Just two days into the first, typically more quiet round of GM meetings in Orlando, rumors are already swirling about possible landing spots for star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and former Yankees center fielder Cutris Granderon.
The Cubs have been connected to rumors involving the 25 year old Tanaka for quite some time now. His stock rose significantly after posting a 24-0 record for Tohoku Rakuten this in year and his bidding price may approach that of Yu Darvish two years ago($51.7 million). But will the Cubs be willing to break open the check book?
“We’re going to be part of the process,” Cubs GM JedHoyer said Monday from the meetings in Orlando. “We’ve done our work on him and plan on being part of it.”
Although he will come at a high price, Tanaka is a very good fit for the Cubs who have a need for pitching. Being just 25, Tanaka would fit perfectly into the Cubs plans as he will be entering the expected years of his prime as the Cubs begin to contend. Good free agent pitchers at such a young age are rare to come by these days so certainly the Cubs will be big players. The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are among other teams that are reported to have shown interest.
Today was the first time the Cubs have been connected to the soon to bee 33 year-old Granderson. Matt Cerrone, who covers the New York Mets, mentioned that the Cubs along with the Mets, White Sox, and Astros have all shown interest in Granderson. A Chicago native, many wondered if he would like to return to play for one of his hometown clubs either on the North Side or South Side.
Granderson makes some sense for the Cubs but not as much as Tanaka. The former all-star has been plagued by injury problems and many wonder if his age is catching up to him. The Cubs do have a hole in centerfield that they need to fill until Albert Almora takes over and Granderson could fill that void for a year or two. Being a left handed bat with a lot of power, Granderson would be a good piece in the Cubs lineup to take some pressure off of youngster Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro who struggled mightily in 2013.
If the Cubs could land Granderson for 4 years around $45MM-$50MM, I could see the Cubs doing. If he recovers form a bad 2013 season, Granderson could be a very valuable commodity when the July trade deadline rolls around. However, if the Cubs would lose their second round draft pick if they sign him.
Always a lot of rumors floating around during this time of the year, not all are true . Clearly the Cubs will be players for Tanaka, but Granderson? Guess we will have to wait and see.
The first round of GM meetings will conclude on Friday and then start up again come December.