How Close Were the Chicago Cubs and Masahiro Tanaka?
As we all know by now, the Chicago Cubs lost out on 25-year old right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka signed with the New York Yankees for 7 years at 155 million. Tanaka received a full no-trade clause and can opt out of the contract after the fourth year. Patrick Mooney of Comcast Sportsnet reported the Cubs offer to Tanaka. Mooney said the Cubs offered Tanaka a 6-year deal worth 120 million, plus the 20 million posting fee.
Cubs’ General Manager Jed Hoyer spoke on the Tanaka matter:
Hoyer: “For us, the opt out clause would have been hard to put in (for Tanaka). That would have not made sense for the Cubs. We never got to that point.”
Hoyer on Tanaka: “We don’t know all the offers, but we were aggressive.”
Hoyer: “We (the Cubs) use Dan Haren in his prime as a comp to Tanaka.”
Hoyer: “We are certainly going after innings on the free agent market over the next few weeks. The Cubs will add more pitching.”
David Kaplan chimed in on the Cubs pursuit of Tanaka.
AL source involved in the Tanaka sweepstakes: “Cubs were competitive on the years and dollars, but made it clear the 4 year opt out was a no go.” “For Tanaka, the 4 year opt out is huge. If he is as good as I think he’ll, he’ll break the bank next contract.”
Kaplan: “Financially the Cubs could not compete with that cause. They won’t win in the next 2-3 years for sure. Then he would be coming up on free agency.” “The Cubs had to marshal all of their available resources to make Tanaka work. For the Yankees, it was like ordering an expensive meal.”
The Cubs did try to sign Tanaka, but the contract didn’t suit their process and didn’t pony up enough money. They didn’t come in second to prove a point, like some of you think. If they were to contend next season or the following season, Tanaka could very well be a member of the Cubs.