Earlier today, we learned the Cubs are prepared to offer Masahiro Tanaka a nine-figure contract and a National League GM expects one team will "come in and blow everyone away." Here's the latest on the top ranked player on MLBTR's 2014 Top 50 Free Agents list still on the market:
- The level of the Dodgers' aggressiveness in pursuing in Tanaka may be defined by the progress, or lack thereof, in extension talks with Clayton Kershaw, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required).
- The Blue Jays have scouted Tanaka, but their reluctance to offer players seven-year contracts make it unlikely the prized right-hander will sign with Toronto, writes Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.
- Also within Elliott's article, a source provides this scouting report on Tanaka: "Plenty of great Japanese hitters say his four-seam fastball and splitter are indistinguishable. His regular season was outstanding: 95-96 mph, four-seam fastball, location was great, velocity was great and an unhittable splitter, along with a hard slider."
- Elliott's source also outlined what Tanaka will be seeking from potential suitors. "Tanaka wants to go to a World Series, wants a city where his family will feel at home since they don’t speak English. He has a desire to be on a team with potential to win and loves the pressure."