The Chicago Cubs have jolted to the top of the Masahiro Tanaka race, and now are the "lead team" for the Japanese ace, a league source told Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM (a Chicago-based radio station). Levine also said earlier that the Cubs have made a real offer to Tanaka.
On Thursday, Ken Rosenthal had reported that the Cubs were "pushing hard" for the hurler. The same day, Jayson Stark tweeted this:
In non-replay news, amazing how many owners in Ariz. [Arizona] were convinced Cubs are ready to blow away the field & sign Tanaka to a monster deal.
Well, you better believe it. The Cubs are loaded with prospects, such as Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Jorge Soler (just to name a few), but are short on the pitching side. Acquiring a young Tanaka would be huge for the Cubs. It looks like they might just be able to pull it off.
Tanaka has until January 24 to make a decision on his next team.