According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, several members of Cubs leadership – including first-year manager Rick Renteria, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer – met with Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka in hopes of luring him to the Windy City.
According to Renteria, the team’s major pitch was that the Cubs were a team on the rise in Major League Baseball, but they do not know where they stand with Tanaka at the present time.
Earlier today, we shared with you a report indicating that both the Cubs and the White Sox were both in on Tanaka, which only added fuel to the speculation over where he may sign in the next week.
The frontrunners for much of the process have remained the Los Angeles Dodgers, who signed a record seven-year, $215 million contract extension with the team yesterday, and the New York Yankees, a team that badly needs to add starting pitching to complement C.C. Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda at the top of the rotation.
Other teams rumored to be interested include the Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox. A long-shot team could be Houston, which continues its lengthy rebuilding process under GM Jeff Luhnow.
Recently, reports surfaced saying that Tanaka’s wife prefers the west coast to other destinations, largely because of the proximity to Japan.