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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.

  • Demarrer

    If the Cubs could get Skaggs and Bradley for Jeff you have to pull the trigger, without thinking twice.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      I would think twice on any deal for Shark. That would be the beginning of a deal, not the end. It would start with those two and hopefully two more top 10 organizational talents. I can understand why the D’backs wouldn’t want to do that deal.

      • YourResidentJag

        I would trade for Bradley plus prospects. AZ has a deep farm system, they’re in contention, and who knows if the Cubs will get an extension with Jeff. I wouldn’t wait too long to do one, though. Jeff will be 29 next yr and prob will want in the 5-7 yr range. That means the Cubs will have him until 36 yrs of age with a salary of at least 16 mil at that point.

      • caryatid62

        If you asked for Bradley, Skaggs, PLUS two more top ten guys, you wouldn’t get past the word “plus” before the DBacks hung up on you.

        • Blublud

          I disagree. I think that sound about right, or at least close. I understand why Arizona wouldn’t do it, but the Cubs shouldn’t expect less.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            Towers can’t afford the heat he’d get.

          • caryatid62

            So you think Samardzija’s worth:

            1. Who many scouts believe is the #1 pitching prospect in the game (Bradley)

            AND

            2. The #12 overall prospect in baseball coming into this year

            AND

            3. TWO more organizational top tens

            ?

            I understand not selling low, but come on. That would be highway robbery. If Samardzija’s worth that, then David Price is worth Baez, Bryant, Alcantara, Lake and Pierce Johnson at minimum. Would you want the Cubs to make that deal?

            • Blublud

              I do not believe that Skaggs and Bradley is enough for shark. He is worth more and if its not top 10 it got be at least top 15. Shark value and Price value is not as wide spread as you may think.

              • TonyP

                What about if they add Campana??? JK

              • caryatid62

                Yes, yes it is. Samardzija’s value is about 50% of Price’s.

                I think you’re ridiculously overvaluing a #3 starter with control issues.

                • Kyle

                  Samardzija is 28th among all MLB pitchers in fWAR since the beginning of the 2012 season. He’s no Price, but calling him a No. 3 is silly.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Agreed he is worth a nice haul if we trade him… much much better than the Garza return.

                  • caryatid62

                    His xFIP+ is 92 and was 87 last year, and while his K/9 is solid, his BB/9 is creeping up again. That makes me think he’s not quite a high end 2 or 1.

                    Samardzija’s a very good pitcher right now, but I don’t see him as more than a low-end #2. Regardless, it’s all semantics, and ultimately irrelevant to the point.

                    He’s nowhere near worth two top 20 prospects PLUS 2 more org top 15s.

                    • MoneyBoy

                      Dale Sveum has some very interesting thoughts on Shark in the current Vine Line, essentially saying he’s just completed a full year of starting and is still learning how to pitch – giving specific examples.
                      He’s got the makeup and stuff to be a TOR guy but, at least in my opinion, isn’t there yet. I think he knows it, which could be why he’s reluctant to go for an extension right now.
                      For one, I’d be *very* leery of trading him for anything less than a ‘blow me away’ return.

                • cubchymyst

                  This is simply not true

            • Hansman1982

              It’s not what he’s worth, it’s what the cubs would need to part with him. Odds are only one of Skaggs or Bradley will match samardzija over the next 3-4 years.

              Ask for the moon. If you don’t get it, well, we get Shark for 2 more years.

              • YourResidentJag

                Hopefully, for the Cubs’ sake, in those two yrs includes an extension.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    I am all for getting the best talent in any deal. That said, that team if they were to have the pieces for Shark better have 2 top 50 overall talent that happens to be pitchers. Then they better have one of those two in the top 20 or so in all of baseball. You can’t give up Shark without 2 very high end pitchers with upside. That is why I agree with Brett this will not happen this year. I would think we could get more in the offseason if this were an option.

  • louis

    Archie Bradley, David Holmberg, and Stryker Trahan?

    • jeff1969

      If Arizona would do that, the Cubs should jump.

      • louis

        I’m assuming they’ll want to keep one of Bradley or Skaggs.

    • TulaneCubs

      Doubt that gets it done. Cubs will want at least two top 50 guys. Not enough high end talent in that package.

  • javi b (not that one):

    Taillon polanco sound good to enybody els? Throw in gregg

  • Tennessee Cub

    Never forget that Theo did pull the trigger on a Nomar trade. I wouldn’t be shocked by any deal. That said, it better be for at least two outstanding younger MLB ready studs.

    • Tennessee Cub

      pitchers at that

    • JBarnes

      And Hanley Ramirez…

  • YourResidentJag

    Sharknado…nice.

  • The real Goat

    Trade everybody on the roster even the prospects for younger prospects and lets not field a team till 2033

    • MichiganGoat

      You sir are no goat

      • The real Goat

        Prove it

        • MichiganGoat

          What a baiting response from you… Thank you for proving my point.

          • http://www.w2wn.net Cerambam

            The winner and still reigning goat champion is…… Michigan Goat

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    I think the momentum has to be what Philly is looking for for Cliff Lee. Sure no one wants to jump on that contract and pony up the prospects to boot.

    Age, sheer velocity, potential ace material, control for cheap, etc. all factor on the discussion.

    Jeff S. ranks 3rd in FB velocity and has excellent horizontal movement on it:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=y&type=10&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=4,d

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=y&type=11&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=4,a

    You have to consider anything that could be huge upside SP talent for the rebuild – if we can’t sign him – like Brett suggested FO knows where he is, they’ve talked, etc.

    IDK, I’d wait too. But desperation by some teams leads to dumb decisions. We can take advantage of that.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I like the idea of shopping Jeff. Like Garza, he had the opportunity to extend with the Cubs and protect himself the the losses that could go with injury. Unwillingness to extend now would increase the chances that they would never extend with the Cubs and they would then lose him to free agency anyway (or would have to trade him away in the next 1-2 years when his value may be less).

    On the other hand, I haven’t completely given up on 2014 being decent if we could add a bunch of good pieces next year and I think we should be very competitive in 2015, so any trade for Jeff would have to include near sure-thing major league talent (#2-3 starter x 2) to make me interested.

  • caryatid62

    I’d definitely look at dealing Samardzjia, but that’s mostly because I don’t see him as more than a #3 or (very) low #2 starter, and, from what I can tell through reports, his trade value is much higher than it probably should be.

    • cubchymyst

      Samardzija is not a number 3, and is a strong #2 if your going to use that ranking for starters. He has 2 plus pitches and decent command. You got a guy striking out around 9/9IP and walking around 3/9IP the past 2 years as a starter.

      • ChicagoMike702

        He doesn’t perform like a #2 starter: needs to get that FIP down.

      • caryatid62

        Yeah, I’m not buying that “strong #2″ stuff. His command isn’t there. That doesn’t mean he isn’t an above average starter, of course–it’s just that I think his perceived value (by other teams) is probably higher than his actual value, which would make him a great candidate to trade a high upside (#1 starter) prospect and others.

  • JulioZuleta

    I guess I’m not as attached to Samardzija as everyone else. He’ll never be an Ace in my opinion. I think he’ll always be a guy that gets his pitch count too high and last for 6 2/3 most outings. I also think he’ll always be prone to the real bad outing 1 out of 5 starts. That said, it would need to be something like Bradley/Skaggs to consider it.

    • MoneyBoy

      Julio … I disagree.
      1. IMO, it’s too early to know just what kind of guy he’s going to be. Read the current Vine Line which has Sveum’s thoughts.
      2. When he’s got it all working, he’s as dominant as anyone – RHP or LHP. Again, he’s still learning.
      3. My opinion – he doesn’t want an extension cuz the Cubs would be buying low, as they should.
      4. Cubs should listen of course. But EH&Co will demand the sun, stars and moon, as they should.

      The jury is still out on Sharknado! Me? I’m very bullish!!

  • John

    With the Braves in need of a picture, I feel that they would be the only ones that are willing to do a high priced trade. They have stated the with the injury that happened the other night and with Maholm on the DL, They are willing to pay big. If they season is done and The Cubs are in a Direct rebuild, then I feel that they could do the deal. They have a huge pitching element in the farm system. They will be fine by next year pitching stand point.

    • TulaneCubs

      The Braves don’t have enough top talent in their system to deal for Samardzija.

  • ssckelley

    I do not like the idea of trading Samardzija. The Cubs need to start building the MLB roster at some point.

    • MoneyBoy

      OMG!! I’m agreeing with you! Wink!

  • TonyP

    I don’t see Samardzija signing an extension and I don’t see the Cubs contending for a couple of more years. Seems like the the time is right to maximize the return you can get for him.

    • jeff1969

      Amen TonyP!

  • cubsin

    Given the glut of 3B in the system, I’d certainly be willing to flip Olt for an advanced SP or C prospect. Beef looks like he’ll be an adequate ML starting catcher, but our best catching prospect is probably Willson Contreras, and he’s in Low A and probably won’t make (m)any top 20 prospect lists.

  • http://sportsdanny@blogspot.com Dan

    They’re not trading him – stop – If they did it’s in a deal for Price

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Yeah… Tampa Bay won’t just trade Price for Samardzija. Throw in Baez and then they’ll consider that deal

      • TulaneCubs

        Regardless, Samardzija doesn’t make sense for Tampa. The only reason Price is getting moved is because he’s going to be a free agent in a couple of years and the Rays know they won’t be able to extend him. They’d have the same problem with Samardzija, as he’s scheduled to become a free agent the same year Price is.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    It may be the A’s who’re inquiring. With Bartolo Colon implemented in the Biogenesis scandal, they feel as though they may lose their best pitcher for the rest of the season and postseason.

    Jeff Samardijza + Cody Ransom or Dioner Navarro
    for
    OF Michael Choice #2 + 2B Grant Green #3 + SP Sonny Gray #4

    (gives us the freedom to trade Barney to Tigers in a package with a relief pitcher) + (someone who we can plug into the rotation right away)

    • TulaneCubs

      That package doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of quality to get Samardzija. In fact, that’s probably a worse package than the one the Cubs got for 1/2 season of Matt Garza.

      If the A’s wanted Samardzija, they’d have to include Addison Russel to even start the conversation. Just not enough quality pieces otherwise.

  • jeff1969

    I’m sorry, anybody who thinks Bradley & Skaggs isn’t enough for Samardija, is either 11 or a dope. Sorry, reality checking in here. I’d trade him in a heartbeat for that.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Agreed. Ppl are overvaluing Samardzija. Arizona won’t give up both. I doubt they will even put Bradley on the table

  • Deacon

    I would take 2 of 3 (whichever the Diamondbacks preferred) from Bradley, Skaggs, Delgado.

    Otherwise, I keep him for another year to see if he shows more consistency. If so, extension and if not then trade with 1.5 years left of team control for the acquiring team.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Deacon: Then the Dbacks would chose Skaggs and Delgado for Samardzija. I don’t make that deal if I’m the Cubs. Delgado is good but nothing better then mid rotation guy and Skaggs is very good but he’s not special like Bradley. If we make a deal with the Dbacks for the shark, then Bradley has to be in the deal

      • Deacon

        SCF, good points. I do agree Bradley is better than Skaggs.

  • another JP

    If the FO can maximize their return on Shark they need to do so now. Until his success as a starter last season JS had an accumulated WAR of .2 in 4 seasons… until he had a breakout season in 2011 he’d accomplished nothing in the majors. I know he has a plus arm but the love for what he’s done so far is over the top. Getting Bradley plus a few other prospects is definitely worth considering, and I’m certain the price of Cliff Lee would have other suitors inquiring on Shark.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    I’d be talking to the Braves about Samardzija and Russell for LHP Alex Wood, RHP Lucas Sims and C Bethancourt.

    • another JP

      No way Atlanta considers that trade, but never hurts to ask, eh?

      • TulaneCubs

        I think it’s the opposite. The Braves would do that trade in a heartbeat.

        Many people think Alex Wood is a long term reliever and Bethancourt is a back up catcher. Sims would then be the only guy in there that might be a big time player. But none of those 3 were a top 50 prospect coming into the year.

        The Cubs would turn that offer down immediately. The Braves honestly don’t have enough talent in their system to pull off a trade for Samardzija. The Cubs are going to want impact players and the Braves just don’t have them.

        • another JP

          In that case I’d agree with you… without at least one top 50 and one top 100 player no way Theo even thinks about it.

    • CubsFaninMS

      I live in Pearl, MS where the Mississippi Braves play. Watching 10 or so games this year, I’ve not come away impressed with Betancourt thus far, although his young age in the league should be factored in. Alex Wood, on the other hand, was mowing them down the two starts that I watched him in. Very solid pitcher with upside.

      Sample size alert, of course.

  • Spoda17

    I would totally trade Shark for… Jesus… he can hit a curve ball and throw one…

    • Hansman1982

      If Jesus hits a curveball that he pitches, does that make him less Godly? What if he misses the curveball? What if God is pitching?

      • MoneyBoy

        Jesus hitting curveball with holes in each hand would make Him more Godly.

        Now, when it comes to hitting a one iron – it is written: not even Jesus ….

        If God is pitching … and Ditka is the only defender …

        Cubs 962
        The minor league team on the south side 0

  • Die hard

    Boston may tho

  • nkniacc13

    Still think that it would be tough not to make it a 3 team trade for the Cubs to get what they want for Shark

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Salesguy

    I think someone comes calling for Jeff, and he goes at the deadline. If you think about it, he’s 28 with two years of control left, and though I hope and pray for different, we are looking at 2015 as our first solid competitive year. He is an expendable asset, and will be 30-31 by the time our window is here, and I think we’ve all seen what they (our FO) think of pitchers that age. Just my opinion though.

  • another JP

    OK now… after looking at the numbers Shark would have a similar value to Garza when we snagged him & Rosscup from Tampon Bag for Archer, Guyer, Chirinos, Lee, & Fuld, BA had Archer #1, Lee #4, Guyer #10 in the organization at the time, Chirinos was raking, & Sam Fuld had ML experience. So three top ten prospects on a team that wants Shark isn’t so far-fetched I guess.

  • Adam

    I don’t know how any of you people think Arizona trading BOTH Skaggs and Bradley is fair for the D-Backs, they will never budge on that. I think Bradley and Holmberg and Chafin would be right on the money.

    • davidalanu

      I wonder how untouchable Adam Eaton is from AZ’s point of view.

    • another JP

      If AZ wants to play hard-to-get approach the Dodgers about a deal with Shark goes to them for Lee/Reed, Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling or some reasonable facsimile thereof… get a bid war going.

  • BD

    I would trade him. From his sound bytes he’s not going to do an extension soon, and I’d rather bank more younger, long-term assets.

  • Die hard

    Jumbotron could fund Shark extension

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Salesguy

    I truly think it will be the braves that come calling, he seems to fit their mold, youngish pitcher, tons of talent, and just getting ready to go into a productive window, and can be had for prospects. With the braves offense behind him, and their ability to develop pitchers, Shark would be a formidable pitcher for them, at any price.

    • TulaneCubs

      Said it above to another poster, but they don’t have enough top talent to get a deal done.

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