Bruce Levine got everyone excited with some tweets on Saturday that made the Cubs sound like the frontrunners for Tanaka. Here are some examples:
“Wake up tweeters! Cubs made Tanaka a real offer to be there ace and grow with their other talented young players.” [sic]
“Japanese source said Tanaka loves a challenge and wants to be the man. All that is waiting for him at Clark and Addison.”
“MLB source believes Cubs are lead team for Tanaka.”
David Kaplan (@thekapman) chimed in with this yesterday:
“Finally, NL scout I just talked to believes Tanaka is worth risk, + Cubs willing to spend huge. However, not a contender is huge impediment.”
Besides the obvious issue of landing a potential top-of-the-rotation arm, there are broader implications for the team. If the Cubs have made a serious offer, one that competes with and possibly beats other offers (and there have been many reports from various sources to indicate this) it is an indicator that the team is willing and able to spend money when the team needs it. If this is the case, it’s reassuring, since there have been doubts about ownership’s willingness to spend. As for Tanaka, it sounds like the Cubs are trying to sell him on the idea of “being the man” in Chicago – essentially, he’ll go down in baseball lore if he helps bring a championship to Chicago. We should know within the next few days if this strategy worked.
Speaking of finances, it appears that the Cubs and the rooftop owners are closing in on a deal that would allow the renovations of Wrigley Field to commence. The Ricketts have been unwilling to begin the renovations until the threat of a lawsuit from the rooftops was off the table. Tom Loxas over at Cubs Insider did some nice reporting on this issue.
What do you think about MLB’s expanded replay rules?
I love these alternate throwback jerseys the Cubs will be wearing this season. What do you think?