Reports circulated late Christmas Eve (Tuesday) that Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka would, indeed, be posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
When there is an official end to the saga, the Cubs have made it known they will be in on Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan last year. But just how involved will Theo Epstein's front office be?
I just spoke w/an MLB source who believes Cubs will not be outbid on Tanaka. He also said convincing Tanaka to come to Chgo will be hard.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) December 24, 2013
Same source: "This is exactly type deal that Theo/Jed will be all in on. However, will Tanaka say no to Yanks/Dodgers etc? Not sure he will"— David Kaplan (@thekapman) December 24, 2013
Once (and if) Tanaka is officially posted, all MLB teams will be allowed to front the $20 million posting fee. The teams that do so will then bid on Tanaka. Most teams in the league have expressed interest in at least entering the bidding war.
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Remember, just because the Cubs will spend big on Tanaka does NOT mean they will get him. NYY, LAD,TEX will all pay big $.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) December 25, 2013
This is product of new posting system which gives multiple teams chance to negotiate w/player. The most money doesn't mean u will land him.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) December 25, 2013
The Cubs had been waiting for a decision on Tanaka but went out and reached an agreement with a trio of left-handers late last week. Tanaka, 25, fits in with the club's long-term plans and would immediately upgrade the starting rotation that ranked ninth in the NL with a 3.97 ERA in 2013.