RUMORS, SPECULATION, ETC.
- Aaron Cook: Is planning to make a comeback after not pitching in the majors last season, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cook, age 34, owns an ERA+ of 103 across parts of 11 major-league seasons.
- Masahiro Tanaka: One MLB source tells ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers that the Cubs were willing to go up to $25 million per for the coveted Japanese right-hander, who's still just 25 years of age ... Nikkan Sports recently reported (link is in Japanese) that the Yankees, Cubs, White Sox, Dodgers and Diamondbacks all made nine-figure offers to Tanaka ... ... David Kaplan of CSN Chicago tweets that Tanaka's decision should come Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. The deadline for him to sign with an MLB team is Friday, Jan. 24.
- Nationals: Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports that the Nats may have interest in pursuing free agent closer Grant Balfour, whose tentative deal with the Orioles fell through earlier this offseason. In a related matter, Rosenthal also writes that the Nats may be looking to trade Drew Storen ... MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes that the Nationals would like to add a backup catcher and will look to do via trade.