I have to admit, I’m disappointed we didn’t sign Tanaka. I knew we only had an outside shot, but it’s not often that you get a chance to sign a 25-year-old, TOR-potential pitcher—with nothing to lose but money. I do appreciate that the FO put in a good offer (I do believe that there was a real, honest effort to land Tanaka, not just a show for fans), and I’m encouraged that they had the financial resources to do so. There have been various reports as to what the offer actually was (some have said that the Cubs would have been willing to go up to the 7-year, $150 million range if that would have been required to land him), but it really seems like Tanaka was going to go to the Yankees no matter what. Really, I can’t blame him. If I were moving to Japan to play baseball, I’d probably want to go to the team with the longest winning tradition, in the biggest media market, with a chance to win now (well, maybe not me, since I’m an underdog kind of guy, but most people would probably choose that path). Anyway, we’re left to watch Tanaka from afar. Of course, Tanaka may wind up being more Igawa than Darvish, but there’s risk with any player.
In happier news, the Cubs’ farm system is rocking the charts these days. Baseball Prospectus just put out their list of the Cubs top ten prospects, and it goes as such:
1. Javier Baez
2. Kris Bryant
3. Albert Almora
4. Jorge Soler
5. C.J. Edwards
6. Arismendy Alcantara
7. Pierce Johnson
8. Dan Vogelbach
9. Christian Villanueva
10. Jeimer Candelario
If you have a subscription, you can read the scouting summaries of each prospect. I don’t want to give too much away, but here’s a teaser: the words “Miguel” and “Cabrera” are included in the Javier Baez write-up.
Speaking of Baez-induced drool, BP’s Jason Parks (@ProfessorParks) said this in a chat the other day in reference to Baez:
“One front office source told me that thinks Baez has hall of fame potential. No don’t go crazy with one projection, but if you really believe in the bat–meaning you think he will reach his offensive projections–35+ home runs is possible, all from a left-side of the diamond home. This is an extreme opinion, but not all that crazy when it comes to potential. Javier Baez could have a very special bat; the hand/eye, the bat speed, the raw strength are elite. If he puts it all together, he could be one of the best players in the game. If he stays healthy and consistent once he achieves that level, the hyperbole and hype of the present won’t seem so crazy.”
In other news, the Brewers have apparently signed Matt Garza to a four-year, $52 million deal, although, as of Thursday night, the Brewers weirdly denied that a deal was completed. My guess is that they are waiting on the medicals (which, for Garza, wouldn’t just be perfunctory—he’s had well-documented elbow troubles in the past). If the Brewers do sign him, I have some advice to Renteria: bunt!
Brett Taylor (a former lawyer) over at Bleacher Nation has a nice write-up on the lawsuit the rooftops are bringing against Marc Ganis, a sports consultant who worked for the Cubs, for what amounts to defamation. If you can stomach it, give it a read. It may be the first in a long line of litigation.
On that note, have a nice weekend!