Tanaka taking his time with MLB offers
Japanese pitching phenom Masahiro Tanaka, whose stunning numbers (24-0, 1.27 ERA) from the 2013 season and international winter soap opera have made him the darling of the MLB offseason, is still mulling over his many offers.
Tanaka visited the U.S., after weeks of speculation as to whether his Japanese team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, would let him go, or if the international posting system would be solidified enough for him to bemade available.
Tanaka's MLB career looks to begin soon, however, as the 25-year-old righty heard from teams he would be most interested in signing with for 60 minutes each.
Getting his thoughts following his meetings, however, has been fruitless.
Source tells me clubs have not heard back from Tanaka & nobody knows where they stand. Most had about 60 mins to make a case. No visits.— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) January 17, 2014
This morning, there was still nothing from Tanaka's camp. Tanaka's agent, Casey Close, has kept the lid remarkably shut on proceedings, and Cubs president Theo Epstein stated that he'd been requested to respect the pitcher's confidentiality.
The Cubs' interest has been reiterated, as they wish to lavish 'ace' status upon Tanaka and make him a part of their building process for years to come. Current Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija reflected on what the big acquisition of Tanaka would mean for the lowly NL Central-dwellers.
“You bring him [in] and that R-word [rebuilding] disintegrates. You always keep an eye on that as a player.”
The Cubs were speculated as the favorites this past week, but the Yankees and Dodgers, flush with cash, will have no problem sticking around the sweepstakes.