Cubs Will Reportedly Meet with Masahiro Tanaka This Week

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet’s Luke Stuckmeyer, the Cubs will meet with Masahiro Tanaka this week. Tanaka is also scheduled to meet with the White Sox and according to Stuckmeyer the meetings could take place in Chicago.

This is the first report of a team meeting with Masahiro Tanaka.

The Cubs are one of the teams many think will be in on Masahiro Tanaka until the end of the process. The Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, Mariners and Diamondbacks are thought to be the other teams with the heaviest interest in Tanaka. The White Sox are a new addition to The Masahiro Tanaka Sweepstakes.

During an interview on MLB Network Radio, Braves’ President John Schuerholtz said Atlanta did their due diligence on Tanaka but the Braves “are not in on him.”

The Yankees reportedly made initial contact with Tanaka’s agent, Casey Close, prior to the holidays but have not formally met with Masahiro Tanaka or made an offer. Teams are expected to find out this week what it will take to sign Masahiro Tanaka as well as what he is expecting from the team.

Speculation has been the negotiations with Masahiro Tanaka will start at $17-20 million per season and many think his contract will be around six years and more than $100 million, plus the $20 million release fee.

The bidding for Tanaka is expected to heat up this week and a quick resolution does not appear to be in the making. Casey Close should take the negotiations with the interested teams to the deadline on Jan. 24 … 17 days away.

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  • John G

    Does anyone think he’ll be recognized at the Starbucks in Lakeview?

    • paulcatanese

      Only if Starbucks offers raw donuts on seaweed:)

  • paulcatanese

    I figure only the Yankees, Dodgers, and the Cubs are the players here, and will end up that way at the end.
    Really don’t figure the White Sox in the mix.
    the Cubs will offer the most in dollars, but predict it will be the Dodgers in the end.

    • CubsfannearSeattle

      You don’t the Mariners will be in the mix? … Isn’t it like -30 degrees in Chicago right now? … Don’t know if that is the best time for the Cubs to try and convince Tanaka to come play for them. …. Maybe they should meet him down in Arizona when he visits the Dbacks. :)

      • Tony_Hall

        I think being the ACE of the staff he goes to is important to him. Seattle he would slot into 3rd and behind Iwakuma, something I don’t think he wants to do, be the 2nd best Japanese pitcher on a team. Plus Seattle needs ownership approval to exceed their budget.

        • SuzyS

          I’m pretty sure Theo is going to need Ricketts approval for a deal of this magnitude to get done. The difference of course is that Ricketts is already on the record in saying the “Cubs are in” on Tanaka.

        • GaryLeeT

          Theo & Co will put on a show, but I wish they were last, and not first. I do think that being the ace of the staff, and of course, the money, will factor in heavily into Tanaka’s decision,
          The proximity to Japan, and which city has the biggest “Japantown” is way overrated. It doesn’t matter where he plays, he won’t be flying home on off days. I mean really. It’s like what?, 10 hour flight home “sign me up” 12.5 hours home “deal breaker”? Oh, and any city with a population over 100,000 has a coalesced community of Japanese expats that he can commune with, if he feels that his life in MLB would not be complete without them. In the end, those Japanese people living in Seattle are as much of a stranger to him, as the Japanese people living in Chicago.

        • paulcatanese

          I guess Tanaka just wants to feel “wanted”:)

    • GaryLeeT

      I don’t know about the Dodgers. They do have a one Clayton Kershaw that needs a contract, which I am sure will be close to 30 per.

      • paulcatanese

        The biggest reason that I say the Dodgers is the insane way they spend money.

    • deniojct

      I feel the Mariners have a big edge in the Tanaka sweepstakes..
      The state of Washington has no state income tax… Ca. has 13.3%… That’s a lot of money on 20 million, on top of all the other taxes…
      That puts the Dodgers at a disadvantage..
      The Yankees are too old and will be rebuilding soon…
      Chicago is 2nd in line after the Mariners..
      Seattle is on the west coast with a large Asian population, and has a former teammate of Tanaka’s.. If Seattle has already spent on Cano and Tanaka they will probably spend on Cruz and sell the farm on Price…
      They are looking to put fans in the seats.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I thought I read that he didn’t enjoy pitching in Iwakuma’s shadow in Japan, why would he want to do that in Seattle?

        • deniojct

          Yes he did say that, but this is the MLB… I think he knows he will have to work his way up the rotation. If his ego is that big that he thinks he can just start at the top.. then I hope the Cubs take a pass on him

          • 07GreyDigger

            I could care less about his ego. If he pitches well and they get better, that’s all I care about. One can assume that with this much of a frenzy over his posting and signing with a team, a large ego is a given here.

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  • Dorasaga

    I must agree with GaryLeeT; the Dodgers have Kershaw 2015 in mind. Personally, I would hate to see the Valley team snatches another Asian ace from the Cubs (I’ve been pro Kuroda since 2008). I don’t think it’s wise for the Cubs to sign Tanaka this year. Well, if they must, then I’ll like to know how this might fare as opposed to the whole league, for better or worse.

    Here’s my second take on this Tanaka And Mystery Bidder non-sense, before we can actually see Wada pitches in Spring Training:

    Sabermetric analysts had figured out, with the inflation since the late 80s compared to what the league actually paid on free agents recently, a contribution to a seasonal win* is now more than $3 Million (*above replacement).

    Hence, with posting fee included, the Cubs would find a fair buy at $120M for 6 years. I don’t think paying any pitcher 5 year-plus at ten million per year is wise, but we are talking market rate here.

    We can project Tanaka’s theoretical contribution with any number we want. I’ll take him as a 4-win (*a.r.) pitcher, per season, for four years. A sabermetric four win pitcher is an “old-school” 75 win-aceace who stayed around 3.50 ERA in five years.

    He’ll have his down and his up years, and I’ll take in injury risk. Let’s say he accumulated enough disabled days to a season-length, and another season that saw him exposed to more whatever (inability to command, divorce, rehab, and who knows).

    Then overall, in six years, Tanaka could be as valuable to any team as between U-bo Jimenez and Wainwright of year 2009-’13, roughly 19-21 wins, respectively. FYI: the Cards signed Wainwright an extension that kicks off now, at 19.5 million dollars per for five years. That’s for an established ace.

    Again, it’s based on my personal observation of such case. A little more than two years ago, the Rangers signed Darvish the Persian at $56M for 6 years, plus $52M post. Theo Epstein signed Matsuzaka at $52M + $51, back in 2006. The longer the contract for an unproven international free agent, the less per year a club needs to give.

    Just for fun, here’s my guess of the dollar value per year for a Japanese ace who was forced a ton of mileage on his arm since his second year of high school, and now pitching for the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Parenthesized numbers are what a contract would pay Tanaka by market rate:

    $16M ($10),
    $25M ($11),
    $ 2M ($15),
    $12M ($17),
    $15M ($18),
    $ 4M ($18).

    Plus a $20M posting fee, that’s a grand total of $109 Million paid 6 years, for wins that should cost $72 M. The hope lies on his second year (2015), when the Cubs should really contend. A World Series might be revisited in 2018, when Tanaka should have a nice bound-back.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Just a visit …..not a stay.

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