Tanaka will have no lack of suitors and could be placed up for bidding shortly after the Japan Series.

Signing Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has become a top priority for the Chicago Cubs this offseason, reports Phil Rogers of MLB.com.

The Cubs have a heavy need for pitching going forward and Tanaka figures to be among the best pitchers on the market this offseason. He will also come at a hefty price as teams will first have to place a blind bid just for the chance to negotiate a contract. The Rakuten Golden Eagles are expected to post Tanaka following the Japan Series taking place this week.

Chicago will have a large contingency at Game 2 of that series, when Tanaka is scheduled to pitch. The team has a number of top positional prospects coming up through the minors, but the system doesn't have much in the way of top pitching.

Tanaka, 24, is in his seventh season with the Golden Eagles. He has had a sub-2.00 ERA each of the past three years with a 1.24 ERA and 0.93 WHIP over 23 starts in 2013. Furthermore, he has averaged nearly eight innings per start this season.