The Daily Tanaka: Cubs in the Mix, Mariners Could Be Favorites for Tanaka

The Tanaka Sweepstakes is expected to kick into high gear next week when his agent, Casey Close, returns from vacation. Even with Close not yet open for business to discuss Tanaka with teams, the rumors picked back up on Thursday about where Masahiro Tanaka could end up signing. And two different reports pointed to the Mariners as possibly passing the Yankees and Cubs as the favorites to sign Masahiro Tanaka.

Jayson Stark reported early in the day that while it is early in the process, he is hearing constantly from interested teams to “watch out for the Mariners.” Stark added that executives think Seattle has “one big move left.”

Baseball America’s Ben Badler ranked the 10 teams he feels has the best shot at signing Masahiro Tanaka, and the Mariners were number one on his list with the Cubs coming in fourth behind the Mariners, Yankees and Dodgers.

The Mariners have been thought as big players for Masahiro Tanaka from the beginning. Seattle has the money and the need to win ballgames sooner rather than later. Tanaka would be reunited with his former Golden Eagles teammate, Hisashi Iwakuma. And a top three of Felix Hernandez, Iwakuma and Tanaka in the Mariners’ rotation would look very good on paper. But would Tanaka be willing to be slotted in behind Hernandez and Iwakuma in the Mariners’ rotation. Plus reports from Japan have suggested Tanaka would want to be seen as the staff ace on his new team and he might not want to pitch behind Iwakuma again after spending the first five seasons of his career (2007-2011) in Iwakuma’s shadow.

Ben Badler provided an excellent rundown of the teams he sees as the most likely to end up signing Tanaka. Badler classified the Angels, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays and Rangers as “lurkers” and the Tigers as the “sleeper” team. Detroit could use Tanaka in their rotation beyond the 2014 season, especially if Max Scherzer leaves via free agency. Badler’s reasons for including Detroit are similar to those reported by Nick Cafardo as to why the Red Sox should not be counted out in the Tanaka Derby.

The Cubs are listed as one of the “heavyweights” for Tanaka. Badler pointed out the Cubs might be willing to pay for one or two seasons of Tanaka before the team is ready to contend due to the perceived lack of pitching in the system. The Cubs have scouted Tanaka and “have the financial resources to bring him to Chicago” according to the report.

While Ben Badler sees the Angels as a lurker, Jerry Dipoto is looking to add another starting pitcher and is interested in signing Masahiro Tanaka. And the Diamondbacks “cannot be ruled out as major players” for Tanaka according to Ken Rosenthal. The D-Backs will not make a trip to Japan to talk to Tanaka, as previously reported, because Casey Close is “discouraging such visits.”

Masahiro Tanaka Comps

FanGraphs broke down possible comps for Masahiro Tanaka on Thursday. Dave Cameron suggested “there’s a pretty decent chance” that Tanaka will end up costing more than six years and $140 million (including the release fee) and he could end up signing a contract “in the range” of Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander.

Masahiro Tanaka does not project as a true big league ace. Tanaka is seen as a top of the rotation starter on a very good staff, but not the ace that he is in Japan. Cameron reported “his strengths are going to be throwing strikes and getting ground balls, with enough strikeouts on his splitter to make the overall package successful.” Cameron pointed out there “are very good pitchers who fit that description” so he compiled a list of pitchers with a similar skillset and how they have performed over the last three years.

With a minimum of 450 innings pitched from 2011-2013, a BB% between 5-9%, a K% between 18-24% and a GB% between 46-54%, 14 pitchers met his criteria. The pitchers at the top of his list includes James Shields, David Price, Cole Hamels, Hiroki Kuroda and Zack Greinke while the bottom five on his list includes Ivan Nova, Wandy Rodriguez, Yovani Gallardo, Jon Niese and Edwin Jackson. Cameron pointed out both Edwin Jackson and Jon Niese “have given up too many hits on balls in play” while Rodriguez and Gallardo have struggled with the home run ball.

If Masahiro Tanaka performs to the average of the group in Cameron’s report, he could end up as “an above average” pitcher.

The Masahiro Tanaka news, rumors and speculation will increase next week and should continue right up until he signs a contract on Jan. 24.

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  • J Daniel

    The Cubs are interested, the Cubs are the favorites, the Cubs will not be outbid. Tanaka will sign elsewhere and should not be a surprise or disappointment.

    • Ripsnorter1

      LOL

      The idea that Tanaka will sign elsewhere may be the biggest blessing of all.
      If the Cubs were to sign him, and he is paid the $175 million that I think he’ll garner,
      and then he pans out like Edwin Jackson, just how happy should we Cubs’ fans be?

      Just because he is 25 doesn’t mean that he’s a great signing.
      And a rotation full of Edwin Jacksons would not mean a World Series in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, or
      anytime in world history.

      • Tony_Hall

        The fangraphs article that Neil goes over does not say that Tanaka is Edwin Jackson and doesn’t compare their stuff as you mentioned on another thread. Edwin shows up as a pitcher who meets a criteria that the author chose: “With a minimum of 450 innings pitched from 2011-2013, a BB% between 5-9%, a K% between 18-24% and a GB% between 46-54%, 14 pitchers met his criteria.”

        What do you think Mark Appel would have received on the open market? And imagine if he was the only player from last years draft that was allowed to negotiate will every team, like Tanaka.

      • Roe Skidmore

        Heck of a risk to sign any starting pitcher for big money…to pitch every 5th day. Especially if you have a strong bullpen and can start a guy like Rusin who can get you late into a game and costs you very little.

        • GaryLeeT

          The Cubs are going to have to take that risk now, if they want a contender by 2016. They just don’t have the #1 or #2 starting pitcher in their system that will be ready in 2 years. A Rusin type might be OK during the regular season, but you won’t get far in the post season with a staff of them..

          • Roe Skidmore

            What if the risk Tanaka is a bust? EJ was a bust? EJ is better of as a two inning stopper tan a starter…but that’s another topic. Lot of money for a guy pitching every 5 days(Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Barry Z???)

        • mutantbeast

          How often do you think a Chris Rusin is going to get you into the 7th inning? Once in every 3 starts? Id take a Matt Garza anyday over a soft-tossing, low-command lefty. Rusin doesnt even compare with decent soft-tossers like Jamie Moyer or Jimmy Key.

          • Roe Skidmore

            Rusin can get you late into games. I was just using him as an example, reminds me of Jamie Moyer…Scott Baker and other low cost FA’s can also fill the bill and get you late into games, if you have a great bullpen. My point is what if you sign Tanaka and he’s a bust?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cubtex,
    I just found our next starter. Joe Blanton. Looks like he’s going to hit the skids.
    “The Angels will bring Joe Blanton to Spring Training and if they can’t find a trade for the veteran hurler, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez opines (via Twitter), Blanton will simply be released. Blanton posted a career-worst 6.04 ERA in 2013, though the advanced metrics (3.84 xFIP, 3.92 SIERA) indicate that ERA was inflated thanks to an ungainly 19.1% home run rate and a .346 BABIP. The Halos would eat $8.5MM if they released Blanton — his $7.5MM salary for 2014 and the $1MM buyout of his $8MM 2015 option.” (MLBTR)

    Think about it: That opens a hole to trade Samardzija.

    Jackson, Arrieta, Blanton, Wood, Rusin.
    LOL

    • cubtex

      now that would be one bad rotation. that would guarantee a top 3 pick the following year.

  • Ripsnorter1

    We lost Cole Gillespie to the Mariners. He signed with them to play with
    Robinson Cano.

    • 07GreyDigger

      More likely, because they offered him a job…

  • SirGladiator

    He wants to be an ace, he likes money, we’ve got more money than anybody else and he would by FAR be our ace. He would also make history, as part of the first Cubs team to win a World Series in over 100 years. It’s obvious that Tanaka is ours for the signing, so long as they don’t suddenly get cheap like they did with Cespedes and Darvish, who we also could’ve easily had if we’d spent the money. Time to finally spend some money and win some Titles!

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

      I don’t think we have more money than anybody. Rickett’s has a small fortune on the books now from what I understand in projects and infrastructure.

      • cubtex

        if you believe that. how can they afford Tanaka?

        • Ripsnorter1

          PR move…..

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

            I can’t stand that analogy. Models posing for PETA or tapes of The Blair Witch Project going out pre-release as “real video,” are PR moves. They gain nothing by saying they’ll sign Tanaka. They want him, they may not get him but they want him. Theo has shown over and over he’ll do what he thinks is best for the franchise and doesn’t care one iota if the fans dislike it.

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

          They’re not dead broke, but they have to be choosy for the next year or two. It’s not belief Ray, it’s a fact. Maybe they didn’t spend the most in baseball but I believe the Cubs but $580 million in debt alone will cause constraints. They just have to pick their spots.

  • Ripsnorter1

    For 2013, MLB teams gave an average 32 starts to pitchers who were not part of their 5
    man rotations. It demonstrates how depth in starting pitching is necessary to team that
    plan to compete.

  • Ripsnorter1

    10 Worst Hitting Players Against Lefty Starters
    AVG /SLUG/OBP
    1. B.J. Upton (ATL)………..128 .192 .209
    2. Dan Uggla (ATL)………..138 .288 .263
    3. Anthony Rizzo (CHC)…152 .259 .252
    4. John Buck (NYM)………153 .278 .228
    5. Josh Rutledge (COL)….163 .250 .221
    6. Josh Reddick (OAK)…..167 .244 .253
    7. Brett Lawrie (TOR)……..169 .211 .231
    8. Shin-Soo Choo (CIN)….174 .215 .308
    9. Justin Smoak (SEA)…..180 .281 .288
    10. Nick Franklin (SEA)….181 .292 .250

    Cubtex: note Nick Franklin at #10.

    • GaryLeeT

      but since they only face a left handed pitcher (including relievers) about 25% of the time, is a BA around ,200 really that bad?

    • cubtex

      Franklin did not have a good 1st cup of coffee in the show. Choo gets on base and I saw a piece on him that Bill Ripken did on how he destroyed loogy pitchers last year. Rizzo needs to dramatically improve or they might need to platoon him(at least drop him out of the 3 hole) He kills the team batting 3rd against a left hand starter.

      • John_CC

        O Geezus, do we really have to start this AGAIN? Its Friday, let’s relax and have some friendly banter, what do ya say?

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

          Rizzo will be fine, coming up the knock was that he only hit lefties. He’ll be just fine…

          • cubtex

            Really? where did you see or hear that?

          • cubtex

            This is from a scouting report on Rizzo from the Feb 2012. He never had that knock of only hitting lefties.

            What we know: Rizzo is a
            6’3″ left-handed hitting first baseman with a slightly long swing that
            leads to above-average strikeout totals. He has an above-average eye at
            the plate and could hit anywhere from .260 to .300, depending on how he
            adjusts to the majors. He has good doubles power, and should routinely
            hit between 30 and 40 per season, and should hit between 25-30 homers
            per year. He has also struggled against lefties in the minors, no more
            so than most young left-handed hitters, but enough that he’ll have to
            improve.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I don’t think I’d be incorrect in saying that the majority of left handed hitters struggle against their same handed pitchers. So to say Anthony Rizzo struggles against lefties is far from news. If he continues to be awful against them, therein lies a problem. But considering it was his FIRST full season in the majors. Pump the brakes.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Mark Grace:
            BA vs. RHP=.305
            BA vs LHP=.305

          • Gramps

            And they complained because he did not hit homers.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I said the majority. Learn to read.

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

            I just remember hearing it. I didn’t follow minor league stats that much a few years ago (still don’t really, other than what I get from Tom U.).

            Tom, wasn’t there rumblings like that? That Rizzo was better against lefties than righties? I swear I remember hearing that several times.

        • cubtex

          lol. all done on Rizzo. just had to correct Rider’s comment below first :)

        • Ripsnorter1

          What’s wrong, John?

          Just skip the posts if you don’t like the topic. : )

          Cubtex offers some intelligent and knowledgeable arguments.

          I enjoy reading them very much.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            He can say what he wants just like you guys do on a daily basis.

          • John_CC

            The topic of Rizzo being a very poor #3 hitter as pontificated over by ct is beyond beaten to death. I wasn’t skipping anything, simply asking for a reprieve.

  • cubtex

    From Badler’s rankings. You are basically wasting 2 years of money and risk for the 3rd year and beyond for a guy with a ton of mileage on him.

    Tanaka would immediately become the team’s best starting pitcher. But
    clearly the Cubs won’t be playoff contenders in 2014. In a best-case
    scenario, 2015 might be in the picture, but a more conservative
    projection would have them making their push in 2016. That would mean
    paying Tanaka in the neighborhood of $20 million per year for at least
    one, perhaps two seasons where he won’t have a chance to pitch in a
    playoff game. With all the risks inherent in pitchers, is it worth
    committing that to Tanaka today in the hope that he’ll pay off as a
    frontline starter in a few years? Or would they be better off waiting
    another year or two to start investing in high-end free agents?

    • 07GreyDigger

      Make up your mind. Either they spend or they don’t. Which is it?

      • cubtex

        I have been totally consistent Digger. Suzy says I am redundant because I say the same things all the time. To repeat again.
        IF you invest 140 mil for a guy like Tanaka. GO FOR IT NOW. Add players immediately. Trade prospects for major league ready talent. Get rid of the crap like Schierholtz, Sweeney and Valbuena. I will be all over that. I will be thrilled(but I doubt that will happen) To sign this guy and to add 2 more years of injury risk with no chance of winning and playing in the postseason…I am totally against. As I discussed with Tony. I don’t think it is a question of IF Tanaka gets hurt…but when. To gamble that he will be healthy in year 4 of this deal and will lead your staff is a huge gamble and I would bet against him being healthy at that time.

        • 07GreyDigger

          And I’ve been consistent. Spending money is prudent when it warrants it. They shouldn’t spend money to spend money. You can win with a lower payroll, ask the A’s and the Rays. What matters is the talent you have in your system and on your major league squad. I don’t want them to spend on Tanaka and then blow it all on the free agent flavor of the month. But if he makes them a better team and for a long period of time, then they should do it. I think he has that ability so I think they should do it. There’s risk in any move you make. They have to take a risk at some point.

          • cubtex

            that’s my point. I believe he is not a long term asset. He is a 3 year maybe 4 year pitcher that will break down. Tanaka is for a team looking to win now.

          • John_CC

            So what is Garza? Price? Jimenez (lol)?

          • cubtex

            are we talking about about a 7 year 140 mil contract for Garza?

          • John_CC

            No. That they are all 3 / 4 year pitchers that will break down. Since when do you care about the contract?

        • SuzyS

          Yep, you’re from the department of the redundancy department all right.
          After reading this entire thread I dare you not to mention Cashner for the rest of the year.
          I do not think you are capable of doing that Cubtex…do you?
          In any case, we’ve heard about Cashner from you almost every month since the trade occurred.
          Pretty old news…that every now and then rewrap in a different context…but it’s always Cashner.and Cubtex.
          Please let it go.

          It’s getting to be like Aaron and Adam Dunn.

          • cubtex

            I didn’t bring up Casner today but I will make you a little deal. I won’t bring up Casner if you refrain from complaining about posters posting their thoughts against the FO and doing something to speed up the rebuild. Talk about redundancy!!!! How many times have you tried to EXPLAIN to people “the plan” wow! So what do you Suzy? Deal?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Let’s move on from this conversation. Thank you.

    • Tony_Hall

      Nothing new. Did you expect Badler to say how perfect of a match it would be when he thinks Seattle is the best fit?

      • cubtex

        nothing new because that has been my argument I have been having with you for weeks :)

        • Tony_Hall

          Doesn’t make it right or wrong.

          These are huge decisions for teams to make and why they make the big bucks to decide.

    • cc002600

      I understand what you are saying, but let me ask you this. When do you ever get a shot at signing a FA who is 25 years old in the US ? The answer: never.

      So you say that having Tanaka at 27 years old in 2016 is a risk, but then why isn’t signing a MLB FA in 2 years at 28 or 29 a risk as well ? There’s always risk with pitchers. Look at your boy Cashner. LOL

      • GaryLeeT

        I would reverse that trade in a heartbeat, and wait for Vogelbach in 2015.

        • John_CC

          Waiting for Single A prospects can a looooong time.

          • GaryLeeT

            Bryant was a single A prospect last year. Not all players follow the same trajectory to the bigs.

          • John_CC

            He was the #2 pick overall, as you know. Vogelbach may or may not ever make it. Bryant may not either but is exponentially more likely.

          • Dorasaga

            I’ll like to point out two things:

            First of all, Bryant played sinlge A. He’ll be AA middle this season if he lives up to expectation. That’s when an organization with contemporary tools will be able to analyze and know if he’ll make it to the Big or not. It won’t be that long. He just need to get there, Tenessee.

            The second thing is about Cashner. It’s plain and simple: never underestimate park effect.

          • John_CC

            And I concur.

          • GaryLeeT

            I am sure you do, since you just said those things..

          • John_CC

            You are correct!

          • cubtex

            The main thing about Cashner. It’s plain and simple. Eye ball test. Look at his stuff.

          • John_CC

            “Stuff” can be very over-rated. EJax anyone? Hell, Garza for that matter hasn’t put together the ACE season you and many say he can. Big Z? The list goes on.

            Stuff gets you to the show, durability, health, drive, intelligence, make the difference.

          • cubtex

            so who has durability health drive and intelligence on our staff? lol

          • John_CC

            Shark and Wood. One of them has the stuff to take another step. Cashner maybe does too, but he hasn’t proven his durability yet, not by any stretch. EJax has the stuff and durability, seems like a smart guy, but can’t focus and I question his true drive to be the best. Point is, 2 outta 3, 3 outta 4, whatever it is – ain’t bad, but it doesn’t make one an ace.

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

            Good point about EJax. Repeatedly called top 10 “stuff,” in the league.

          • Dorasaga

            You are adamant.

          • cubtex

            why are you calling me adam ant? I know how rare an arm like Cashner is. To dismiss this like he is a product of the park like a guy like Jason Marquis is ridiculous.

          • John_CC

            And arms like Tanaka’s are a dime a dozen?

          • cubtex

            no he is 140 mil at 7 years. lol

          • cubtex

            we already had Cashner and was controlled for several more years.

          • Dorasaga

            You “know” because of 6 starts and an eyeball test.

            That’s adamant. Nothing can make you consider objective reports and stats, to think again how important he is to the Cubs future, or not.

            By the way, I think I agreed with you a night before about not signing Tanaka at the wrong timing… Anyway, very rare to agree with anything important. Let go of all those traded for now, can we? We can review this trade in three years. Let actions speak for player performance, not any one-sided opinion of fans.

          • Ripsnorter1

            What are you saying? That Joe Blanton needs to go to San Diego?

            And that even San Diego could not help Clayton Richards?

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

            Petco will make a lot of pitchers look good. Maybe even Joe Blanton. Padres could get by with a staff that is less than say the Rangers…

          • Ripsnorter1

            I agree with you. Joe Blanton gave up a HR on 19.8% of the flyballs he allowed.

            OUCH!

            He needs a big, big park.

          • Dorasaga

            I guess you don’t believe in ballpark effects, and nitpicking here and there. Richards had few good years there. He broke down because he’s a mediocre talent for MLB. And things changed for Petco. Slight changes*, but enough to take things away from him–more hits went over the outfield fences. He’s not bad, just the lower tier of an average group.

            * http://espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/story/_/page/mlbdk2k13_ballparks/changes-safeco-field-petco-park-affect-prospects-seattle-mariners-san-diego-padres-players

            It’s not surprising to see NL parks** weighs a lot more for most players. Again, “most.” Let’s say 80%. There’ll be a Matt Holliday. Anyway, I’m not your sabermetric teacher. You can google and study those on your own free time. Not mine.

            ** More on ballparks:
            http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3751

          • paCubsFan23

            Bryant was 21 in Single A, Vogelbach is 19.

        • cc002600

          totally disagree.
          Cashner will be 28 this year…..look at his home / road splits. Take him out of the grand canyon (Petco) and he’s a #4 starter with a history of injuries. No thanks.

          Rizzo is 24 years old and will improve. I like the potential of Vogelbach but he’s a DH.

          • GaryLeeT

            Cashner’s birthday is in September, so really he will be pitching as a 27 yo next year. I looked at his splits, and I did not think they were that dramatic, in fact, he was 5-4 at home and 5-5 on the road. Did the Cubs have a 10 game winner? And he was hurt last year?

          • 07GreyDigger

            He’s hurt every year.

          • cubtex

            no hunting accidents yet :)

          • cubtex

            lol. Look at Cashner’s last 6 starts. He was dominant. He was throwing harder at the end of the year since he missed spring training from the hunting accident and started slowly. Arms like his don’t grow on trees and you are right…..I would reverse that trade in a heartbeat too.

          • 07GreyDigger

            You’re going to base his dominance on pitching in August and September when the talent level is lower due to callups?

          • Dorasaga

            You nailed it. Late season dominance is not expected to repeat the next season, especially for a non-contender team.

          • cubtex

            so who can we scratch off that list from our Cubs since we are a non contending team? How about Arrieta? He wasn’t really dominant but had a couple of good starts. Would you put him in that category? Strop? Anyone else?

          • John_CC

            Yes, I would put both of them in that category. I don’t think Dorasaga or anyone else was claiming that Arrieta is a TOR pitcher based on last September (OK maybe Boardrider did…) as you did for Casher.

            You are so defensive.

          • Dorasaga

            Cubtex, may you reword those … questions? I don’t see what you are trying to get to here. Why are you trying to scratch off any pitcher from the 2013 Cubs rotation?

          • cubtex

            did you know his fastball velocity was at its highpoint at the end of the year? This is not Casey Coleman here. He has TOR ability. If you want to ignore that fact…go ahead. You guys are hilarious. Cashner is a #4. Garza is a #3. Let’s here where you rate our current staff. LMAO

          • 07GreyDigger

            He may have the ability, but I just don’t think his arm can hold up long term. If anything, he’d be a good high leverage reliever. But when Hendry tried that, he couldn’t even hold up then.

            To me this trade is a wash. They need pitching, but they need pitching that is consistent and will stay healthy. I don’t think Cashner will ever be that guy.

          • cc002600

            take him out of the worlds greatest pitchers park (petco), and yes, he’s a #4. Give me ANY stats that dispute that up to this point. Please tell me. He is 28 this year and has done NOTHING so far.

          • GaryLeeT

            So the Dodgers, and Pirates were dramatically diluting their rosters with call-ups?

          • cubtex

            quit making too many good points GaryLee

          • cc002600

            great point

          • GaryLeeT

            HUH? Even the road games??????? Shut down the Dodgers & Pirates? NO WAY!

          • cubtex

            can you believe it? I think one of those road games was 320 down the foul lines. How did he last more than 3 innings?????

          • cc002600

            6 good starts ! wow. might as well put him in the HOF. Mark Prior almost won Cy Young in 2003, how’d things go after that ? Kerry Wood had arm like cashner, how did his career turn out ? Rizzo is much safer bet. GREAT TRADE.

          • John_CC

            W/L says nothing about his pitching.

            ERA: 1.95 vs. 4.00
            WHIP: 0.97 vs. 1.26
            BAbip: .256 vs. .286

            Looks like he found a nice place to play the majority of his games.

          • cubtex

            so you say he sucks and the Cubs can’t use him?

          • John_CC

            You are amazing. Please stop always putting words in my mouth (and others). In this sense, you are redundant, I will give you that.

          • cubtex

            One question. Would the Cubs be better off with Cashner now or Rizzo?

          • John_CC

            I believe I answered this one a while ago: I cannot say because I honestly do not know. They each just finished their first full seasons. I am going to wait until next season to see who advances or doesn’t.

          • cubtex

            I think it is a no brainer with the current state of the team. They have a desperate need for above average starting pitching. I believe you have to admit that Cashner is currently above average with the potential to be even more than that. They would be much closer to competing with 2 power arms like Cashner and Shark than with only one of those guys. 1st base production like what you got from Rizzo can be easily replaced.

          • John_CC

            Which is why I want to see a larger sample than one full first season. Done with this.

          • GaryLeeT

            We all know Petco is pitcher friendly, but there are plenty of pitchers with different home and road splits.
            So the 10 win pitchers make as much as the 20 win pitchers?

          • cc002600

            BINGO !!!!!

          • cc002600

            Sorry, I don’t understand your point on the b-day. He will be 28 in September, not sure what you are talking about. And W-L record means nothing. Look at all the other stats. There is HUGE difference between his home & road splits.

        • cubtex

          I bet Theo would too but good luck trying to convince the Padres.

        • Eugene Debs

          At the risk of being a heel here, I think Rizzo is terrible.

          If we’re lucky, we’ll get some Lyle Overbay production. He’s actually had a weak start to his career at the plate.

          Can someone correct me and show me the silver lining in Rizzo’s performance to-date? I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

          • cc002600

            he played his first full year at 23 years old. He had 23 HR, 80 RBI, and he’s one of best defensive 1B in the league. My God, people have no patience anymore. Can we at least wait until he’s 26 or 27 before we give up on him ? Wow. Take a look at Paul Goldschmidt’s 1st couple years. and many other guys.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Have you ever noticed on Baseball Reference just who Mr. Rizzo is most like at this point in his career?

            These players are similar to Mr. Rizzo:
            #2 guy is Mr. Hee Sop Choi.
            #9 is Marv Throneberry. Remember him?

            Players who had similar years at age 23:
            #1 Ed Stevens, who had a short ML career with Brooklyn and Pittsburgh. He was out of baseball after age 25.

            #2 Ken “Hawk” Harrellson.
            #3 Tony Horton. Out of baseball after age 25.
            #4 John Milner, Mets. Played up to age 32. But he was only a part time platoon player after age 24. He hit LHP better than Rizzo: .230 vs. .194.

          • cc002600

            great. Who is Cashner comparable to ? Ben McDonald ? Al Nipper ? please

            come on. Rizzo has 1 full year under his belt. Holy cow. can we at least wait till he is the ripe old age of 26 or 27 before we bury him ? My God. Those comps mean nothing. Look at Paul Goldschmidt’s first couple years. Who did he compare to back then ? micah hoffpair? Bryan Lahair ? come on.

          • Ripsnorter1

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/goldspa01.shtml

            Paul Goldschmidt is most comparable to #1 Adrian Gonzalez.

            Here’s the others: Wally Joyner, Todd Helton, Justin Morneau, Richie Sexton, Mike Trout, among others.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Andrew Cashner is most comparable to Clay Carroll at his current age. I remember Clay Carroll very well–great closer. “Big Red Machine.”

            His other similar players were mostly no name pitchers of short careers.

          • cubtex

            The way you add birthdays for Rizzo he will be 17 in 2 years. :))

          • Ripsnorter1

            Just check out Baseball Reference and see who Mr. Rizzo is most similar to.

            It is interesting.

          • cubtex

            He is comparable to Ike Davis for me. Good glove. Good pop. Low average. Very different splits vs left hand pitching and right.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Here’s the silver lining:

            Theo traded for him. Therefore, it must be right.

      • cubtex

        I am shocked cc00. You say ALL power pitchers break down and have arm injuries. Is that not accurate? So…..if the Cubs will not be competitive for at least 2 more years(probably 3) why are you OK with Tanaka but you scoff at Cashner? Would you agree that Tanaka has a ton more mileage on his arm than Cashner? Cashner was a closer at TCU. Tell me….why are you OK with Tanaka but not Cashner or other power arms?

        • John_CC

          1. I don’t think Tanaka is considered a power pitcher by MLB standards, he doesn’t even touch mid 90 while Cashner gets way up there.

          2. Tanaka’s well-traveled arm has been quite durable. Cashner’s closer arm put into a rotation…not so much

          • cubtex

            read this analysis of how he puts stress on his arm.

            http://paullebowitz.com/blog/?p=9486#.UsccaLQze2w

          • John_CC

            Thanks but I’m not going to read another article about Tanaka. I have read enough and know that his arm is a risk. Just like every FA pitcher on the market.

          • cubtex

            and you were advising me to read all that saber metrics stuff. hahaha. you don’t practice what you preach do you?

          • John_CC

            Huh?

          • cubtex

            you posted a link a while ago that about some mumbo jumbo that I refuted and you gave me this song and dance on how I should read everything. So…I appeased you and read it. Now do you remember?

          • John_CC

            Yes, I remember that. I don’t even remember what it was exactly, but most likely a numbers analysis based on statistics to look a player (probably Rizzo) in a different context. A context that you refuse to even look at!

            This is another opinion on why Tanaka will break down. I’m sure Mr. Lebovitz uses great analysis.

            All I said was I am not going to read anymore articles about Tanaka and his overused arm, his delivery mechanics, etc. I HAVE READ them and understand the risk. I don’t need to read more opinions.

          • cubtex

            John. You should read all types of varying opinions and articles. That is how you learn. Don’t be so one sided. LOL. Sorry….I couldn’t resist giving a little of that memorable lecture you gave me.

          • John_CC

            I believe I said “it is the fun part about being a human” or something like that.

        • cc002600

          I didn’t say I didn’t like Cashner. What I said was is that I would MUCH rather have Rizzo, Cashner is a major arm injury waiting to happen, plus he is not a rookie anymore, he will be 28, while Rizzo has played 1 full season at 23 years old, and you are throwing him under the bus.

          As far as tanaka goes, I would not consider him a power pitcher. Plus, he will only cost money, which the cubs have plenty of, and he’s 25. Is it risky ? Of course !

          One other thing, you say that 1B production is easy to find. Right now, I would TOTALLY disagree with you. Actually, pitchers are easier to find right now. In case you haven’t noticed, the steroid era is over, and runs are way, way down. Pitching is DOMINATING right now. So I would rather have a 23 year old 1B that may turn out to be a real good run producer then a 28 year old hard throwing pitcher with a history of arm injuries. Its a NO BRAINER.

          • cubtex

            Really? Pitching is dominating right now? Why are the Cubs having such a hard time finding it? Go give Theo a call and let him know.

          • cc002600

            still waiting for you to give me the stats that make cashner so great. tick, tick, tick

            oh wait never mind,. he has 11 wins last year and his last 6 starts against sept callups were great. Never mind !!!! LOL

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

    Off the topic a bit, who else thinks Jay Cutler until 2020 guarantees no Bears Super Bowl until at least 2021? I was shocked when I saw that deal.

    Hope I’m wrong…

    • cubtex

      Rider. Are you being negative? Wow! So lets get this straight. You think the Cubs will be .500 next year and we have 3 aces in the making in Loux,Arrieta and Hendricks but the Bears won’t get to the Super Bowl 2020?

      • Tony_Hall

        I’ll give you that one!

        • cubtex

          Rider with the negativity about the Bears! I love it!

    • Tony_Hall

      The deal is what should have been expected when looking at QB contracts of similar players. Plus it is football, contract turns into just another piece of paper once the guaranteed money is done.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      All that money and never once to the Big Game………at least Cutler will live nice in his retirement years.

      • dicepaul

        He and Tony Romo can live in the same retirement village.

    • GaryLeeT

      I was not thrilled about the Cutler extension either. A very pedestrian QB like McCown (who unlike Cutler, could at least lead a receiver in the flat for big yards after the catch) showed what can be done with a good O-line, and arguably the best receiving corp in the NFL. I thought the Bears should have put Cutler’s money into the defense, drafted a QB, and resigned McCown. On the bright side, it’s very likely that Cutler’s contract is not guaranteed.

      • mutantbeast

        $50 mill of Cutlers contract is guaranteed. What this shows is how valued QBs are in the NFL, even someone like Cutler whose talent is beyond his performance. Im with you, Bears need to bring home Samauri Mike to coach those young LBs who looked lost this year, get rid of Tucker, and draft all defense, particulary in the front 7. And get Conte out of the secondary, he cant cover a lightpost.

      • Tom U

        No such thing as a guaranteed contract in the NFL.

        • GaryLeeT

          Yeah, they get around that with a signing bonus.

        • Tony_Hall

          Guaranteed money – yes. So far it looks like by the amount of guaranteed money, Jay has at least 3 years for sure he will be around.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I agree with the BoardRider!!!

      Mr. Cutler chokes in the pinch.

      • cubtex

        Did he choke against the Pack?

        • Ripsnorter1

          Yes. He threw that final interception when he had one more play coming.

          • cubtex

            C’mon Rip. He played well enough to win that game. He is the best qb the Bears have had in a long long time.

          • Ripsnorter1

            GB’s defense is as bad as the Bears. McCown scores more than just 28 points. And no interception near the endzone, as Cutler often does.

            McCown was the #1 passer in the NFL in 2013, even better than one Mr. Peyton Manning.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I see the Phillies have a new tv/cable contract….only saying the money is “massive”……$35 million a year on the current tv contract…………..these are the days when I like to see a 24/7 Cubs network, showing old Cubs games……Kingman, Buckner, Santo, Williams, Banks, Monday, Sutter, Sandberg…….those are the Cubs we all loved.

  • mutantbeast

    If Tanaka gets paid 20m/yr avg, hed better be David Price or Zach Greinkle, at least. Wandy Rodriquez isnt even a #3 in Pittspuke.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    A few weeks ago, I talked about what a pitching lineup Seattle could have if they signed Tanaka and traded for Price……it seem to me that Seattle are willing to go all out this season……….if Seattle kept Walker and not trade for Price, Seattle would have 4 legit starting pitchers in the AL West…………I know Theo said he would out bid everyone….but how many of us Cubs fans are willing to go through another Soriano type of over paying contract?…….I rather see Theo invest in 2015 pitching class then on one unproven Japan league pitcher.

    • GaryLeeT

      2015 pitching class? Free agents? What young FA, better than a #3, makes it to the market these days?

  • Gramps

    Are the Cubs going to get to sign Tanaka? Well – in my opinion – I don’t really care either way. So much hype given to him and nobody really knows if he will be good, bad, hurt, tired, etc. Why is it that the St. Louis Cardinals are never involved in signings like this yet they continuously win. Must be a great scouting system that gives them young pitchers like Rosenthal, Wacha, Kelly, Lynn and Miller. I would rather invest a whole lot more money in scouting rather than hand it over to a player like Tanaka. Hard to believe that a team can’t find at least one very good prospect every year and nurture their choice over a period of years so they never have to get involved in this lunacy of spending millions of dollars on a really unknown quantity. I really will be happy either way, either signed or if he signs elsewhere.

    • Dorasaga

      Scouts are underpaid. But again, many people who work their a**-off for a sport organization (pro business), while sacrificing private life and fun, many of them are underpaid.

      Stars are overpaid. This is show business. If the Cubs want to keep the show running, then they’ll need to overpay some and underpay some most of the time.

    • Tony_Hall

      Gramps this is what Theo is doing trying to build up the farm system just as you suggest.

      • Eugene Debs

        Jed is helping out, too.

        • Tony_Hall

          Actually Jason McLeod is the one that helps Theo with the farm system. Jed is responsible for the major league team.

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

    One other unrelated comment…most of you guys know I’m here in OKC right?

    BOOMER!