The Chicago Cubs have always been considered major players for Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka, and the front office presided by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will finally have their first meeting with the former Rakuten Golden Eagles’ ace.
According to several reports, the Japanese hurler has decided to meet with several teams during this week, and both the Cubs and the Chicago White Sox are in his list. The meeting will probably be held in Chicago, and while the White Sox aren’t considered to be major players for the Japanese star, things are quite different for the Cubs.
The Cubs need to be very aggressive in order for Tanaka to buy into their rebuilding plan.
The Cubs will likely have to battle with the likes of the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Seattle Mariners to sign the 24 year old who clinched the NBP title before his posting. The three mentioned teams have money to spend and are – apparently – looking to win now, so the Cubs will need to be very creative in order to get the edge in the sweepstakes.
There are several roads the Cubs could take to leave a lasting impression in Tanaka’s camp, but they need to make him feel that he would be the star of the team and the ace of the staff. Things like the money and the security will surely be there, but for the Cubs to land him, they will need to be as aggressive as they can. It’s the only way they will have a chance to sign the coveted pitcher.