Report: Chicago Cubs Become First Team To Make ‘Real Offer’ To Masahiro Tanaka

The Chicago Cubs have reportedly made a “real” offer to star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels remain potential landing spots for the 25-year-old, the Cubs are “pushing hard” to sign the ace and they become the first known team to make him an offer, according to Bruce Levine of 670 The Score.

While it is likely that multiple clubs have made offers to Tanaka, the report suggests that the Cubs are willing to outbid the big-spenders, such as the Dodgers and Yankees. Levine also reports that the Cubs have emerged as front-runners in the Tanaka sweepstakes.

Tanaka would certainly accelerate Chicago’s rebuilding process and the addition of him could also convince their top pitcher to stick around. Right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who has been the subject of trade talk after failing to ink an extension with the Cubs this offseason, admits that the signing of Tanaka would make him more willing to stay with the team long-term.

“[Signing Tanaka] changes that [winning] timeline,” Samardzija said. “And that’s what I’ve talked about. I’ve mentioned the frustration with that ‘R’ [rebuilding] word before.

“And you bring him in, that ‘R’ word essentially disintegrates. You’re always keeping an eye on that as a player, and you see some young players coming who are close and that excites you, too. It makes spring training exciting to see these guys get some big league action and how they respond and grow.”

Tanaka has until Jan. 24 at 5 p.m. ET to finalize a deal with a team.

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