A number of owners are “convinced” that the Cubs will sign Masahiro Tanaka

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FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported this morning that the Cubs are “pushing hard” to sign Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Teams like the Yankees and Dodgers have obviously received much of the attention so far, but ESPN’s Jayson Stark provides more evidence why we should start taking the Cubs seriously here:

It’s unclear what a “monster deal” means exactly, but one would have to assume that it would be well above $100 million. It could be worth it for a team like the Cubs, who are trying to find their way back to relevancy. While they are loaded with top position prospects like Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Alberto Almora, Jorge Soler and Arismendy Alcantara, they are a bit short on the pitching side. Signing Tanaka, while expensive, would be huge for the rebuilding effort.

Tanaka has until January 24 (next Friday) at 5:00 p.m. ET to sign with a team.

Michael Wacha leaves game with a left oblique strain

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Cardinals starter Michael Wacha suffered a strained left oblique muscle during his start this afternoon against the Phillies, causing him to leave in the fourth inning.

Wacha is 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 71/36 K/BB ratio in 84.1 innings across 15 starts this season with St. Louis. To the extent he has to miss some time — and obliques invariably send starters to the disabled list — potential fill-in candidates include John Gant, Daniel Poncedeleon and Dakota Hudson.