Tanaka, Cubs management and the Wrigley Field Renovation


Aug 21, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; The moon rises over the bleachers and rooftops during the fifth inning of a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Cubs Con was in full swing and this morning was no different as the team’s management fielded questions from the fans regarding an array of topics including the Wrigley Field renovation project, Clark – the team’s new mascot and whether or not the offseason dealings are done or not.

Just two years into the rebuilding movement, fans are growing tired of a poor on-field talent and a lack of direction from the front office.

When asked about Tanaka and the team’s chances of landing the right-hander, Theo Epstein deferred any up-front answer.

“I’m going to respect the request of confidentiality that’s come from the agent and the player, just let things play out,” Epstein said.

This morning, he was again asked about the team’s pursuit, which according to reports, has intensified in recent days.

“There are a lot of teams out there w/ interest. So we’ll have to see how the process play out.”

After the Dodgers signed ace Clayton Kershaw to a record 7-year, $215 contract extension, many believed the team may not be in on Tanaka any longer, but general manager Ned Colletti suggested otherwise in recent interviews, meaning Los Angeles could still be in on him.

Other front runners, according to media reports, include the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.

After fielding several questions regarding the team’s future, Epstein replied, saying, “We appreciate all of your patience.” He also said that he knew that he and GM Jed Hoyer knew they would be widely unpopular for the first couple of years before saying that if he had to choose one big league club to bet on long-term, it would be the Cubs.

In the realm of the Wrigley renovation debacle, Tom Ricketts said that recent conversations with the rooftop owners have been good, and he also compared them to a neighbor watching your TV through your living room window. So in other words, the sides clearly aren’t seeing eye-to-eye as of yet.

Furthermore, given the team has lost a year in its renovation timetable, he says the team plans to do the renovations in four years rather than the original five once negotiations with the rooftops are complete.

For the latest from Cubs Convention 2014, follow staff writer @denny_andrew, who’s live from the Windy City.