee fans were outraged at the time much like some Cubs fans are now. In the long run the management turned out to be correct and they earned their paychecks. Much like. I believe the Cubs will soon.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        But the Yankees did have Don Mattingly during those down years !

  • Tony_Hall

    Teams could be concerned with Garza’s health – Matt Garza | TEX http://dlvr.it/4klYyR

    An American League executive told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that there “may be concerns about (Matt Garza) physically.”

    “There may be concerns about him physically,” the unnamed executive said. “I think most teams are thinking four or five years is just too risky, even if he’s a no-compensation guy.” Garza has a screw near his pitching elbow from an old injury and has made three trips to the DL in his career due to the elbow (most recently in 2012, when he missed over two months of action). He’ll latch on somewhere eventually but might not get the deal he entered the offseason thinking he’d receive. The Angels and Twins are two teams that are known to have interest. Jan 19 – 10:15 AM

    Source: Boston Globe

  • CubbyDenCritic

    When Tanaka signs with the Dodges or Yankees…….It will be time to make Bruce Levine Cubs reports as unreliable…………many other sources are saying the Cubs are “long shot” to get Tanaka.
    Why would “Star” pitcher want to sign with a last place team?……when he can get the same amount of money from a Playoff team!
    The only thing Chicago has over the other two baseball towns is we have better Pizza!

    • Tony_Hall

      Not me

    • BosephHeyden

      I wouldn’t say Levine is unreliable because of THIS. There’s plenty of other reasons to call him unreliable, though you can say the same about plenty of other writers, too. Tanaka is the one story where the only reporting you can rely on revolves around established facts. No reporter has an inside track here. Heck, Vegas switched the Cubs from 7:1 to 3:2 as far as getting Tanaka, and will likely change again.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Past couple of years, Levine was not even close to any of his made up rumors and reports…….has this guy have close Cubs connections?……I would say Wittenmeyer had breaking news on a few good Cubs reports…….but even Levine’s radio program is getting sad.

        • Tony_Hall

          Something we agree on.

          He was Jim Hendry’s guy to leak info. He is trying real hard to be relevant again, but I don’t trust much of anything he says.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I would think Cubs fans should arrive in Arizona early to see all the prospects play……after two weeks, most of the regulars will be playing.

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

      I think a lot of our top guys like Baez, Bryant and Alcantra will play right up to the end of spring training. Almora and Soler will probably go down earlier but the others are all guys that have a shot to be in Chicago this season, the brass wants to get a long look at them.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Have to see what happens, but you don’t like to expose too many weakness to scouts on your prospects if they are not going to make the team…….Bryant still has to work on his stroke……Baez his fielding……….I think maybe Almora could be more advance then most suspect.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Theo said he likes to give the ball to Shark to start the season………to me and most Cubs fans, I really think that Travis Wood earned that honor from last year’s performance………Shark will soon be “history” for this club……and Wood will be sticking around.

  • BosephHeyden

    I’ll preface this by saying I don’t buy the Cubs being the winning team in the Tanaka Bidding War

    of 2014, because there’s simply too much logic behind Tanaka choosing any of those other four teams versus choosing the Cubs, since those other four teams have shown the ability to strike and win the World Series in the past 30 years, whereas the Cubs have not.

    That being said, if the Cubs win the services of Tanaka (because signing Tanaka is a win), then it changes everything for the Cubs. Any players that have the capability of contributing to a winning team are going to show it, because that is the type of spark a guy like Tanaka can provide short term. Basically, this year would be the last year the Cubs would need to see who’s worth keeping around and who needs to be immediately replaced via the system or via free agency or trade.

    I’m not saying that the Cubs will win it all this season, or that the Cubs will even make the playoffs this season. Nor am I saying to rush the prospect development process (though, if guys who crush it in A Ball continue to crush it in Double A, skipping Triple A in favor of benefiting from said spark wouldn’t be a bad idea, even if it is just the last part of the season). But a big signing like Tanaka should motivate everyone else on the team to play at the best level they’re capable of playing, and would be ideal for this development process.

    And THAT being said, I fully expect Tanaka to go to the White Sox or D-Backs, just because it seems like they can spin some combination of “We want to win now, but we also are playing for the future, so here’s a huge chunk of our payroll in the meantime.” The Yankees and Dodgers can sell him on “Win Now” with a huge chunk of payroll, the Cubs can sell him on the plan and a huge chunk of payroll, but Arizona and the White Sox seem like they can give him present AND future while also making him incredibly rich in the process.

  • Tom U

    Javier Baez headlines the “Core Four” of Cubs prospects. http://atmlb.com/1dHtBaA

    • CubbyDenCritic

      I think Soler will slip out of that four and we will see Pierce Johnson slip in some time this year.

      • Bredstik

        How about they just add Pierce and make it a Core Five?

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

    What’s the Japanese community in Chicago like? I’m sure it isn’t like anywhere on the west coast but if that is such a factor where do we stack up?

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Chicago does not even measure up to West Coast Asia food let alone the Asian population and culture……….we are not even in the ball park.

  • cubtex

    Been out of town all weekend and see a story that Cubs are in lead for Tanaka :) more and more overload. I guess if you submit the earliest highest bid you are considered to be leaders. T minus 5 days and we can all move on. Personally, I really hope the Cubs don’t sign him because it will have to be a Cano situation stuck with a terrible contract that they will regret.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Don’t worry…..the deal will not happen……but I do worry about the state of mind that will happen over at Cubs Den……their writers will have a serious mental break down…..they all believe Tanaka will sign here.

      • cubtex

        Never go to that site. I read what that guys background is and that told me all I needed to know.

        • Tony_Hall

          Where did you find his background? It is not on his site.

          • cubtex

            He is just a fan is my point. He doesn’t have any baseball background whatsoever.

          • Tony_Hall

            You just discredited many blogs that do a tremendous job. You don’t have to have played to xyz level to be qualified to talk about baseball intelligently.

          • cubtex

            Neil lists current events and quotes baseball writers locally and nationally. He doesn’t jam his opinion down your throats and encourages friendly debate. Apples and oranges. That guy over there went to a few Cubs games as a kid and voices his opinion on what he believes is best for the current and future of the team. Go ahead and read that guy if you like but it is not worth my time.

          • Tony_Hall

            Neil does a tremendous job but so does John and Tom, Phil, Al, and many many more. They all have their own style and bring different types of Cubs info to everyone. Reading differing opinions is good.

            One question for you. If you never go to his site, how do you know how and what he writes about? I get the feeling you went there a few times and now are voicing your opinion on what you believe is how his site currently and in the future writes articles.

          • cubtex

            Lol. You and John have posted a couple of his nauseating links. Did you forget? Lol

          • Tony_Hall

            Not at all. It is exactly like I thought.

          • GaryLeeT

            I agree that John writes some good articles, but the Cubs Den comment section makes me want to puke.

          • Tony_Hall

            I very rarely read the comments sections on other sites.

          • GaryLeeT

            Then consider that time not wasted.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        And please stop with bashing John. If you don’t agree with him fine. But don’t put him down on here any longer. Your screen name is more than enough.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    If Tanaka is looking for a nice size Asian community, then San Francisco – Oakland area (265,000) or New York City (486,000) would be his pick…….Chicago has only 43,000 Asians……..even Los Angeles area has five times more Asians then Chicago has…plus Hollywood has Lucy Liu, Michele Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang…..Maybe Tanaka wants his wife to do Hollywood movies?

  • CubbyDenCritic

    My Quote of the Day……
    People who tell me that money is not everything in life……are the ones who have all the money in life.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Before we go wild over our Rookies….I like to remind everyone about the time how Mark Grace got hurt and his replacement came up and was hitting like Mickey Mantle ……..all the Cubs fans were high on this kid………but Ron Santo ended this kid’s Cubs future when he screamed out “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” in the 9th inning when the kid dropped an easy fly ball and three runs scored.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Why did you post this? C’mon man. Just because you don’t agree it does not mean you have to put it down or make fun of it as often as possible.