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jeff samardzija gatorade showerWhile everything remains a “rumor” at this point, and the possibility of extending Jeff Samardzija beyond the two years the Cubs currently control still theoretically remains, the drumbeat for a trade increases.

CSN’s Dave Kaplan, who tends to be fairly well-sourced on these things, hears that a Samardzija trade is likely this offseason. How likely? A Major League source tells him it’s a 99 percent proposition. That’s usually the mark you give something that you know is going to happen, leaving yourself the 1% chance of a cataclysmic earthquake or some equally unlikely-but-theoretically-possible interference.

To be fair, the confidence sounds more like it comes from the fact that Samardzija hold so much trade value in this market for the Cubs that they won’t be able to resist trading him, rather than it coming from having heard that a deal – specific, or otherwise – is imminent.

Kaplan’s piece and his source’s thoughts are definitely worth a read, though. The price on Samardzija, as we’ve heard before, remains extremely high. As I’ve said, given the two years of control and the desirability of keeping Samardzija, there’s no reason for the Cubs to move him right now unless they are blown away. Keep those asking prices high, and see if one of the eight reportedly interested teams blinks. (Kaplan’s source hears that the frontrunners right now are the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and Orioles, by the way.)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the possibility that rumors like this – ones with so much positivity about Samardzija and about the likelihood that a trade comes together – could be well-designed by the Cubs to pressure Samardzija into once more coming to the table about an extension and thinking about accepting a reasonable deal if he wants to stay in Chicago. Even if the rumors aren’t intentionally being circulated to that end, they certainly could have that effect.

  • Deez

    I like Samardzija, but in terms of growth last season, he didn’t make “the move.” The pitching prospects we get will set our future on the right course. I’m all for a trade.

  • jobba

    please dont trade him to the blue jays

  • YourResidentJag
  • willis

    I’m not all for it. I’m very against it because I value proven good players over possible good players. But, if they really are as far apart on money, and more importantly they’re dead set on being in the toilet a few more seasons, then I suppose it’s the right move. I don’t support it, but what can we do.

    I hope he kicks ass and wins a ton wherever he goes. This is probably better for him anyway. He can contend.

    • JB88

      I guess the reason why I stand at the other end of the spectrum is this: If the Cubs are going to lose Shark in two years because he wants to test FA and they aren’t going to pay him the amount he wants (even if he goes crazy the next two years), then I want them to maximize what they can get in return right now.

      Because we all logically know that the Cubs are not going to contend in 2014 or 2015, so why hold onto Shark now when we could get a boatload back. This isn’t about the Cubs WANTING to trade Shark; it is about the Cubs recognizing that they will eventually lose him for nothing more than a comp pick. If the Cubs were just looking to trade him, I’d be in your same position, instead this strikes me as a reasonable course given Samardzija’s contract extension demands vis-a-vis the Cubs’ offer.

      • willis

        No doubt, great points.

        I am logical enough to recognize the reasons behind it as a fan, taking the emotion out of it. But I’m more against the policy and the way things are being run right now. I always cherish young, proven commodities in hand, vs. taking a run at possible good things. I would much rather Ricketts open his tight ass pockets and meet Shark somewhere in the middle to hold onto him, making him a main piece of this rebuild. Instead, they will trade him because they don’t want to pay him as much as he wants, or anything close, and can get a boat of prospects who won’t demand much money for a long time. It’s just thinking like a small market team.

        I think Shark will never be an ace type. But he will be a solid middle rotation type, the type of piece that can help now and later. I would just rather that be the case here.

        • JB88

          I guess I don’t see it as a policy. The policy is to sign core pieces to team friendly deals. The secondary policy is to be flexible in your approach to roster construction. Samardzija’s unwillingness to sign a deal on the team’s terms sort of is forcing them into their secondary policy.

          As for suggesting Rickett’s is a tightwad, without any knowledge of those negotiations, there is no way for any of us to know the state of those negotiations. We don’t know if the Cubs are offering 5 and 60 and Shark is countering 5 and 90. It is possible that the Cubs are being tight, but I tend to doubt it here.

          • willis

            See, I view the policy as stacking up and stacking hard on young talent, which is fine, while ignoring what is needed at the major league level, which I don’t like, because all the attention/desire/hope is set on these dudes in A, A+ and AA. It’s just a dangerous game IMO and I think an asset like Shark is one to be flexible on to keep in house.

            • JB88

              I think the third policy is you don’t pay for high-priced talent based on historic play when that talent is out of or leaving prime years. In other words the Cubs would happily pay for Clayton Kershaw or Yu Darvish if they were FAs. They just aren’t going to pay for Albert Pujols at 32 or Hamilton at roughly the same age because in those cases you aren’t spending your money wisely.

              I still don’t know that I completely agree with their third philosophy but in a rebuild I’m willing to accept it at least on a temporary basis while they try to develop a younger core.

              • Koyie Hill Sucks

                “I guess I don’t see it as a policy. The policy is to sign core pieces to team friendly deals.”
                What core pieces have they signed to team friendly deals? None.

            • DarthHater

              The first rule of Rebuilding Club is you do not talk about Rebuilding Club.

    • Coop

      “I’m very against it because I value proven good players over possible good players.”

      I agree with this statement. The problem is (at least a little) that where we value Shark is not on what he proven thus far, but on his potential to be better. So he is still a bit of a prospect. If we accept last year’s results as the proven commodity, then he has mid to back of the rotation value. His potential is intriguing, though – he looks like he has the skill set to be a TOR talent, he just hasn’t fully realized that potential yet.

      Now I will add that at least Shark has proven he can retire big league hitters. Prospects like Bradley, Giolitto, and Sanchez are far more unknown. But they have similar potential, just are at least one more step removed from realizing that potential. But if you get multiple talents that have that potential in exchange for Shark, you have to give it some serious consideration. Particularly if you are not projecting the team to contend for one or more years. The further out the projection for contention lands, the more the scale tips towards a trade.

    • ssckelley

      willis we all do, but when it becomes obvious that the Cubs cannot extend him and are currently not a contender then the obvious thing to do is get the most out of him. But the price is high, as it should be, if I am the Cubs I am in no hurry to trade him. Teams do tend to get desperate at the trade deadline.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      Agree. But this team is dead set on not competing for 3-4 more years so I guess it makes sense to them. It is worrisome that the strategy will be to rely only on prospects. Should be fun when we realize most of them will not live up to their potential…

      • willis

        But the Cubs CAN extend him and would extend him if they gave a shit about taking the right steps forward. This type of move is another step backwards at the major league level, putting even more eggs in the prospect basket. Which, as we all should know is no sure thing. You have to work on both fronts, especially in a major market with the type of support the cubs get.

        It’s playing cheap and playing a dangerous small market game. And really, is it ok with all of you and all cubs fans that the FO has signaled now that this team will indeed continue to suck for the next few years, after being toilet dwellers since 2010? I just don’t get how that is ok.

        • JB88

          “But the Cubs CAN extend him and would extend him if they DIDN’T g[i]ve a shit about taking the right steps forward.”

          Fixed.

          • willis

            haha, well played.

        • Funn Dave

          I agree that it’s not okay for the FO to tell us to wait a couple more years. But they continue to feed us the line about not being able to afford to do anything else at this point, and I don’t see that we have any choice but to accept their BS.

        • praying the cubs get ready to win

          Maybe we get Tanaka vs Shark and still get lots of top prospects. If we do this it’s awesome, no worse off now and better in the future.

        • Koyie Hill Sucks

          “It’s playing cheap and playing a dangerous small market game. And really, is it ok with all of you and all cubs fans that the FO has signaled now that this team will indeed continue to suck for the next few years, after being toilet dwellers since 2010? I just don’t get how that is ok.”
          It is a dangerous game, odds are most top prospects will not live up to their potential.

          It’s “ok” only to those fans who have a blind belief in Theo and Jed to aquire and develop young talent into major league all stars.
          Everyone forgets the Red Sox had Manny, Shilling, Pedro, Ortiz etc.

  • cubzfan23

    Players always say, “I really wanna stay here… input team of player”. I really like Samardzija’s potential and hope he stays. I do see the upside of trading him though.

  • ssckelley

    I am not convinced Samardzija is going to be traded until I hear the Rangers are involved. If we hear the Rangers are involved then we know he is gone.

  • jon

    If Shark isn’t dealt I’m going to troll the shit out of Kaplan on twitter.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That seems like the mature thing to do – and to say in advance.

      • ssckelley

        soooooooooo, you in? :P

        • DarthHater

          I’ve got the toilet paper and eggs …

      • Jason P

        Sometimes mature isn’t fun.

  • Jed

    If side with you Brett, if I get blown away by an offer, I’d trade him a heartbeat, but if I getting anything less than value, it’s not worth it. We have no reason to trade Shark outside of getting high upside prospects for him.

    • willis

      That and shredding more money for this year and next.

      • TulaneCubs

        That they can then spend elsewhere. Including on a player similar to Shark. And also have the prospects that Shark will bring back.

        • willis

          If there was someone out there to replace his value that the cubs were hot on, ok, I’m in. But they aren’t getting Tanaka and there really isn’t much else out there.

          This is only a move to cut more costs and add more to the prospect bucket. It’s a one tier approach. I think that’s real dangerous.

          • TulaneCubs

            1. You don’t know that they won’t sign another pitcher or even sign Tanaka. Everyone was blindsided by the Jackson signing last year.

            2. I think it’s fairly obvious the Cubs aren’t going to compete next year unless they sign a ridiculous amount of free agents. Something like Cano, Ellsbury, Garza and Choo. There’s nothing that says they have to spend that money this year.

            3. Offloading Shark’s contract has very few ramifications to the budget this year. He’d only be making about $5M through arbitration. If you honestly think the impetus for this trade is to cut costs this year then it’s time to take off your tin foil hat.

            • willis

              Look dude, don’t insult me with the tin foil hat bullshit. That’s a cop out argument and completely uncalled for when it comes to this. The cubs do not want to pay Shark and realize they can save a few million by trading him. Jesus Christ they traded…errrr gave away DeJesus for nothing, just to save a buck. It’s what is happening right now. No tin foil about it.

              And no, no one was blindsided by Jackson last year. The Cubs were going hard after a middle rotation type. Rumors had Sanchez and Jackson as their targets. They missed on Sanchez and went to plan B. It didn’t come out of nowhere.

  • twinkletoez

    I really enjoy watching shark pitch and think he has yet to reach is full potential. That being said given his age and his reluctance to sign an extension, at least one in the range the cubs are willing to give him, I am all for getting young “TOR” prospects for him as long as the deal includes more then 1 top prospect. I don’t seem to see a match with Baltimore though.

    • Coop

      “I don’t seem to see a match with Baltimore though.”

      …unless we are talking Bundy AND Gausman.

      • FullCountTommy

        Eduardo Rodriguez is also a very quality lefty

      • Hutch

        If buddy didn’t have TSS he’d be the number 1 prospect in baseball. Him and another top 20 prospect would be fine with me

        • Hutch

          Bundy

        • FullCountTommy

          Maaaaaybe the number 1 pitching prospect but Buxton would for sure still be ahead of Bundy

      • twinkletoez

        Ok Bundy and Gausman would do it for me, I was strictly looking at their prospect. Completely forgot about Gausman. How is Bundy doing after TJS

  • Deano

    I’ve been back and forth on the Samardzija trade but at this point, I think it’s the right thing to do (assuming we get a great return on him). The biggest argument for people that want to keep Shark is that he’s a proven asset, but the reality is he’s not exactly a sure thing. Shark’s peripherals suggest he should be an ace-level pitcher, and that he should be dominating batters. I general, they suggest a projection of doing well, very well. But his 4+ era is a testament to the fact that he didn’t produce even if he should. And what are prospects? Projections, who should do very well but haven’t yet. Except in this case, you have the potential to get multiple pieces who are younger, cost-controlled, and able to be held onto for more years. Just my 2 cents.

  • jacos

    Time for Shark to go.

    Glad to see Theocorp not being sentimental about a pitcher who will not be worth the contract he will demand in two years.

    Shark would be the perfect 5 year extension no trade cause from Hendry deal.

  • Fastball

    I didn’t see improvement with Shark last season. He is still a thrower and not a pitcher. Based on his not making the leap to being a pitcher I don’t see him taking that next step within this environment. So, if he is worth as much as being stated on the trade market I would move him. He isn’t a top of the rotation pitcher and I don’t believe he will be. I don’t think he really wants to be a Cub. He is smart to be playing the Cubs for as much money as he can get. There are no guarantees in professional sports. If he goes to Toronto or anyone of these other teams I believe he will sign a new contract for a minimum 3 years at $12MM to $15MM per year. The Cubs don’t appear to be willing to make that commitment to him. Let’s load up on pitching in a return. Seems Toronto has a lot of pitching in their organization. If we do this then I see no more reasons for the FO to be making excuses about not being ready to compete by end of 2014. I wouldn’t take a pitching prospects lower than AA ball unless one is a Top 10 in the Toronto org.

    At this point I don’t think the Cubs will be in on Tanaka for real. They make a bid but they will be an also ran in this process. The Yankees are desperate and will be all in. There all in will be significantly different than the Cubs all in.

    • Funn Dave

      “If we do this then I see no more reasons for the FO to be making excuses about not being ready to compete by end of 2014.”

      A couple of pitching prospects are going to be the difference between cellar dwellers and contention??

      I do agree that the Cubs are not as likely to get Tanaka as some seem to think.

  • josh ruiter

    Just a thought. But with Bosio seemingly maxing out the talent in our pitching staff top to bottom: Wood, Villanueva, Rusin, Arrieta, Garza (pre-trade), a bullpen that wouldn’t even be allowed in the locker room of most teams, and even guys like E-Jax having a way better season than the simpleton numbers of wins and ERA tell a story of, is it not possible that Jeff Spellingerror is already at his peak? Before Bosio we had a guy in Shark who couldn’t win a job in the rotation and was somewhat of a mystery if he was better suited as a AAA hopeful as a starter or a decent bullpen arm.
    Enter Bosio, and you have a guy who flies to the top of the rotation, is rumored to have ace type stuff, and wants a contract that is nearing 9 figures. If you ask me, we should trade him and watch him regress to the Shark of old, before our magical Bosio went to work on the engima montoya.
    I like Shark, but his stats as a professional without Bosio don’t impress. Granted, development, learning curve and all that could very well explain the late blooming, but I don’t think this guy gets much better than he is right now, and his trade value will certainly never be higher.

  • josh ruiter

    “Enigma Montoya” is what I meant…..damn phones.

  • rockin dawg

    If we trade Samadzjida, I would hope we could get at least one TOR-type prospect. Syndergaard (Mets), Taillon (Pirates), Bradley (Diamonbacks), Giolito (Nationals) would all be good targets IMO.

  • Mike

    The commentary on MLB radio was that Theo/Jed are not looking for a win/win in this trade. They said this is not going to be a situation like Fielder/Kinsler trade where some say the Rangers did well and others say the Tigers did wellI. f they trade Shark they commentator said it will be viewed as an overpay. They will be looking for a clear win in this trade or they will not trade him. People can discuss all day the merits of Shark being a TOR. If they don’t get the return they seek, they can hold onto him and sign him in two years to an extension when the TV contract comes together.

    • DarthHater

      Well that certainly makes a trade sound 99% likely. Or not.

  • Mick

    Edge of my seat here, Twins nearing a major free agent signing with possibly names as Garza, Nolasco, Arroyo, etc. This could be a boon too for the Cubs taking away a top FA SP just increase Shark’s value.

  • Matthew Nomad

    I’ve never seen a point in trading Samardzija until this offseason. With the rising cost of free agent pitching and no real sign that an extension is being considered on his end, I’d rather sit all day and drool at the potential pieces we can add to the farm. Admittedly, I’ve grown kind of fond with this “snatch and stash” policy both in the draft and waiver wire. Probably more so than my hopes of guaranteed contention by 2015. For what its worth, any deal that starts with Sanchez/Stroman, Bundy+1, or Bradley/Holmberg/Trahan is one that would have my attention

  • Blackhawks1963

    I too am convinced Spellcheck is traded. And I think he ends up with the Nationals.

  • Mush

    Shark is not a No 1 starter but if teams are willing to trade for him like he is…you have to do it. The FO is smart enough to milk it for all that he is worth. I would get as many teams involved as possible. Like I have said in the past, .500 by 2016 is realistic. He will be gone by then via FA.

  • anonymous-ly

    Cubs should consider trading Wellington Castillo as well. By the time Cubs seriously compete, there will be a decent chance that his performance will be sub-level or if he is still doing well, be near free agency and entering his declining years. His trade value is at an all-time high. Get what you can now and get a veteran catcher later when the time is right.

    • aaronb

      I’m beginning to feel the same way about Rizzo and Travis Wood. By the time Wrigley is completely renovated, we have a new TV contract and Papa Ricketts dies so we can finally spend some money. Those guys will most likely be well past their prime.

      We need to figure out a way to dump their salaries and get moar prospects!!!!

    • Dan G.

      I completely disagree. Wellington is cheap, solid defensively, and still has upside with the bat and with his game calling skills. I don’t think he’s irreplaceable but since we literally have no one in the farm system who can replace him for at least 3-4yrs I disagree. Combining the shark and Wellington in a Matt Weiters deal would be utterly terrible. Weiters will be expensive the next 2 yrs in a point in time when we still won’t be competitive and will be even more expensive try and resign.

  • MightyBear

    Sounds like Brett still wants an extension. If I’m the Cubs and I’m trying to put pressure on the Shark in trying to re-sign him, I have rumors that Toronto, Cleveland and Kansas City are the front runners. All American League teams, all not the best locations in the world. I think Shark would like to be traded to Arizona. I believe he has a house there. Ideally an extension would be best but it doesn’t sound like its going to happen. It’s best to trade him now for the best offer and be done with it.

    • Lee

      And then sign Scott Baker to take his spot right?

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    If you read the Kaplan story he talks about the Tanaka thing dragging into January and how screwed some of these teams will be if they wait for the results of that bidding war. Teams that have a window of contention in the next two years will be all over this Samardzija deal. As it stands the Cubs window of contention is probably not until 2016 so we might as well continue to play the prospect game.

  • Senor Cub

    I will be attending Kane County Cougars and watch all these “wonderful” prospects bloom. If you can’t beat em, join em. Shark will be better somewhere else I guess…

    • willis

      Yep, while we obsess over A ball box scores, he’ll be in the playoffs somewhere. I suppose your’re right, no need to fight it. Takes up a lot of energy with no result.

  • Funn Dave

    “…could be well-designed by the Cubs to pressure Samardzija into once more coming to the table about an extension and thinking about accepting a reasonable deal if he wants to stay in Chicago.”

    I haven’t really gotten the impression that he really wants to be in Chicago any more than anywhere else. If anything, I’d think that knowing how much he is sought after would make him more likely to bet on himself (again).

    • willis

      I think that he wants to be in Chicago and star for the cubs. But, I also think he wants to play for a team that will contend in his prime, and that won’t be the cubs. That could outweigh his desire to stay in Chicago and while the cubs think they are trying to sway him back to the table, he’s probably thinking he keeps pushing he can get a deal to a contending team.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I want to trade Spellcheck for a few reasons.

    1. I’m not convinced that he is all that good and worry that he could revert back to his pre 2013 / Chris Bosio ways at any second.

    2. I don’t want to pay Spellcheck the going rate for his services on a new contract…because see point number one above.

    3. Spellcheck is probably at the zenith of his trade value.

    4. There are teams willing to overpay in hi quality pitching prospects to get Spellcheck.

    Do it.

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

    Samardzija peaked the second half of 2012 and the first half of 2013. His WHIP has gone up dramatically the 2nd half of last year… but the whole season last year kinda tells the story:

    Pitches 01-15 = .280/.332/.481
    Pitches 16-30 = .252/.298/.337
    Pitches 31-45 = .229/.302/.393
    Pitches 46-60 = .293/.377/.506

  • ryanissamson

    ::sigh::

  • CubsRock2016

    Note that you heard this here first. Ricky Nolasco agrees to deal with Twins.

    • toby

      sorry, read it on MLBTR an hour ago.

    • DarthHater

      “Note that you did not hear this here first.”

      FTFY

  • http://BN Sacko

    I didn’t think they would make the trade as I see us going after 2 starters with Shark, now 3?
    To many questions about Arrieta. This has got to be the deal to beat all deals made.

    • TulaneCubs

      You might see that, but I highly doubt this front office sees that. I think they have Arrieta in the rotation in pen.

      They’ve got Shark, Wood, EJax, Arrieta and 1 of Villanueva/Rusin/Grimm right now. I don’t see room for 2 guys in that rotation, but obviously if Shark leaves then I think 2 would be the target.

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