Late last night, while I prepared for these here shenanigans, Jon Heyman reported that the asking price on Jeff Samardzija – on whom Ken Rosenthal has said the Cubs are listening – was sky high.

Indeed, Heyman used a colorful metaphor to describe that asking price:

Now you understand the headline joke. I hope.

As for the substance, Heyman reports that “the Cubs are basically requesting of teams that they ‘take whatever they want’ when it comes to a potential Samardzija deal,” which Heyman describes as a slight exaggeration, but sounds just about right to me. Given Samardzija’s emergence as a legitimate threat to become an ace over the next couple of years, and the two years of control the Cubs still have, dealing Samardzija right now makes no sense.

Unless you get an organization-altering return. And that kind of return means the Cubs would pretty much have to “take whatever they want” from a team’s farm system.

The Cubs are only considering Samardzija offers, Heyman says, because of Samardzija’s present unwillingness to engage in long-term contract discussions (in the range the Cubs are looking, anyway). Many teams are interested, but I’m not quite sure whether this is just another “the Cubs are listening, because obviously” report, or if this is true, new data point.

I also don’t know whether any of this matters. We know that the Cubs won’t move Samardzija short of a ridiculous, over-the-top return … would any team out there really consider making such an offer?

For now, I prefer to look forward to the offseason, and the sides re-engaging in extension discussions.

  • OkieCub

    Hehe….speaking of significant packages…

  • baldtaxguy

    Hopefully a contract can be reached – I like him and his competitiveness on the Cube.

    • Eternal Pessimist


  • 5RunHomerun

    Ah yes, Miguel Sanchez. He was signed out of the DR by the Pirates at the young age of 2. He spent a year in the DSL before arriving in the states earlier this year. He’s already reached Bradenton, where he’s put up a 134 wRC+ for the Marauders. My only concern about the 6’10” power-hitting lefty is whether he’ll eventually be suspended for PEDs. I mean, come on.

  • cubchymyst

    In all honesty if he said as high as the Willis Tower I would of had to think about it for a minute

    • Hansman1982

      True chicagoeans would have had no idea what he was talking about.

      • MichiganGoat


  • Cheese Chad

    Yes, they should be looking for this kind of return.

    • Tobias

      Isn’t that guy playing in Toronto now? He gave one hell of an interview. At least Dorn retired.

  • Frank F.

    They’re basically saying that they’re not trading him, but if a team is willing to make us a foolish offer, we’ll take it.

    There’s a big difference between shopping a player and taking calls. It’s a much better tactic than refusing calls on any player with a hint of potential, and next thing you know, Sam Fuld and Rich Hill are laughably untouchable.

  • Cubbie in NC

    So the Cubs have Herschel Walker and so come and get him someone….

  • madisoncub

    Hi Brett,

    Good luck today, man. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on what will go down in the next 32(ish) hours. Any educated guesses? And not just for the Cubs, but around the league as well. Is this something you’ll cover in the podcast?

    • Brett

      I really don’t know what we’re going to do in the podcast – it’s going to be tricky.

      I think the Cubs will make a couple trades (over under is 2, and I’d lean toward under, if I had to choose), but I’m not sure any major piece is moved. I think the White Sox are bluffing, and Peavy will be traded. I’ll say there will be at least one “surprise” trade around baseball.

      • Jp3

        How dare you, are you saying Goggles isn’t a major piece?

        • Brett

          The goggles certainly are, even if not the pitcher who wears them.

      • madisoncub

        Thanks! I figured the Cubs pretty much closed up shop with maybe the exception of Schierholtz.

        Podcast-wise, I think you could have a good debate on Soriano and what value he brought to the Cubs over the past seven years. Was he worth it? Was he a bad investment? Etc, etc, etc…

        I’m sure you’ve had that discussion a few times already (I haven’t heard all the podcasts), but now that he’s gone, I’m sure a good reflection piece is in order.

      • Mike Taylor (no relation)

        He’s not starting for the White Sox tonight, so yeah… as the douche would say, “HE GONE!”

  • ETS

    what are teams that could even put together a sharkesque package?

    I could maybe see diamondbacks, orioles, cardinals, twins (but there’s no way they would)…

    • mdavis

      the pirates certainly good. I believe Cubs Den was reporting yesterday the conversation would have to start with Taillon and Glasnow. Basically any team with an elite future ace type could bring the cubs to the table in my opinion. But basically, I think it will take 2 sharks, so to speak, to pry away ours.

    • farmerjon

      It’s a pretty limited list of teams that both 1. are in contention and 2. could (would) put together an acceptable package… Cardinals, Pirates, D-backs, Red Sox, Rays (doesn’t fit MO), Orioles, Indians, Rangers (may not be a good match) and the A’s….did I miss anyone?

      • ETS

        Red Sox could put together an interesting package though I think it would need to include both dodgers pitchers. The great thing about the Red Sox is they could put together enough value in all starting pitching prospects and they could still keep bogarts (unless we want to establish the single greatest positional farm of all time, haha).

    • On The Farm

      The Padres (Hedges, Kelly, Fried for starters) could put together a good package. And of Course Boston could they have pitching: Workman (in the bigs already), Barnes, Renaduo, De La Rosa, Webster, Owens, Light, Britton; and postional guys: Bradley, Brentz, Swihart, and their 3B prospect who is mashing but I will probably butcher the spelling so I wont attempt.

      • ETS

        For me, kelly doesn’t add a ton, but I guess it’d be fun to collect all the AGon pieces. lol.

  • Cubbie in NC

    Brett do you think that Valbuena could be moved? I am curious to see how the Cubs plan to incorporate Olt into their plans. I would think that they would want to get him some time to see what they have before Bryant is ready. As it stands now there is no place for him to play.

    • DarthHater

      If he has a good arm, they could use some peanut vendors. They’re also in need of construction workers… 😛

    • ETS

      Not brett, but I would think Ransom would be moved before Valbuena. I don’t think the addition of olt increases or decreases either player’s odds of being moved.

      (I still think Olt gets flipped to Seattle in the off season for pitching.)

      • Cubbie in NC

        If they are planning on flipping him, they are better off leaving him in AAA for the rest of the season in case he gets exposed in the majors.

      • Brett

        I agree with the non-parenthetical part. Valbuena is a great piece to keep, whether he’s starting at 3B or not.

        • Cubbie in NC

          I like Valbuena and I think he is a good complimentary player. It is kind of tough to look at the Cubs lineup with all of the guys hitting in the mid to low 200’s without a lot of power. I thought that Valbuena would be more sought after than Barney or Ransom by other clubs.

          • Fenway Frank


            If 3B gets taken over by Olt or other. Who would you rather see at 2B, Barney or Valbuena?

      • CubbiesOHCubbies

        I could see some minor league players traded today as well. At some point I assume they will trade away some areas of strength to address some weaknesses in our system.

    • jt

      Christian Villanueva had a really bad start to AA in April 2013.
      Take a good look at his hitting stats before and after.
      His OPS for May, June, July of 2013 is around 0.825
      Even using those April stats he has had 47 HR’s in 1700 minor lg PA’s. Adjust that for 3 seasons and it works out to 18 HR’s per 650 PA seasons. The thing is he is showing more more this year than he did at the lower levels. Adjust his 14 HR’s on 2013 for the 650 PA’s and it yields 22 dingers.
      This is a guy who is known mostly for the leather he flashes.
      He may not be the long term solution to 3B at Wrigley but I believe he belongs in the conversation.

  • August

    All the contract and trade discussions with Shark will be magically solved when the Cubs win ball games. “Two years of team-control” remaining? I think the Shark is playing fan advocate and saying to Theo, “You’ve got two years to win, fellas, or you can’t afford me.” Also- is it just me or are the Cubs one stud FA pitcher from having an unbelievably good rotation?

    • On The Farm

      How could the big market Cubs not afford Samardzija? I would think if by the end of next season they don’t get an extension with him its because they don’t want him anymore, not the other way around.

  • CubFan Paul

    If Samardzija isn’t signed to an extension soon it’ll be Garza all over again, as in Shark will be traded by next July (1.5yrs of control left/max value).

    With free agency that close I see why Samardzija wouldn’t settle for $55M-$60M when he’ll get $75M-$80M at the least come 2016

    • Chad

      Assuming he can stay healthy.

    • ncsujuri

      Most of the deals are getting done because of that fact, its a gamble by SharkNado that he doesn’t blow out an elbow or something between now and then. Is $60M guaranteed now better than maybe $80M 2 years from now?

      • On The Farm

        Hold on let me get my calculator out, hope I still remember which buttons are the time value ones.

        • Good Captain

          When you include a discount factor reflecting both time value and risk (of injury), I think the bird in the hand may approximate reasonably closely to those in the bush.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      2.5 seasons is a LOONNNNGGGG time. I’ve got to say, he has pretty large cojones to hold out.

      This is the reason he should be traded. If he can’t be signed to a somewhat team friendly deal now (for the team to take on the extra risk of a devastating injury), then he would be less likely to sign for a “good” deal with the Cubs later. Trade becomes the best option, though I wish we could sign him for a good price.

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  • Awakeape

    Skaggs and Bradley would get it done for me. Borg pitchers would be in line age wise with the rest of our core players and would be major league ready ( Bradley) by next year. Thoughts anyone.

    • On The Farm

      I think getting a top 2 pitching prospect, plus a guy like Skaggs would be an awesome trade, but I have the feeling the Cubs might want a third top ten organizational prospect. I think a package comparable to what the Rays got for Sheilds would be about right.

      • Feeney

        It’s really too bad the Mariners aren’t in a playoff race this year. I doubt they would part with Walker. But Pike, Paxton, Hultzen. There are some arms to choose from in that system.

      • Edwin

        The question is, do other teams think that Shark is as valuable as what James Shields was?

    • Edwin

      Skaggs and Bradley seem a bit high to me, at least looking at things from Arizona’s perspective.

      • Awakeape

        I am pretty sure when Arizona was kicking the tires on shark that is what the cubs asked for or started there and they said no. But again if they offered it I would take it. Without strong high upside prospects it just doesn’t make sense to trade him for anything less. He has proven that he is “that damn good” and getting better.

        • hansman1982

          Yes, trading Samardzija will make contention in 2014 MUCH more difficult than it already is. So you either need to pillage the other team’s farm system or ride him for the next two years.

  • Edwin

    I wonder what kind of package Samardzija would bring back. Would it be similar to the package mat latos was traded for, or what Gio Gonzalez was traded for?

  • August

    All value considerations aside, I think trading Shark under the current conditions is a really really bad idea. It would be a fan and team morale killer and I think the office knows this.

    • Feeney

      Personally, I cheer for the Cubs no matter who is in the uniform. And I cheer for them and support them and watch them no matter how good or bad they are. If they trade Shark for prospects that will help us win in a couple years that’s fine. if they decide to keep him that’s fine. As long as they don’t give two sh*ts what the fans and make the move they think is right for the team then I am happy.

      • Jim L.

        Couldn’t agree more, Feeney. When the Cubs start winning, the fans will come back in droves.

    • Erica

      I have always loved the Cubs since I could remember! But if they trade Jeff… I’m going to lose all respect for Theo/Jed… and yes, I will be a fan.. but not to the extent I was. I’m following Samardzija to whatever team he would end up on. And even if the Cubs start winning with new people, it won’t be the same. Jeff Samardzija is my favorite athlete. Jeff is the leader of the Cubs right now. If he’s traded (which I pray won’t happen) I would cheer for his team over the Cubs if they played each other.

  • August

    The lack of accountability for bad decisions is exactly what allowed team and office to waltz through 100 year drought, Bro.

    • hansman1982

      Please use the reply link to the right of your name. Makes conversations MUCH easier.

      • Feeney

        It’s okay hansman. The ‘conversation’ was over when he called me ‘bro’. I don’t respond to that nonsense.

  • RizzoCastro

    Sounds like the Cubs FO thinks of Shark as a number 1. And if teams are even thinking of pulling the trigger on a deal of this magnitude means that other clubs must feel the same way. Look guys before y’all get on me I do think he is a number 1or (will become a number one by this time next year), but he still has a lot to prove at the same time. When I think of a number 1 I think of someone who comes in after a losing streak and stops it. When your ace is on the mound the players have the mindset that this is going to be a win. Shark has the stuff, the make up, the attitude, and the determination to be a number 1 if he isn’t already. This year and last year he has been hurt by the Cubs defense and BP a number of times. IMO he is a number 1 that can be a top 5-10 pitcher by next year trade deadline. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team give up 3-4 guys and not just anyone like the top 4 out of 10 in their system to get him.

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  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    I still think the A’s are the best fit for Samardzija. Colon’s a free agent next year and may take a plea deal suspension right away to be able to play by Opening Day in 2014.

    #2-Michael Choice, athletic LF/CF who can hit with power and take walks.
    #3-Grant Green, provides a right handed bat with pop for 2B, can play OF vs RHP and 2B vs. LHP if Alcantara is to play vs. RHP at 2B in ’15.
    #4-Sonny Gray, could plug him directly into our rotation or wait until next year.
    AA-Carlos Hernandez, LHSP for depth.