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jeff samardzija sharknadoAh, the last few days before the Trade Deadline. You always toss us crazy things …

Today, Ken Rosenthal reports that a Cubs source tells him the team is “listening” to interest in Jeff Samardzija. The asking price, as expected, is extremely high.

This isn’t the first Samardzija rumor we’ve heard this trade season, but it will be mostly dismissed in the same manner. That one, which had the Diamondbacks interested in Samardzija, ended (reportedly) with the Cubs asking for tip top pitching prospects Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs, and the Diamondbacks politely backing off. That’s the price of poker in any Samardzija discussions, and I can understand why no team would be willing to meet the price.

I doubt there is anything more to this than simple due diligence – either by the Cubs, by inquiring teams, or by both. The Cubs are listening on Samardzija because they’ll listen on anyone (as they should).

Now, are they listening a little more closely on Samardzija than they would on, say, Anthony Rizzo? Probably. So, in that regard, this probably isn’t a completely hollow rumor (and Rosenthal knows how widely a report like this will spread, so he’s not going to attach his name to something that is completely without merit).

Feel free to go wild on the speculation, but understand that the chances the Cubs are even ever made a serious offer for Samardzija – let alone accept one – are extremely small.

The Cubs have Samardzija under team control for two more years, and would probably prefer to extend Samardzija before entertaining any trade ideas. That said, the front office knows better than any of us just how likely or unlikely an extension is going to be. That’s why we leave open that teeny, tiny chance that Samardzija could be traded by Wednesday. But even if an extension is not in the cards, it’s not like Samardzija doesn’t offer the Cubs a whole lot of value in 2014 and 2015.

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