The Chicago Cubs‘ fan base is growing restless after over 105 years of not seeing a World Series champion. Trust me, I get it. However, that doesn’t give Cubs fans the right to act like giddy schoolgirls whenever the team is rumored to sign a big-time free agent, or in this case a stellar 24-year-old Japanese pitcher, who was 24-0 last season.
Masahiro Tanaka has dominated the offseason much like he and his Rakuten Golden Eagles teammates carved up the Japanese Baseball League in 2013. Tanaka’s perfect record isn’t his only jaw-dropping statistic as he finished the year with a 1.27 ERA and 182 strikeouts in a total of 212 innings. Pretty impressive, right?
Either way, the folks on the north side of Chicago shouldn’t worry so much about adding depth to the pitching staff. Heck, the Cubs’ starting rotation was actually rather solid in 2013 with Travis Wood emerging as a definite number-two starter on any staff. Wood was by far the Cubs’ most consistent pitcher, but Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta all showed life toward the end of the year as potential difference-makers.
Furthermore, Chicago needs to worry about it’s offense and not it’s pitching. Nate Schierholtz led the team in batting average last season by hitting a whooping .251! Even worse, first baseman Anthony Rizzo was number on one the team in RBI with 80. If that doesn’t paint a perfect picture of the Cubs’ inept offense then I don’t know what does.
So while adding Tanaka would be a major PR move and one that MLB pundits would talk about for months; bringing the Japanese star to the Windy City would hardly be a franchise-saving move like many are claiming.