The Cubs are “pushing hard” for Tanaka

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Masahiro Tanaka has another eight days in which to negotiate with whoever he wants. Most are expecting the Dodgers or the Yankees to land him, but other teams aren’t giving up yet:

 

It’d be unexpected to say the least for the Cubs to get Tanaka. We know little about his desires apart from odd things like “his wife wants to be on the west coast” and it’s always smart to assume that money matters most. But one also has to think that going to a team in win-now mode is desirable for him too, and the Cubs just aren’t there yet.

That should also, by the way, mitigate how much the Cubs want to spend on a guy like Tanaka.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.