The Masahiro Tanaka World Tour is swinging through the Windy City.
Tanaka will meet with the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox this week, according to Luke Stuckmeyer of CSNChicago.com. The meetings likely will take place in Chicago, according to Stuckmeyer, although each team’s level of interest in the Japanese pitcher is unclear at this point.
The Cubs already have been linked to Tanaka this offseason. CSNChicago’s David Kaplan reported last month that a source believes the Cubs will not be outbid in the Tanaka sweepstakes and that signing the 25-year-old is the type of move that Theo Epstein and Co. will go all in on. The problem, according to Kaplan, could be luring Tanaka to Chicago, especially if the right-hander receives comparable offers from the Yankees and/or Dodgers.
The White Sox, who are in a rebuilding mode, certainly represent a dark horse in the Tanaka bidding. But general manager Rick Hahn showed a willingness to dip into the international free-agent market by signing slugger Jose Dariel Abreu, and a 1-2 punch of Chris Sale and Tanaka is an intriguing possibility.