Masahiro Tanaka Rumors: Thursday

We'll keep track of the day's updates on Masahiro Tanaka right here:

  • ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that it was amazing how many owners at the quarterly owners meetings in Arizona were convinced that the Cubs were preparing to blow away the rest of the field with their offer to sign Tanaka.

Earlier Updates

  • The Angels are telling other clubs that they are "not seriously involved" in Tanaka negotiations, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
  • The Cubs are "pushing hard" for Tanaka, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal on Twitter. The Angels "remain involved" on the 25-year-old righty, says Rosenthal, along with other teams that have been prominently linked to the Japanese ace (such as the Yankees and Dodgers).
  • We have heard previously that the Cubs were prepared to make a major offer to Tanaka. Indeed, as club president Theo Epstein has said previously, he "wish[es] there was a free agent market for young players." Tanaka is about as close as things get to such a market.
  • The involvement of the two Chicago organizations in the Tanaka sweepstakes is an indication of his broad market appeal. (The White Sox are one of a few teams confirmed to have met with Tanaka, though some cold water has since been thrown on their interest.) Both clubs have substantial resources, but neither has qualified for the postseason since 2008 and neither looks primed to break up that trend in 2014. Nevertheless, both teams have made substantial free agent commitments over the last two years to relatively youthful players (Edwin Jackson for the Cubs and Jose Dariel Abreu for the White Sox).


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253 Comments on "Masahiro Tanaka Rumors: Thursday"


Jim01702
1 year 7 months ago

Cubs just give up he doesn’t want to play for you guys.

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

It’s all about what he truly wants. If he wants to be closer to home, to the west coast he goes. But money talks. Do you think he will be bothered by another 5 hours on a plane and leave millions on the table? Heck, he may see the direction they are going to know that if there young guys pay off, they will have a great team on the field in another season or two.

Jim01702
1 year 7 months ago

It’s not because of that. It’s becausethe report that said he favors la or ny.

NYBravosFan10
1 year 7 months ago

Favors, not limiting

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

Just because he favors, doesn’t mean he ends up there. I think Cubs can offer the most money and will offer the most money. Again, just boils down to what he really wants.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

Just because it’s on a report doesn’t mean that’s the case. Tanaka will go wherever he feels is right for him.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

Just because it’s on a report doesn’t mean that’s the case. Tanaka will go wherever he feels is right for him.

beingewert
1 year 7 months ago

I’m not sure what report you’re referring to, but the one I read said it was his wife that would prefer LA or NY because she’s actress or performer, not Tanaka himself.

cubs7691
1 year 7 months ago

I mean I know I am a Cubs fan and all, but bringing a WS to Chicago would be legendary. That will most likely be one of the Cubs selling points.

slidingintobase
1 year 7 months ago

his wife wants to be near the Entertainment industry. Other than that, we really don’t know anything.

Jake
1 year 7 months ago

It goes beyond just being closer to Japan. It’s been reported that he prefers a city where his family will be comfortable since they don’t speak English. I read that to mean a large Japanese population. I don’t know how large the Japanese speaking population is in Chicago, but it’s quite substantial here in LA and its suburbs, possibly largest in the US. I know for most of us it seems difficult to imagine not being comfortable anywhere in the country for $20m a year… But things like going out and about and connecting with the neighbors, making new friends, shopping, dining, finding foods and other cultural elements that are familiar are things that might be difficult for a Japanese person in many parts of the country. Wherever he goes I wish him well.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

Why should they give up?
They should put their best offer forward, if he doesn’t choose them then oh well.

burtonbball88
1 year 7 months ago

I hope you’re not in sales.

burtonbball88
1 year 7 months ago

I hope you’re not in sales.

Unassisted Triple Play
1 year 7 months ago

Why would you type that?

Eric Foster
1 year 7 months ago

Are you kidding me?
The Cubs arguably have 4 of the top 30 prospects in the game. And a top 3 farm system with a major market payroll and a new TV deal being discussed.
Many lists including as many as 8 Cubs in the top 100. With the #4 draft pick and another season of acquiring talent at the deadline.
By 2016, the Cubs are going to be a very good team. On a consistent basis.
The Cubs can absolutely overpay- And Tanaka can grow with the system, and ease his way into league.
The Dodgers and Angels both have a ton of horrible contracts. They’ll decline in 2 years. The Yankees are too old. They’ll decline in 2 years.
Tanaka to the Cubs makes a lot more sense than people want to come to terms with.

Curt Green
1 year 7 months ago

You can put lipstick on a pig and it is still a pig. Doesn’t matter…they are still the Cubs.

AlexanderMaunu
1 year 7 months ago

Tanaka isn’t making the jump to mlb to play for a team that doesn’t have a chance of winning. Prospects are just that, prospects.

AlexanderMaunu
1 year 7 months ago

Almost forget the best rebuke to your arguement. The Houston Astros.

Jack
1 year 7 months ago

the Dodgers will decline in 2 years? Hanley, Kemp, Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Puig, Jansen all have great years ahead of them…A-Gon still got some left in him too. It’s not like they are stuck with 10 year contracts..and they are rebuilding their farm, and getting a lot of talent internationally.

Kevin Cahill
1 year 7 months ago

one of the things i read about tanaka said he wants to go where he can win a world series so right now that aint happening in chicago-look for him either in dodger blue or yankee pinstripes

John Kreese
1 year 7 months ago

Obviously Tanaka will get paid but I’d be interesting to know what his main factors are when making the decision. At 25 he could just make a huge “cash grab” (Cubs?) with this contract & not worry as much about winning, location, etc then in five years worry about “playing for a winner”.

TheoHoyer
1 year 7 months ago

Hopefully in five years the Cubs are a winning team.

paqza
1 year 7 months ago

Or in two.

Kenneth Lichtig
1 year 7 months ago

or .500 would be an achievement.

slidingintobase
1 year 7 months ago

His wife is in Entertainment and has some interest in LA, possibly NY. That is one factor we know of

FrankRoo
1 year 7 months ago

I’d be surprised if the Cubs got him, but not that surprised. Cubs need some good press as bad as any team in baseball. I could easily see them justifying an overspend by seeing it as an investment. The Tanaka signing would be the perfect way to get realistic Cubs fans excited again. The notion of “Wait til 2015 or 2016. We swear these prospects will pan out and we’ll compete. Just keep giving us your money…please.” is getting old.

Nick Sossamon
1 year 7 months ago

I feel like the Cubs would have to make a ridiculous offer to even have a chance, if the rumors of him wanting to be on a World Series contender every year are true. Cubs don’t exactly have the best track record in that regard…

Fromchicaga
1 year 7 months ago

Edwin Jackson young?

John Donovan
1 year 7 months ago

He was 29 last year so yes he is still relatively young. He debuted in the bigs at 19 so he has been around forever, but he is still young.

DerekJeterDan
1 year 7 months ago

Chicago hasn’t had their annual “attempt to land big pitcher, acquire big pitcher, turns out we didn’t acquire him” moment yet this Offseason. (Dan Haren, Anibal Sanchez)

baseball52
1 year 7 months ago

Dan Haren is still a big pitcher?

DerekJeterDan
1 year 7 months ago

He was at the time they were pursuing him.

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

And look at the year he had that year! Granted Marmol was terrible but it saved the Cubs 5 million and Haren wouldn’t have helped them

Mikel Grady
1 year 7 months ago

With a starting rotation of sabathia, kuroda, nova phelps and Pineda. Yanks staff is in shambles. Lost arod and cano. Jeter is broken down has been. Rivera retired. Yanks are most desperate team and will overpay for him.

paqza
1 year 7 months ago

They also added Ellsbury, McCann, and Beltrán. Way to pick and choose.

Patrick Fahey
1 year 7 months ago

McCann has not played 150 games since 2009

paqza
1 year 7 months ago

He also hasn’t had a DH slot for him to rest.

DerekJeterDan
1 year 7 months ago

They better get Tanaka.

Bill Gilbert
1 year 7 months ago

He was actually coming off a shoulder injury if I remember correctly.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

Back and hip issues actually. Haren’s back had actually been bothering him since mid 2011.

diehardcubbie
1 year 7 months ago

And going farther back, the Eric Bedard and Jake Peavy rumors ran amok.

brian310
1 year 7 months ago

The only way I see the Sox getting back into it is if they free up money by trading Danks back to the Rangers and freeing up money.

Jorden
1 year 7 months ago

The title should read,
Cubs Pushing Hard To Drive Up The Price For Tanaka

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

Not necessarily. I think if it comes down to money, Cubs got him. I could see Tanaka taking less to be closer to home (west coast team) so it really depends on what he really wants. Money or location.

Chiburgh
1 year 7 months ago

Or a Championship

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

Definitely forgot to add that. Could be a big driver on where he goes.

Jorden
1 year 7 months ago

I think what we’re seeing is Casey (Agent) driving up the price of Tanaka. In a few days, he’ll take the highest offers to the team(s) Tanaka prefers and see if they are interested in matching.

baseball52
1 year 7 months ago

He’s got almost all of the big market teams in on this guy, plus some smaller market ones. He doesn’t need to drive up the price with false leaks.

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

The Cubs need him more than anybody else, it is just a matter of how much they are willing to overpay for him

Jim01702
1 year 7 months ago

Yankees need him more.

meinhardt1992
1 year 7 months ago

How so the Cubs have no solid starters other than Wood and MAYBE Shark

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

And all of their pitching prospects are in low ball

Jorden
1 year 7 months ago

The Cubs should go sign 2 starters for what they think they would pay for Tanaka.

justinept
1 year 7 months ago

The Cubs don’t need two starting pitchers. They need a frontline starter. The jury is still out on Tanaka in terms of his ability to be that pitcher, but he’s the only free agent that even has a chance of achieving that.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

You forgot Garza.

justinept
1 year 7 months ago

Garza is not an ace. He can be a #2 on a team vying for the playoffs, but if you want to win the World Series, then he’s probably best suited as a #3. Just an opinion, though…

paqza
1 year 7 months ago

With Garza, if he’s pitching well, you just have to start bunting the ball right at him and run wild.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

We’re talking about a starting pitcher who has spent his entire career in the AL East and in hitting environments. And he’s walked away from that with some pretty good numbers despite those hostile environments. I’d like to see how those numbers are skewed by a more pitcher friendly environment.

K_Gripp
1 year 7 months ago

Because the Cubs management has sold a long term build and if they don’t land Tanaka they continue the call for patience. The Yankees do not have that luxury. They promise their fans a playoff team every year and right now they have an 80-85 win team and Tanaka might be the one move that can get them better and younger. The Yankees need him worse than the Cubs. The Cubs signing Tanaka would be the difference of competing in 2015 instead of waiting to 2016.

justinept
1 year 7 months ago

It’s the difference between the Yankees trying to extend their window another year or two and the Cubs trying to open theirs a year or two early.

K_Gripp
1 year 7 months ago

Well put.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Well put by both of you. If it’s for who needs him more than 2014 it’s obviously the Yankees. For the long run, probably both equally is fair to say?

paqza
1 year 7 months ago

They lost Canó and Granderson but they also gained Ellsbury, Beltrán, and McCann. Let’s look at the whole picture; those weren’t insignificant upgrades.

K_Gripp
1 year 7 months ago

I dont call those upgrades but if they were they would be marginal upgrades and they do nothing to address spot 3-5 in the rotation, an injury prone/older lineup, and a rag tag bullpen.

paqza
1 year 7 months ago

If McCann, Ellsbury, and Beltrán are “marginal upgrades” for you, then you’re not really following baseball.

paqza
1 year 7 months ago

If the Mets’ pitching pipeline continues developing talented starters, I see them as a good trade partner for the Cubs and their middle infield depth.

Jorden
1 year 7 months ago

Tanaka isn’t old enough to be a Yankee.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Haha, it’s funny how people cite how old the Yankees are when they are not even the oldest team. The world champs have the oldest team. The 2nd oldest team? The previous world champs. Yankees are 3rd.

East Coast Bias
1 year 7 months ago

Hey hey hey, get those facts out of here. You’re ruining a perfectly good joke!

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Hey I like the joke too and gave him a thumbs up. Just pointing out the fact anyway.

justinept
1 year 7 months ago

so I guess being only the third oldest team makes them young…

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

Or that older teams generally have been better in the postseason was probably the point he was making

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

What Steve said

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Nope, it just means some of the oldest teams can win it all too and it’s been shown.

justinept
1 year 7 months ago

fair enough…

sourbob
1 year 7 months ago

There’s a reason the Yankees get more ink as an old team than the Red Sox or the Giants, even though the average ages of the teams are similar (and all on the high end). It’s because the Yankees good players have been almost exclusively older players.

McCann and Ellsbury should help some this year, but they’re still going to be depending on the likes of Kuroda, Jeter, Teixeira, Soriano, etc.

Unassisted Triple Play
1 year 7 months ago

Ha exactly. He’ll still be a Yankee but in about 8-10 years.

Jorden
1 year 7 months ago

Tanaka isn’t old enough to be a Yankee.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

How is that?

Jim01702
1 year 7 months ago

Aren’t you a yankee fan? If you don’t think we need another starter then please tell me how we’ll be good. Besides cc and kuroda we have no one, nova is a coin flip.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

I asked how do they need him (and they do need him) more than the Cubs? I never said they didn’t need him or another starter.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

How is that?

meinhardt1992
1 year 7 months ago

But honestly if the Cubs can get him and he maintains his skills he had in Japan I believe it will be a good investment as the Ace of the staff

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

I’m not against signing him at all. They need him if they want to compete in 2016

AlexanderMaunu
1 year 7 months ago

The cubs aren’t even close to contention, please elaborate on their higher need?

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

No pitching prospects above low ball, growing frustration amongst their fan base, and would have 2 seasons under his belt when they are ready to contend

Name
1 year 7 months ago

If you consider AA low ball then fine… Cubs top pitching prospects were all in high A last year and most will start or spend a majority of their seasons at AA.

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

Exactly so more than likely that means at least 2 years away

Jose Ochoa
1 year 7 months ago

The angels are way to quiet that’s something to look out for

Evan
1 year 7 months ago

As an Angel fan, I want to like this comment, but Idk man. Dipoto and Moreno have both confirmed we never met with him (which is crazy weird). We may just be going for Garza, which works I guess.

Jose Ochoa
1 year 7 months ago

Doesn’t mean they never spoke to his agent? Smoke screens maybe? Their just way to quiet knowing they need SP

kdub53
1 year 7 months ago

quite possible, givin their track history of swooping in stealth mode. Honestly as long as the dodgers don’t get him, ill be content. I would say I feel the same for the Yankees, but even with him I don’t see them being the threat that they used to be.

pizza
1 year 7 months ago

Maybe the Angels can sign him by adding another location to their stupid name, they can be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Japan

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

Those reports mean nothing. The Angels have their ways of making people think one thing and then they surprise everyone.

Evan
1 year 7 months ago

Yes, but JeDi usually is a lot more vague when he surprises people. This time they both just flat out said no. I hope I’m wrong, but it just seems like Garza is more probable

John Kreese
1 year 7 months ago

Buster Olney just tweeted: Angels continue to insist privately that they are not seriously involved to other teams in the Masahiro Tanaka negotiations.

Smokescreen? I guess we’ll all know soon enough!

Jose Ochoa
1 year 7 months ago

Somethings up with them. This seems to be the way they have gone about things” we have no money” bam pujols. moreno seems prideful as an owner not to go all out for the third time and make a big shock.

Jose Ochoa
1 year 7 months ago

The angels are way to quiet that’s something to look out for

James F
1 year 7 months ago

I’m back to saying the Tigers should trade Scherzer and push for Tanaka thanks to the Kershaw extension. Scherzer isn’t at the same level but I think an extension is out of the question now. Get something out of him while they still can.

And to save what people have already said: All the expensive long term deals will soon catch up to the Tigers, especially with their lack of prospects. Phillies were in the same situation until they signed that TV deal. Verlander will be paid more in the upcoming years, they have to worry about Miggy soon, and they still need to pay some of Prince Fielder’s contract. Regardless of Scherzer having 1 year left, teams will pay a lot for a Cy Young, especially one who pitched very well in the playoffs.

Signing Scherzer to an extension is very unlikely (Most of Boras’ clients reach free agency) and is near as risky as signing Tanaka but for less money because of his possible asking price and because he has been dominant for a year and a half in him prime. If the Tigers are able to trade him, they could get a top prospect and maybe a few other players in which the team they traded him to can easily replace within the next 2-3 years by offering him a qualifying offer. The Diamondbacks are looking for an ace and they have a lot of starting pitcher depth. I could see a reunion.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 7 months ago

Great post. Makes rational sense.

I would add that Scherzer does NOT need to be traded.

Why not sign Tanaka and have both for 2014? Tanaka can take Fister’s spot in the rotation for one year and Smyly (and his minuscule ERA) can stay in the bullpen, which is still a weakness for the Tigers.

Even including the $20MM posting fee, Tanaka will cost less than Scherzer in AAV over 5-7 years. That being stated, the Tigers will have to overpay to get Tanaka to NOT go to a E/W Coast team.

I think that its probably close to 50/50 chance that Tanaka at ages 25-30 will outplay Scherzer at ages 31-36.

At the end of 2014, let Scherzer walk, get the good sandwich pick…. or if they are lucky, maybe a “too good to refuse” offer comes in at the trade deadline for Scherzer.

In 2015+, Tigers can move on with a “Big 3″ of Verlander, Sanchez and Tanaka with Smyly, Porcello and Ray all maturing to take the last two spots.

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

Except every move they have made this offseason has been about shedding salary. Probably to have money to resign Miggy and Scherzer. If you are the Tigers you know what you have with Scherzer, you have no idea what you are getting with Tanaka. Granted if a Wil Myers type deal presented itself, they would have to strongly consider it

bobbleheadguru
1 year 7 months ago

1. Fielder was made for LONGTERM salary relief.

2. Fister was made in part to make up the $30MM the lost with Fielder short/mid term ($30MM payments to Rangers). They now have THREE potential roster spots locked in at/near the league minimum.

3. They now have money to sign Miggy and Scherzer OR they can sign Miggy, keep Scherzer for one year (at a “discounted” arbitration number) and get Tanaka longterm.

4. I truly think it is debatable whether an “early to mid 30s” Scherzer will be better than “mid to late 20s” Tanaka over the next 5-7 years. You do NOT know what you are getting in a 34 and 35 year old Scherzer. Almost 100% certain, that he will not be good as the 29 year old Scherzer.

Mike89
1 year 7 months ago

Really wish the Mets made a push for Tanaka. It would make a lot of sense even with Colon already on the books now.

paqza
1 year 7 months ago

I can see the argument against it. The Mets currently have Colón, Niese, Gee, Wheeler, and Mejía. Out of those guys, Gee is the only one that would be a clear downgrade over Tanaka. This doesn’t include Matt Harvey, who’s out until 2015 due to TJ and Noah Syndergaard, the third best righty prospect in the game after Archie Bradley and Taijuan Walker.

Of course, you always need pitching depth and realistically, the Mets *should* be in a position to drop the money on him but right now, between where they are on the win curve, where they are in terms of organizational depth, and their current finances, it wouldn’t be a rational move.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Umm actually, you can make a very good argument that Tanaka is probably better than all of those guys you listed except Harvey…perhaps Bartolo too but ehh. Niese is extremely overrated. ERA+ of 95 and his career WAR is only 4.6 in 704 innings. 3.4 of the 4.6 came in 1 season. 5 other seasons a Combined 1.2 WAR

paqza
1 year 7 months ago

Oh, you absolutely can make that argument, but until he actually starts dominating Major League hitters, I’m going to wait on that judgement. Any guy who throws 93 without any movement on his fastball is going to need to make adjustments for Major League hitters. That said, I did use the term “clear upgrade”, and it’s still not apparent that Tanaka would be a “clear upgrade”.

NYBravosFan10
1 year 7 months ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank “The Negotiating Ninja” Wren is in on this and we find out that the Braves were pushing for him too

Danny Phillips
1 year 7 months ago

I would. They have their own players to worry about locking up.

1 year 7 months ago

Yeah, I don’t think that’s realistic. Now if the Tigers were to swoop in on Tanaka (see above), then I _could_ see Wren making a play for Scherzer.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

While the Angels would be better with Tanaka, their success in the 2014 season depends more on a bounce back by Hamilton and Pujols than a the signing of another SP. I really think that if Tanaka’s price exceeds their budget they should focus on retaining Trout and adding more SP depth (Capuano or Maholm type pitcher not Garza).

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

Their 2014 season depends on their pitching. Even if Pujols and Hamilton had 25 HR / 90 RBI seasons they’d be fine. Think about how high their whole offense’s OPS+ was last year, and compare it to their playoff years from 2002-2009. Some of those years they had an OPS+ below league average. Pujols and Hamilton having good years is more of a luxury than a necessity. They need to not lose Weaver for 2 months, and take away Blanton’s keys to the rotation for good. Those 2 things I think created a major domino effect in 2013.

Read_to_Achieve
1 year 7 months ago

While I agree with you that the Angels do need another SP, the AL West was much weaker during those playoff years.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

Because the A’s and Rangers didn’t have any pitching. In 2013 it was the other way around.

Jose Ochoa
1 year 7 months ago

Everything went wrong with them in 2013 losing weaver n vargas for a long period of time n burnett hurt them alot, they look to build on that late run last year with better SP and a to 5 offense. Moreno needs to pull the trigger on this weaver,cj,tanaka/garza looks solid

kdub53
1 year 7 months ago

Exactly, the halos definitely need an elite starter to contend. That’s just the bottom line. The AL west is stacked and there going to need all the ammo that they can acquire heading into this season.

BobOfArslan
1 year 7 months ago

His wife wants to live in Southern California. Need I say more? Dodgers or Angels.

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

Nothing changes the mind faster than money

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 7 months ago

True, but we’re already expecting a 9-digit contract for Tanaka. My bet is if an East Coast team and a West Coast team are only a couple million or a year apart then West Coast team still has the advantage.

GD
1 year 7 months ago

Or your wife!

Casey J
1 year 7 months ago

Third times the charm with huge contracts, huh Angels ?

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

Not sure…. ask the Dodgers

s7twoseven
1 year 7 months ago

Anybody have an idea of Tanaka’s timetable? When he’s going to make a decision?

Steve
1 year 7 months ago

Next Friday is when the 30 days end

Unassisted Triple Play
1 year 7 months ago

I would love for the cubbies to land Tanaka, while he has said he’d prefer to pitch on the west coast – I have very little doubt that should he choose Chicago, he and his family would LOVE it there!

dc21892
1 year 7 months ago

Theo got Dice-K to Boston, can he get Tanaka to Chicago? I think the fan base would fall in love with this guy. The attention it would draw would be good for the Cubs, not to mention his marketability.

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

To be fair, he got Dice-K to an established Boston team based on a blind posting fee and exclusive negotiating. It’s apples and oranges.

1 year 7 months ago

Prepare for another emotionally draining season Angel fans.