Being a Cubs fan is all about hope. Jim Hendry’s assertion yesterday that the team will enter the bidding for Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka should keep the positive vibes going around the team.
It’s important to note, though, that every team has some level of interest in Matsuzaka and nearly every team will place a bid. There’s no danger in bidding too low – only upside. Still, the thought of Matsuzaka behind Carlos Zambrano makes Cubs fans salivate. Suddenly the Cubs would have the makings of a rotation – Rich Hill in the third slot, a mid-level free agent as #4, and Mark Prior et al. filling out the fifth spot. I’m letting my imagination run wild though – a more likely scenario is that Matsuzaka is a million bucks beyond the team’s budget so Hendry signs Gil Meche to a four-year deal with an out clause in case he pitches well.
With or without Matsuzaka, that #4 starter could come from Japan. Jim Hendry mentioned "two or three pitchers over there we feel can start here," one of which could be Kei Igawa.
The Cubs join the Angels, Royals, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Rangers, Orioles, Dodgers, Mariners, and Padres as the ten most interested clubs. Who else thinks the winning bid tops $30MM?