The Cubs have made a “real offer” to Masahiro Tanaka

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It was reported Thursday that the Cubs were “pushing hard” to sign Masahiro Tanaka while a number of MLB owners gave the impression to ESPN’s Jayson Stark that they are “convinced” he’ll end up in Chicago. So, this report from Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com probably shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point:

Multiple teams have surely made offers to Tanaka already, but this report adds credence to the notion that the Cubs are willing to hang with deep-pocketed teams like the Dodgers and Yankees in order to sign him. That’s important, especially with the financial questions surrounding the Cubs ownership.

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported yesterday that clubs have yet to hear back from Tanaka since his visit to the United States last week. Per the posting system rules, he has until January 24 (next Friday) at 5 p.m. ET to reach an agreement with a team.

UPDATE: According to Levine, an MLB source believes that the Cubs are the “lead team” for Tanaka’s services.

Cardinals place Michael Wacha on the disabled list

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The Cardinals placed starter Michael Wacha on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. Wacha suffered the strain during the fourth inning of yesterday’s start with the Phillies.

It sounds like it was a severe strain, with Wacha saying yesterday that he had trouble breathing it hurt so bad. That suggests an extended time on the disabled list. As it is, most guys who suffer strained obliques miss at least a month.

John Gant was called up from Memphis to take Wacha’s place on the roster. He, Daniel Poncedeleon, Dakota Hudson or some combination of the three are likely to see the most time filling in. Not that they can necessarily replace him. 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, and his innings will be missed.