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jeff samardzija gatorade showerIf you’ve got a valuable commodity, and there are any kind of signals that you might part with it – however faint those signals – you’re going to get calls.

So it is with Jeff Samardzija and the Chicago Cubs, who would like to lock him up long term, but haven’t had much outward success. If an extension is not possible, the Cubs will at least have to consider dealing Samardzija (if not now, then at some point in the next year). And if they consider it, there figure to be plenty of suitors.

We’ve already heard about the Diamondbacks’ and Nationals’ interest, and now there are two more teams rumored to be entering the picture.

John Perrotto reports that a source tells him the Pirates are considering making a run at Samardzija. There are no details offered beyond that, but the Pirates offer a system deep in impact talent. Finding a match in trade would not be difficult from the Cubs’ perspective, considering the presence of top arm Jameson Taillon, rising arms Tyler Glasnow and Nick Kingham, top outfielder Gregory Polanco, and on and on. There is the intradivisional trading concern, but, if the Cubs are punting on the next season or two anyway, then there’s little concern from the Cubs’ perspective.

And Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are “expected to make a push” for Samardzija.* Once again, there are no details, and once again there’s a plausible fit. While the Blue Jays’ system isn’t quite as attractive as the Pirates’, there are a number of intriguing arms (and, hey, lots of ‘em recovering from Tommy John surgery!). The Blue Jays’ top six prospects, according to MLB.com, are all pitchers.

*(It’s crazy that, in the span of a week, trade rumors about Samardzija went from highly speculative to “obviously this guy is available, and obviously our local team is going to be one of the teams involved in the Samardzija sweepstakes.” I still don’t think it’s that much of a lock that he’s dealt, but word is getting around.)

Apropos of these rumors, Gordon Wittenmyer writes that he’s spoken with GMs and other executives at the GM Meetings this week, and after hearing from “nearly half” of the teams in MLB, Wittenmyer came away with the expectation that Samardzija will be dealt this offseason. I’m not sure how the other teams would know that unless the Cubs were out there actively shopping Samardzija (which they aren’t, or we definitely would have heard about it). So this level of certainty about a trade is odd.

At bottom, we know only that the Cubs will consider dealing Samardzija for a serious haul if it appears likely that he will not sign an extension. And, since we all seem to know that, plenty of teams are going to come calling, as it appears that the Diamondbacks, Nationals, Pirates, and Blue Jays have.

  • Chad

    I heard Wittenmeyer on the Kaplan show last night as I was driving home from a meeting. He said he was certain that Samardzija would be traded this off-season and then said if not at least by the trade deadline. He said he doesn’t see a way an extension gets done at all. But I’m not giving him much creditbility on this one yet even though I’m pro-trade Samardzija.

    • Skiz

      “He said he was certain that Samardzija would be traded this off-season and then said if not at least by the trade deadline.”

      So in other words, he’s not certain he’ll be traded this off-season.

  • Spoda17

    I do like Shark, but would not be too upset if he is dealt for a good haul… kind of the last of the “old-Cubs”

  • Eric

    I think the FO must be certain Shark isn’t interested in signing a reasonable extension. Trade him now before he breaks his arm.

  • Coldneck

    “our” not “are” in you italicized quotes.

    • Coldneck

      *your – wow it’s bad when the grammar police misspells its citation.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I guess the Pirates just got in my head … arrrrrrrrrrre.

      • Coldneck

        Hahaha. Nicely played.

      • Big Daddy

        Just laughed out loud, Brett.

  • macpete22

    I wonder if the Cubs could package Shark and Schierholtz to Pittsburgh too

    • YourResidentJag

      Well, the Pirates have an interest in that.

  • Voice of Reason

    Sweet… get as many teams as possible interested in Shark and then take the best offer!

    That is, if he will not sign a long term deal at a price that we want him at.

  • Kramden

    Not crazy at all…

    When you look at the dearth of free agent pitching talent available along with the fact that there are VERY few quality pitchers available for trade, it’s only logical that every team that needs a solid starting pitcher would set their sights on Shark.

    Within that environment, there ain’t no better time for the Cubs to trade him for quite a haul.

  • Kyle

    ” (which they aren’t, or we definitely would have heard about it)”

    Saywhanow? We’ve been hearing almost nothing but that since the offseason began and maybe even a little before.

    • Chad

      Making him available and actively shopping are different things if only slightly different. The cubs seem to be taking it all in and letting it play out as they should. I would love a trade with the Pirates for sure. That seems like an ideal fit for the cubs but who knows.

      • Kyle

        They’re funcitonally more or less the same thing. It’s just a matter of spin.

        Teams talk every day, Samardzija’s name is going to come up every time, and the Cubs can either slam the door or make it known that it’s worth the team’s time to try to put together a package or feel out a possible deal.

        Whether that’s “listening” or “shopping” is just spin.

        • hansman

          Listening is agreeing that Samardzija is tradeable when the other team asks.
          Shopping is telling the other team Samardzija is up for sale.

          One is going to a car lot intending to buy a car. The other is going to the car lot thinking I could sure use a new car but only if the salesman gets me a good deal and sells the shit out of it.

          • Kyle

            There’s no different for MLB GMs. They’re hanging around the car lot every day either way, and they always intend to buy a car if they like the deal.

            • MightyBear

              I agree with Kyle on this one. The way Boras slammed Ricketts and the FO about not pursuing free agents, it reminded me of Kyle. Wait, could “Kyle” be Scott Boras? woooooooooooooooo

              • twins414

                I saw Boras slammed the Mets too. He’s just attacking anyone who won’t help him drive the price up on his clients.

          • scorecardpaul

            do you often hang out at car lots when you aren’t planning to buy a car?

            • ssckelley

              haha, good one….I now have visions of hansman hanging out in a used car lot eating hamburgers.

        • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com TC

          Well, I’ve always considered shopping to be an escalation of the process, where a GM is actively calling other teams about a player. Like, listening on a guy is when his name comes up and you don’t hang up, but shopping a guy is everytime you hear from/see another GM, you say, “Hey! You ever seen that Samardzija guy pitch, he’d sure look great in your uniform!”

          And I imagine shopping a guy like Soriano requires sending Jed Hoyer to hide out somewhere on Mr. Cashman’s property, surprising him and initiating a conversation about Alfonso on a daily basis until he gives in, cause like, his kids need to get some sleep and the cops are tired about the calls about a suited man hanging out in trees in the neighborhood

        • hansman

          Are the Cubs bringing up Samardzija or are the other teams?

          • Kyle

            Does it really matter in the end?

            There’s no functional difference

  • Noah_I

    I’d be more than happy to trade Shark to the Pirates for the right deal. Considering the money he seems to be demanding once he’s past arbitration, I don’t see how the Pirates would be able to afford him past 2015.

  • josh ruiter

    I could be tantalized by a Taillon, Heredia, Glasnow package, or any two of three if you throw in polanco as well. Pittsburgh has impact talent for sure. I really want Heredia to be honest.
    Clearly any package including Archie Bradley from AZ would be a lock, especially if you could include Skaggs and maybe another prospect like Spruill and include Schierholtz in the deal.
    Nationals only if we get both of Giolito and Cole or maybe a Giolito and Span combo?
    Blue Jays I would love to get back their top 3 prospects but aside from that its a lot of potential guys without much track record of success. For me it is D-backs, Pirates, Nats and Jays in that order with honestly the PIrates and Dbacks being side by side for me.

  • Dumpgobbler

    Pirates may have the best farm system right now. They have 9 guys who may sneak into the top 100 mlb prospects. They could give the cubs a very appealing package while not taking a huge hit. Heredia, Glasnow and Kingham are all in the sweet spot as pitching prospects. Taillon would be nice, but even if he is deemed off limits you could still put together a really nice package. I’d take Heredia, Glasnow, Wyatt Mathisen for Shark.

    • ssckelley

      I agree, I am on the fence on trading Samardzija but the teams rumored to be involved in a potential trade do get my interest. Raping the Pirates of talent reminds me of the good ole days only now it is the Cubs giving up MLB talent.

  • Brains

    what in the world is our staff going to look like next year? i’m bullish on tanaka, but i doubt that we get him. then what?

    • Dumpgobbler

      I’d say we trade Shark. I think the Yankees get Tanaka and the cubs settle for an arm or 2 outside of compensation picks.

      1. Wood
      2. Jackson
      3. Kazmir
      4. Arrieta
      5. Kendricks

      That’s just my guess. A lot of guys could be shuffled in and out, Rusin / Villnueva for instance, we could sign Tanaka. But any way you look at it its probably going to be bad.

      • MightyBear

        The Cubs re-sign Scott Baker and the rotation is:

        Wood
        Baker
        Jackson
        Rusin
        Arrieta

        Hendricks, Villanueva and Grimm are depth. Good rotation. Good depth. I still think Hendricks is going to be a star.

        • Edwin

          That’s a rotation with 1-2 average starters, and a lot of bad.

          • MightyBear

            I disagree. There’s two all stars and two potential all stars and one average to above average starters. And an all star waiting in the wings.

  • CubFan Paul

    No thanks on a deal with the Pirates.

    Shark would mow us down for years to come with 10 plus strikeouts a game.

    • Featherstone

      For another 2 years at best. Then he becomes a FA and who knows where he goes.

      • CubFan Paul

        He could sign a Pirate friendly deal to spite us

        • YourResidentJag

          But probably won’t. Byrd could have done that as well.

          • CubFan Paul

            You’re comparing an aging Byrd to Shark in his prime…

            • YourResidentJag

              and you’re stating a general term of spite with respect to the Cubs.

            • Featherstone

              If he’s not signing a team friendly deal now with the team that drafted him 2 years before FA there is no way he’d sign one with the Pirates later.

              • CubFan Paul

                “there is no way he’d sign one with the Pirates later”

                Yes. There’s *no* way.

    • scorecardpaul

      I like the idea of a deal with the Pirates. If we could take a few of their better prospects it helps us compete for the division title in a few years.

  • hansman

    Who will fetch a higher price in trades this offseason, Samardzija or Price?

    • YourResidentJag

      Depends, does Tampa think they still have a deep run in them to the playoffs if they keep Price? If they don’t expect to get to that point by mid-season, Price would fetch the higher price but at the trade deadline.

    • CubFan Paul

      I’m thinking Samardzija because of the money involved on Price. The Cubs have leverage (they can keep Shark) and the Rays have less to none (they absolutely cannot afford Price anymore and teams know this).

    • ssckelley

      My first gut reaction was to say they are equal, since Price does have question marks with his arm. But then I asked myself if I would trade Samardzija straight up for Price, and I would so I think the Rays should fetch a higher price out of Price. But the price for Samardzija will not be that far behind, especially if Price goes off the market before Samardzija.

      • Voice of Reason

        It’s more than just who is the better pitcher.
        For most teams it’s more about the salary than about who is the better pitcher. There is better value with Shark, no question. With Price’s arm troubles in 2013, maybe Shark is the better target over Price?

        Shark may be worth more on the market because of Price’s past arm trouble and his price tag.

        • ssckelley

          Tbh, I did not equate the difference in money at all. So I guess they are fairly equal and to the right team Shark has more value.

    • Norm

      Price, and I don’t think it’ll be all that close.

    • macpete22

      I would have to think Price but it seems the Rays are asking for way too much for him. I’ve honestly only heard the Nationals and the Dodgers are interested. Where as the Cubs have the Pirates, Bluejays, Nationals, etc interested in Shark.

  • ChicagoJoe

    It is becoming increasingly more clear that the FO is resigned to Shark taking his talents to the open market in 2 years. That means, wait for it, we will be turning a short term asset into long term assets (as we should).

    Given that it is also becoming increasingly more clear that David Price is likely to be dealt this offseason (and no, it won’t be to the Northside), what are the pros and cons of pulling the trigger prior to Price being dealt and after Price being dealt?

    Do we want to set the bar or do we want to come back to those who lost out on Price and see if they are willing to give up that and more?

  • Nate

    Can anyone help me find what Brett thinks Shark is worth? Or Brett can you tell us again? I think a few days ago in article it was something like a top 20-30 prospect, at least one more top 100 guy, and two organizational top 20 prospects. I want to take a look at what all these teams can offer in the right range. Just out of curiostiy

    • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com TC

      Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I did a piece on what he was worth a week or so ago, and I came to conclusion he was worth a top 10-50 pitching prospect, another top 100 guy, and a few extra dudes

      • On The Farm

        Woah, forgot to mention the subtle plug you did for yourself ;)

        But by the way a top 10-50 pitching prospect seems like a large gap.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s where I put the ask (if Cubs are going to move him right now), not necessarily his worth.

      To me, he’s worth what the Cubs got for Matt Garza times 1.5, at least. How do we quantify that? It’s hard, because elite prospects (top 20) are disproportionately more valuable than, say, two guys from 50 to 100. To me, you can’t deal Shark right now for anything less than the kind of return described in your comment. The actual form could be more creative (young, big league player or two, prospect mix, etc.). But that’s the range.

    • ssckelley

      It also makes a difference who that top 20 prospect is because the values for a top pitcher is not as good as a top position player. If the Cubs were to be a trade partner with say Arizona it would take more than Bradley in order to trade Samardzija, it would have to be Bradley and Skaggs in order for it to be a good deal.

  • Isaac

    This perfectly makes my earlier point of why it makes no sense signing a compensation tied player. Don’t commit the money to a crappy team, don’t give away the pick, don’t win 70 games instead of 65.

  • Die hard

    Don’t trade Shark … Let him pitch thru end of contract and maybe incentive to boost value will lead to 20 wins which would be fun to watch

    • ssckelley

      Hopefully he can pitch 20 shutouts.

      • ssckelley

        Oh My Gawd….I cannot believe I just posted that.

        Where in the heck is that delete button?

  • waffle

    I like that this FO is always willing to listen, that it’s business 24/7.

    Is Shark’s motivation to just get to full FA and sign the biggie? His words say one thing but his actions say another.

    At this point I think the FO has to listen. I am a big Shark fan but I would completely understand if they moved him for a decent haul.

    So far this FO has shown that they play a pretty good hand when it comes to making deals. This could be a big one.

  • mdavis

    If the Pirates give up Taillon and Glasnow +, then yes please. If the Cubs won’t sign him, I really doubt the Pirates can afford him after 2 years.

    • On The Farm

      I would probably listen at just Taillon and Glasnow.

      • mdavis

        ditto. but i’m allowed to be a little greedy, no? haha

    • Dustin S

      I’m a little hesitant to get too excited considering Pittsburgh and the Blue Jays both balked at including either Taillon or Drabek respectively for Shark at this year’s deadline. So it would seem at that they suddenly would now, unless the package is Shark+ going the other way. I suppose either team could have had a change of heart or increased expectations for 2014 driving them to sweeten their offer, but it seems a bit like a stretch.

      BTW, I definitely think Taillon + a little is fair value for Shark. It just goes back to teams overvaluing highly ranked prospects lately. That’s what makes the idea of trading 1 or 2 of our own a little intriguing, while the market is shifted so far out of whack towards treating all top prospects like certain future HOFers.

  • Jason

    The Shark has been very durable with a high 90’s fastball. To me that’s hard to trade, but I would still make the deal if the cubs can get a good haul

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’m dubious on how well Samardzija will perform over the long haul. I am absolutely hopeful we trade him this offseason in a pitching starved market. His trade appeal is obvious. He’s a low mileage power pitcher and is a financial bargain for two more seasons.

    But trade him. Now. Same feelings I had on Garza.

  • Jono

    A haul for Samardzija this off-season, and haul for Castro next off-season? Yes, please.

    Pitching pitching pitching….and a quality lefty bat…

  • Lynn

    Trade the Shark. I can’t see him being a top three pitcher on a World Series Team. I do believe Tanaka has that ability. With the money saved from not resigning the Shark, and the monet saved from Sosa after this year, the money should be there to sign Tanaka. In the end the Cubs should have Tanaka (top 3 rotation) and prospects (one being a top 3 rotation). No brainer. World Series or bust.

    • On The Farm

      “and the monet saved from Sosa ”

      We are still paying Sammy?

      “and prospects (one being a top 3 rotation)”

      I hate to say it, but Edwards is the best shot at a TOR arm (Pierce projects as a MOR arm), Black is a RP. Edwards is probably a few years off before breaking into the league let along being the #2 guy in a playoff rotation. While they were probably limiting his innings this season, we still need to be able to see him go 6+ innings before we deem him the future TOR arm. I am not saying it’s impossible, but I would like to see a more complete game from Edwards.

      Final note, as you said we need three top pitchers for a WS run, where is the 3rd?

      • Jono

        wood as a #3 doesn’t seem unreasonable

        • On The Farm

          Ah good point, he probably wouldn’t be that bad.

    • Jono

      The money saved from soriano’s contract coming off the books next year is a good point.

  • YourResidentJag

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks 26m
    @naterbachhh @CubsDen I wouldn’t move Giolito for anybody; Bradley is a close second on the untouchable list; Taillon/Sanchez I’d consider.

  • Drew

    Trade all the MLB Talent, take 2014 off to Rebuild Wrigley and Come back Fresh, ready to win 2015!!!

  • Lynn

    Okay, but if you take the money from the Shark extension (120 million plus), because there will not be a hometown discount. Then the money that will be saved from the expiring Sosa contracts ( 18 million) and others. It should come close to a posting fee and signing Tanka to a contract. Tanaka would be a draw and would signal a commitment that the Cubs are truely on their way. Trading the Shark will also bring in even more pitching prospects to challenge to WIN it all. If you are going to be a Champion they will need to take some risk. If Rickettes does not have the money then please sell the team to someone who wants to win.

  • Frank

    (and, hey, lots of ‘em recovering from Tommy John surgery!) Holy crap, someone hold onto Theo before he explodes.

  • Lynn

    Potential Top five pitchers to be World Series Champions:

    1) 2014 MLB #4 Draft Pick
    2) Tanaka
    3) Prospect for Shark
    4) Woods
    5) Johnson or Edawrds

    5 outs a way was mostly due to three great pitchers, and the Cubs will need three more again.
    The line up potential speaks for itself.

    PS: People remember CHAMPIONS and it is time for the CUBS to give its fans a CHAMPION. LETS GO RICKETTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bbrave307

    I am a big Shark fan and would prefer that the Cubs extend his contract at a decent price. However, if Jeff isn’t willing to do that this winter, then I think we need to trade him for a big haul. This is more for defensive reasons. We can’t afford to let his significant value fade away over the next two years. Especially since next year will not be a playoff year anyway.
    Save the money, get some great prospects that can help in 2015 and beyond and use the extra money to land Tanaka. Sounds like Jeff isn’t willing to give us a hometown discount anyway.

    • mjhurdle

      I agree completely. IF we can extend Shark, then do it. I would love to see him stay a Cub.
      But if he is not interested in signing an extension, which is his right, then the Cubs should maximize his value now and not risk getting to FA and losing him for nothing

      • ssckelley

        oops, sorry….I just realized I repeated what you just said.

        • mjhurdle

          HOW DARE YOU!!!

          :)

    • ssckelley

      Of course the best option is to extend Samardzija. I would rather have 5-8 more years of Samardzija than any prospects they could get in return. But if he insists on being a free agent then you have got to maximize the value you have in him, especially if your not competing next season. If he walks via free agency then all you get is a compensation draft pick, this situation is no different than Garza’s or Dempster.

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