What's the latest on Masahiro Tanaka?
Well, with the Cubs Convention in the rear-view mirror and SoxFest looming this weekend, we will soon know whether or not the Japanese free-agent pitcher will be pitching in Chicago next season.
CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney examines how the Cubs are going all-in for a guy like Tanaka, like they did last winter with starter Anibal Sanchez, who wound up re-signing with the Detroit Tigers. Mooney took a look at the Cubs' pitch to the free-agent hurler, wondering if Theo Epstein's plan for the future would be enough to lure Tanaka to the North Side. Mooney also took a look at the Ricketts family's habits in free agency, Epstein's defense and whether it could all change if Tanaka picks the Cubs. Mooney also joined SportsTalk Live to break down the latest in the Cubs' pursuit of Tanaka.
And, also reporting from the Cubs Convention, Tony Andracki wrote on the Cubs' years of scouting Tanaka, an experience that makes them feel comfortable taking such a financial gamble.
On the South Side of town, the White Sox aren't yet giving up on the high-priced free agent. CSNChicago.com White Sox Insider Dan Hayes joined SportsTalk Live to discuss the chances of Tanaka landing on the South Side.
CSN's David Kaplan tweeted that he expects Tanaka's decision to come Wednesday, a couple days before the Friday deadline.
I expect winning team in Tanaka sweepstakes to know decision by close of business, Wednesday. That gives the team time for addtl. medicals.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 21, 2014
Bruce Levine of The Score tweeted sources believe the Cubs will have the winning bid for Tanaka.
Industry sources believe the Cubs will outbid the field on money and years. None of the clubs know other teams bids.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) January 20, 2014
And, with other, non-Chicago teams in the race for the pitcher — the Yankees, Dodgers and Diamondbacks were reported as three others to make Tanaka an offer — the national media is taking a close look at the situation. Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi wrote that the Cubs do need Tanaka but might not be able to draw him to a team that has posted four straight losing seasons.
Stick with CSNChicago.com for the latest on the Cubs and White Sox pursuit of Tanaka.