The Chicago Cubs off-season has been very quiet thus far making the Cubs one of the least active teams in the MLB.
Theo Eptein and company could be waiting on if starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be posted or not. The decision on Tanaka could affect the Cubs and the lack of activity on their side.
To break it down:
The MLB and NPB came to a decision on the new posting fee. The posting fee limit will be a maximum bid of 20 million. As many teams can post the 20 million fee and if all do, Tanaka can talk to all teams about a contract. When Tanaka chooses a team, that team will be the only team to give the Rakuten Golden Eagles 20 million.
The 20 million posting fee is the holdup in the Tanaka posting. The Rakuten Golden Eagles owner does not like the low number and isn’t high on posting Tanaka. The owner is actually prepared to make Tanaka the richest player over in Japan, offering him 8 million per year.
According to reports, the Rakuten Golden Eagles prepare to make a decision tomorrow or Wednesday on if they will post Tanaka.
There are mix reviews on if he’ll be posted or not butTanaka has made it clear that he wants to come over to the United States.
The Cubs are expected to be in on Tanaka the whole process and expect to make a huge play for him.
The Cubs are in need of starting pitching and his age fits perfectly. Tanaka is only 25-years old and could be the ace the Cubs are looking to get in their rotation.
The Cubs will bid the 20 million posting fee and will have to convince Tanaka to join their team. Executives around the MLB, expect the process to be over 100 million for Tanaka. 20 million posting fee and a 80 plus million contract.
The New York Yankees are also big players on Tanaka, but their tax threshold may come into play and may not be able to as much as they have said in the pass. But the Yankees have the money and if they can, they will throw tons of money at Tanaka.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have also jumped into the Tanaka sweepstakes as a serious contender. The Diamondbacks need starting pitching and have the money to add Tanaka.
One team I would have thought to be serious in on Tanaka is the Los Angeles Dodgers but they have fallen out of the conversation. I still expect the Dodgers to be in on Tanaka because of their need for starting pitching.
A lot more teams will be interested, but those are the teams that have been linked to Tanaka as serious suitors.
Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer has said the Tanaka situation and Jeff Samardzija situation do not relate. That may be true, but I do think the Cubs are waiting to see what happens with Tanaka before making a move with Samardzija. The Cubs very well could keep Samardzija if they did sign Samardzija, but at this rate, that’s unlikely.
The Samardzija rumors will likely not begin again until the Tanaka resolution is resolved. If Tanaka is posted, the Cubs won’t move him until Tanaka signs with a team. Just so more teams can join the pursuit and the Cubs can get the best of all offers.
The Cubs have made it clear that they would like to sign Samardzija to a contract extension, but aren’t meeting Samardzija’s demands. That is why Samarzija will be traded. If not in the off-season, the trade deadline most likely. But from reports, Samardzija will not be on the team come opening day.
Teams have interest in Samardzija, but are backing off due to the high price. The Cubs have made offers to teams, but in terms, were laughed at and hung up on. The Cubs were asking for the number one prospect starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez, number 3 prospect starting pitcher Marcus Stroman and a third player from the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cubs also made an offer to the Atlanta Braves and wanted either outfielder Justin Upton or Jason Heyward. The Braves were a serious suitor, but have lost a lot of interest in Samardzija.
Samardzija will attract a good trade offer, but probably not that high. Samardzija can be a high-end starter, if he puts it all together. The contract extension won’t be too high and most teams would pay his asking price. Samardzija made 2.64 million last year and is projected to make 4.9 million in his second year of arbitration.
Many teams have expressed interest in Samardzija. Along with the with the Blue Jays and the Braves, the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies have called the Cubs about Samardzija. The Rockies won’t have interest in Samardzija anymore with the addition of starting pitcher Brett Anderson.
In terms, the decision on Tanaka does relate with Samardzija. That’s why the Cubs are waiting on to see if Tanaka will be posted and how it affect the Cubs all together. The wait is coming and we’ll see what the decison is in the next day or two.