Masahiro Tanaka Rumors: Friday

Let's round up the day's rumblings on Masahiro Tanaka, who will have chosen his new club by this time next week:

  • Both Chicago organizations are real contenders for Tanaka, Dan Martin and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post wrote yesterday. An industry source says that the Cubs and White Sox have serious interest in the Japanese ace. Seven teams met with Tanaka during his trip to the U.S., the pair notes, though the Sox are the only ones to have publicly acknowledged a face-to-face. 
  • Those meetings have not yet resulted in feedback, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com (via Twitter). Teams had around an hour to pitch Tanaka, but have not heard back. "Nobody knows where they stand," says Sanchez.
  • The Cubs have withheld cash thus far in order to keep a sufficient war chest to make a real run at Tanaka, says Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. But with a "debt-strung, skittish-to-spend ownership," in Wittenmyer's words, the club may not be a real player in the sweepstakes. 
  • The Dodgers are actively involved in talks with Tanaka, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. This report confirms what many had suspected (and the front office had indicated): the club will not be precluded from another massive investment after extending Clayton Kershaw. As Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com further reports, GM Ned Colletti has had discussions with Tanaka's reps at Excel Sports Management all week long. "We're still, first and foremost, concerned with the quality of the team we can put together, and adding it up comes second," said president Stan Kasten. "This is a long-term strategy of ours. After five or six or seven years, it will make a lot more sense than it does to people looking at today's snapshot."
  • For his part, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick is not so sure that Los Angeles will go all out for Tanaka, though it is interested if he values the chance to play on the West Coast and is "willing to make his decision on factors other than total financial package." But with interest that has been only "lukewarm at best," says Gurnick, the Dodgers would probably not look to win a bidding war absent intervention from the ownership group. A Hanley Ramirez extension is, in Gurnick's estimation, a higher priority for the L.A. brass.

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