CHICAGO (AP) — The most anticipated player at the Chicago Cubs' fan convention this weekend probably isn't on the roster or in the farm system. A case could be made that he's in Japan.
While pitcher Masahiro Tanaka weighs his options, the Cubs and other teams in on the bidding keep their fingers crossed. Landing the Japanese star would be a big step for a struggling franchise.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein called him "a valuable commodity" but had little else to say about Tanaka on Friday. He says he will "respect the request for confidentiality that's come from the agent and the player."
Adding Tanaka would be a sign that the Cubs are at least trying to nudge their rebuilding process into a higher gear.