MLB news roundup: Cubs willing to 'outbid the field' on Tanaka

Koji Watanabe

In the news today: the Cubs look poised to do whatever it takes to sign Masahiro Tanaka and Lucas Duda will continue working in the outfield for the Mets.

It seems as if the Cubs are willing to "outbid the field" for the services of Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, according to Bruce Levine.

Tanaka is far and away the hottest commodity left on the market and is rumored to have received offers exceeding $100 million from five different teams, the Cubs among them. The teams do not know the nature of the other teams' offers, but Levine sites sources saying that the Cubs are strong players.

The futures of pretty much every other starting pitcher left on the market depend on Tanaka's decision. Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza, Bronson Arroyo and others are all in a holding pattern right now waiting for Tanaka to sign. He has a deadline of Jan. 24, and if he does not sign by then, he will have to go back to Japan and play at least another season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Jeff Samardzija's future could also depend on what happens with Tanaka. If the Cubs are able to lure Tanaka to the North Side, Samardzija could feel more confident in the team's future and be more amenable to signing a long-term extension. He is scheduled to reach free agency after the 2015 season.

Duda should keep his outfield glove at the ready

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson says that slugger Lucas Duda will likely get some time in the outfield during spring training, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Duda has struggled to find consistent playing time with the Mets, due in no small part to the presence of Ike Davis at first base. Duda has been open about his displeasure with playing the outfield, and the Mets have explored trades involving both players in an attempt to clear the roster jam. Alderson says there is a possibility of both players being on the Opening Day roster, as Duda is a powerful left-handed bat off the bench. However, Duda stands to make over $1.5 million via arbitration this winter, and that coupled with his production could be too much to just sit on the bench.

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Five teams make formal offers to Tanaka | AL tracker | NL tracker

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