Rumors have been swirling around about starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka since way before he was even officially posted and made a MLB free agent. He is without a doubt the most sought after and buzz-worthy free agent in quite a long time. Considering those details it might be somewhat surprising that reports suggest the leading team in the Tanaka sweepstakes is the Chicago Cubs. They reportedly have a real offer on the table. What does this mean?
I’m sure there are fans out there that buy into the Tanaka hype and others that choose not to. The fact of the matter is that even if he lost a good bit off of his former numbers when he came into MLB, he’d still be worth a ton of buzz and money. Yes, he was that effective and looks to be someone that can be just that big of a deal from an MLB mound.
The fact that every team in baseball has spoken with or about Tanaka at some point this offseason and the Cubs are the apparent front-runners tells us a couple of things. First of all a foreign free agent wouldn’t care more about the recent history of a MLB franchise’s success than Robinson Cano would and you can see where the money led him.
Secondly it tells us that the Cubs are high enough on Tanaka that they are willing to break the bank and the payroll for him. The thought of Tanaka along with Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson and Jeff Samardzija in the Cubs rotation might make things a little bit more interesting. In short, this could be a move worthwhile to both the Cubs and Tanaka if it works out. Why wouldn’t each choose the other?