jeff samardzija gatorade showerBecause I still believe the Cubs are fully engaged in the possibility of extending, or simply holding, Jeff Samardzija, this isn’t an Obsessive Trade Watch. But there’s a lot to discuss when it comes to Jeff Samardzija and the rumor mill …

  • Bruce Levine, who sparked the latest round of rumor mania with his Saturday night report that the Blue Jays were preparing a package of young players to offer for Samardzija, adds that the Cubs have discussed Samardzija with the Diamondbacks. That isn’t new, as we’ve heard that for weeks (and before that, we heard it at the Trade Deadline), but it’s further confirmation of their involvement. Levine says the cost in a Samardzija deal will be “high (3 – 4 top youngsters).” To me, a team-friendly extension remains the best outcome, but getting three to four top prospects could also be the right move, depending on the state of the extension discussions. Either way, placing an extremely steep price on Samardzija – given the starting market and the years of control – is the right move.
  • Speaking of the Blue Jays, GM Alex Anthopoulos spoke with Jim Bowden this weekend, and he wouldn’t comment specifically on the Samardzija rumor, but said his team is exploring deals for a starting pitcher. No offers have been made yet, but it definitely sounded like he wasn’t eager to deny any involvement here. My read on the way he discussed the issue? They have definitely had conversations with the Cubs on a possible Samardzija deal, and may even have discussed names. He was very quick to emphasize that the Blue Jays haven’t made any offers right now. That’s a far line to draw, and suggests that they have done everything right up to that line. And, let’s be honest, it’s easy to “not make an offer” while still finding out what the other team would accept. “If we put Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman both on the table, is that something that would move things along? Just asking, not making an offer here …. “
  • Sahadev Sharma says that he believes the Cubs would like a resolution one way or the other on Samardzija by the Winter Meetings. If a resolution doesn’t come by then, it could suggest that the Cubs have found the interest in Samardzija to be sufficiently strong that they might be able to pin teams against each other in a bidding war.
  • There have been conversations in various corners of the Cublogoverse over the past few weeks about the Orioles having interest in Samardzija (which makes practical sense, given their payroll ceiling and desire to upgrade the rotation), and Jim Bowden suggests a deal centering around Samardzija and catcher Matt Wieters, who is believed to be on the block thanks to an escalating arbitration salary and an inability to come to terms on an extension.
  • I’ve seen a number of folks out there very excited by the possibility of a Jeff Samardzija/Welington Castillo for Matt Wieters/Kevin Gausman swap (whether that’s a legit rumor or not, it’s floating out there in the interwebs), and I’ve got to say, I just don’t get it. Wieters comes with the same financial and age concerns as Samardzija (except Wieters looks like he’ll make even more money), so there’s very little in the way of overall improvement there. Castillo remains cost-controlled for some time (and broke out defensively last year), and Gausman is a cost-controlled arm that you hope becomes Samardzija. I see the merit in picking up a Gausman, I really do. But Wieters? He’s fantastic behind the plate, but he’s declined for three straight years. And his platoon splits, even as a switch hitter, are downright terrifying. If you’re going to move Samardzija – and if you have to include Castillo in the deal to do it – you better be picking up a crap-ton of high impact, young pitching talent. This theoretical proposal might have equal value on each side, but I’m not sure it makes sense for the Cubs, unless the plan was to spin Wieters off.
  • Mick

    Josh Hart isn’t eligible to be traded right now because a team has to wait at least a year from the day they drafted or signed him in order to trade him. You had me at Bundy although, I just don’t see what the O’s could gain from Shark that they couldn’t just get from Bundy and/or Gausman.

    I think you have to look for a team that’s contending now but who’s prospects are a few years away like the Blue Jays, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Giants, etc.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      Health and experiance

  • Oswego Chris

    Wieters was a 0.4 WAR in 2013, and 3.6 in 2012…Castillo was a 4.4 last year…if u are into those kind of stats

    • DarthHater

      But … but … but Wieters has WAY more RBIs than Castillo! 😛

      • mjhurdle

        RBIs and WAR are stupid stats.

        The only real way to decide this is who had the higher batting average.

        • DarthHater

          bFIRE is the only really meaningful stat.

          • hansman

            Awww shit, now you are just making up stats to say whatever the hell you want.

          • Chef Brian

            Well, now we are getting some where!

  • Chef Brian

    Stats? Who needs stats? What does your gut tell you and is there a scrappiness quotient that maybe we could factor in?

    • DarthHater

      Right, but the gut thing only works if you’re a former ball player…

      • hansman

        Unless you are talking to someone else who played at a higher level.

  • Pat

    Torn on the idea of trading Smardzjia. I tend to think that what you see is what you get with him. Good peripheral numbers don’t always translate (see Vasquez, Javy), and some of the packages being discussed seem like a solid return. At the same time I hate to see the rotation reduced to Wood, Jackson and a bunch of question marks.

  • Assman22

    Thus far Nats have offered the best package for Shark…Cubs FO holding out for an additional prospect…Jays have made a good but not great offer that’s very similar to the Garza return…still a strong possibility Shark signs extension…asking for $18+ AAV as of a month ago…

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Giolito and Cole?

      • Assman22

        It is widely known Hoyer and McLeod were huge Giolito fans in pre-draft FWIW…Cubs are still using Shields trade as precedent…Nats offering quality, Jays quantity…

        • X The Cubs Fan

          Giolito and Goodwin, Cole or Rendon. Are the Orioles in?

        • Luke

          Who wasn’t a huge Giolito fan in the pre-draft. If he hadn’t gotten hurt he’d have been a solid contender for No 1 over all that year.

          • Scotti

            Trade Shark for Giolito–his mom is hot…


            (my own personal twist on the hit wife thingy)

            • MaxM1908

              Is it just me, or does she look like Kevin Bacon with a blond wig?

              • Cubbie Blues

                She does indeed look like Bacon.

                • Good Captain

                  Does she talk like Kevin Bacon too?

            • arta

              not if she looks like Bacon!

      • Kramden

        Cole projects to be another Shark while Giolito is projected to be Bundy’s equal or better.

        If that’s the deal, the Cubs should jump at it while they can.

        • Kramden

          Trade Shark for Giolito and Cole. Use the Shark money to do what it takes to sign Tanaka.

          Do that and the Cubs will have stocked both quality position and pitching prospects…. And the pipeline begins.

          • Luke

            We don’t know that Washington has offered Giolito and Cole yet. The Cubs can’t accept a deal that Washington doesn’t put on the table, and I suspect Washington would be fairly reluctant to part with their top two arms in one deal.

            It could be Washington offers one of those two along with Karns, or Ray, or Purke.

            Or maybe they surprise everyone and toss Goodwin in as the foundation of the deal and leave their top two arms out.

            • YourResidentJag

              I wouldn’t do that deal if I were the Cubs then.

              • Kramden

                I’d also pass on that deal

              • X The Cubs Fan

                The Cubs can’t not get a big time pitching prospect in a Samardzija trade.

            • Rebuilding

              I could see them offering something along the lines of Giolito, Taylor Jordan and Brian Goodwin. It’s a similar package to the Garza return. A very high upside arm, a MLB ready arm that’s well thought of, and a positional prospect that was very highly ranked but slid a bit last year. That package is ok, but it doesn’t excite me as much as some others I would think are possible

              • Kramden

                That sounds about right….

                But you just have to feel that some unknown team is waiting in the weeds to see what’s being offered and will jump in with a better offer at the end.

  • Die hard

    If the Cubs intend to be sellers before season starts what happens between opening day and trade deadline? The only ones left with MLB experience more than 2 yrs could be Castro and Rizzo… At what point does the new mgr feel rug pulled out from under him while wool pulled over his eyes?

    • cms0101

      If Samardzija is dealt, I’d say Schierholtz, Edwin Jackson, Barney, and maybe a few others could be moved before the deadline. From that point, it will be all about how the young players are developing, who will get to the majors next, etc. Obviously, Jackson’s only moveable if he rebounds from a bad 2013, so I would imagine that any trade activity on him would be at the deadline. You have to assume they’ll try to lock down Travis Wood next to an extension. I just don’t see them moving him.

  • boomtown

    TRADE SHARK…trade him yesterday to Nats…He is K. Wood…A guy who you think is gonna
    put it all together who never does. If you can get a return headlined by Giolito do it. Plus with our prospects not being expected up on the mlb level probably till 2015 it makes no sense to hold onto him he isnt worth 15mil+

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