Chicago Cubs have set out their ambitions to lure much sought-after starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to the windy city, according to a source close to the team.

Since the Japanese pitcher arrived in Los Angeles a number of teams have begun fighting it out to secure his signature.

But now the Cubs are looking to steal a march on their rivals and are believed to be prepared to make a "nine-figure investment" in Tanaka.

Assuming this is in relation to a five year contract this would put Tanaka's earning  a minimum of around $20m a year. But who knows to what extent the Cubs are willing to go.

The talk of a nine-figure investment only adds to media interest in this story with several other teams also seemingly prepared to offer big bucks.

With a 1.000 record for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2013, and a career total 18shutout shutouts, the level of interest is not surprising.

Tanaka is in Southern California at the minute and is expected to meet with the Dodgers and White Sox, with a total of 12 MLB franchises rumoured to be interested in his services.

Expect other teams to reveal their hand soon enough.

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