Takahashi to the Cubs Rumor
Update, January 12, 8:09 pst: Things are picking up for Takahashi. Daily Sports has published a report saying that Ken heard from his agent on the 12th, and had this to say: “I’m told that we’re in the middle of negotiations. I don’t really know what kind of response we’re getting. I’m in waiting state. Just getting my body into baseball shape. I can’t say anything beyond that.” Despite this, the Daily Sports report says that the Cubs remain in the lead, but there are official offers from the Orioles and Phillies, and that a decision on his destination could come as early as the beginning of next week.
A Mainichi report states that the Blue Jays and Mets are also interested.
Update, January 11, 10:30pm pst: Sanspo has comments from Takahashi: “I don’t know the details of what was published in the newspaper. I’m just practicing by myself to get my body ready for baseball.” Commenting on the fact that his destination hasn’t been decided yet, Takahashi said, “I’m certainly waiting nervously. Even if it takes the whole month, I think there’s not much you can do”.
Sports Hochi is reporting that the Cubs are close to a deal with lefthanded pitcher Ken Takahashi. According to Hochi it’s a one-year, major-league deal and the Cubs would look to him to start and pitch in middle relief. The article speculates that the Cubs are looking to bring in someone to support Kosuke Fukudome, but I don’t see the logic in signing another rookie. They might as well bring in Akinori Otsuka or someone that’s been through the league already. Ken Kadokura and Shigeki Noguchi auditioned for the Cubs last month as well.
This is very early speculation and I haven’t found any other mentions of it in the Japanese media, so we’ll see if the story develops.