jeff samardzija gatorade showerYesterday, rumors of the Chicago Cubs’ plans to trade Jeff Samardzija reached the kind of percolation that I usually associate with an Obsessive Trade Watch. Indeed, it even got to the point where Dave Kaplan offered a source who said he was 99 percent certain that the Cubs would trade Samardzija at some point this offseason.

Knowing that these rumors tend to have cycles that resemble the arc and fall of radio waves, I cautioned:

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.

And, indeed, either the rumors had that effect, the rumors were designed to kickstart those extension discussions, or … well … there have always been simultaneous extension and trade discussions, because that’s just smart.

Whatever the explanation, Nick Cafardo last night tweeted:

That sounds right to me, especially in tandem with rumors about the awesome offers the Cubs are getting for Samardzija, and about how awesome he is as a pitcher. This leaves all options on the table. Indeed, if you want to add another layer of detection, you could argue that the rumor supplied to Cafardo could also have originated with the Cubs, who want to make sure that any interested trade partners know that the Cubs could take him off the market with an extension at any moment. Belly up to the table with your best offers, boys!

This is probably how the story is going to go for some time, or at least until something more definitive comes out. Some sources will say a trade is going to happen (and it might). Other sources will say an extension remains the preference (and it might). And the Cubs, for their part, will probably keep working both angles until one (or both, heaven forbid) become untenable.

  • rockin dawg

    Shark and Castillo to the Mets for Syndergaard, Montero, and D’Arnaud….sign the papers.

  • Mike F

    Toronto is the key. They have and can put together a very attractive package that would force the Dbacks to put Bradley on the table. They can put a top 25 arm that has big velocity, a young AA LHP and an intriguing guy with ML experience on the table plus prospects that are lesser known. I don’t believe Skaggs and Delgado get it done there’s not enough there to motivate a deal.

  • Cub Lifer

    Arizona isn’t trading Archie Bradley. That won’t happen. So either the Cubs can be satisfied with a package centered on Tyler Skaggs, or a deal with Arizona isn’t going to happen.

    Toronto isn’t trading away any more top prospects according to JP Riccardi. They swung and missed badly with the big Florida trade and New York trade last winter. They aren’t about to unload any more top prospects. Not when they are likely staring at 4th place in the AL East no matter what they really do.

    • Mike F

      Skaggs is not remotely enough to entice a good front office to trade Jeff. He’s not a hard thrower and doesn’t have nearly the same arm. I think Theo meant what he told them this summer in Bradley and Skaggs. And I would not be surprised at all to see Toronto give up what I said above. You have to go back and look at what Texas was trading in Perez as the center for Garza a year earlier. Jeff has a better and a safer arm. If they don’t get more than you think they won’t trade him now. They have set a price and will include at least one quality arm and quantity.

      • cms0101

        This is going to play out over the winter. Just because Toronto, Arizona, and Baltimore are the only names we’re hearing now doesn’t mean that there won’t be other names that step up to the table. Free agents are beginning to sign at a pretty fast clip. Samardzija is one of the top remaining available pitchers. Garza, Tanaka, then who? Maybe Price gets traded. Maybe Scherzer. There are more than 5 teams looking to upgrade their rotations. The Cubs can hold out for the high quality package they are seeking and it will come. The other dominoes may have to fall first, but it will come. And since it is the offseason, you don’t have the panic of being afraid he’ll get injured like they did with Garza. I suspect the winter meetings is where it will happen. And it may even be a team that we haven’t heard about yet.

      • Jason P

        I think they may have come down from “Bradley and Skaggs” to Bradley and a few lesser prospects” with the situation being slightly different now than it was a few months ago. Not that I wouldn’t be perfectly happy with “just” Bradley.

    • Jason P

      So Alex Anthopoulos is just going to sit back lose his job over another 75-win season? I don’t buy it. He’s got to either do something to stay competitive in that division or go for the all-out rebuild. Unless he gets permission to go ham on the free agent market, trades are his only option.

      • Blackhawks1963

        I saw it reported today on mlb tv that Toronto is very doubtful to trade away major prospects this winter. Do I think we can cross them off the list and Arizona too.

        But I can are Washington going after Samardzija.

        • nkiacc13

          I wonder because of Toronto’s bullpen excess if they may make a move or 2 there with the thought of maybe flipping those players to Cubs

        • Jason P

          Unless they’ve had a sudden change of heart — which isn’t entirely impossible — that just seems hard to believe. They’ve been involved in the process for weeks now, and there’s no way they’re naive enough to believe they’re getting Shark without trading top prospects. It sounds to me like Toronto’s trying to create leverage.

  • Jono

    Id be happy if they just got bradley, maybe even Sanchez. I know, I know, that may not be enough. I don’t care. Id be happy if they got a legit ace prospect for samardzija.

  • Rich H

    Value has become my buzz word in all things Shark related at this point.
    Would I personally like to see an extention in the 5 year/65m range? You bet. Would Samrdzija sign that type deal without a NTC? I seriously doubt it. Is there any value left in Shark’s upside with a 5/75-80m package ? That would be a huge chance to take.
    What about a contract with vesting options both ways? Say buying out the first year of FA at 15 mil with vestings set up on innings and strike outs? Say you got 550 innings and 500 strike outs after year 3 then a 2 year 38 mil option kicks in. The flip side is if the Cubs do not win 225 games between now and then he can opt out for FA.

    I know that contracts like this are unique but not unprecidented especially with rebuilding teams. Of course if Shark gets traded the option automatically vests.

  • Ballgame

    Hope all BN’ers had a safe & happy Thanksgiving! Apparently the D’backs are interested in Schierholtz as well, so I’m thinkin Shark/Schierholtz for Bradley/Eaton. I like Eaton’s potential and let’s be honest, Schierholtz is a 4th outfielder. You could see him as worn down as Russell was at ASB. The Cubs shoulda pulled the trigger last year when they almost did. Sorry, I don’t wanna see Schierholtz in a Cubs uni this year and if the D’backs really want him (which supposedly they do), try and use him to get Bradley. I’m assuming the Cubs have said at this point “Bradley or else deal isn’t gettin done right now”, which is causing all of this talk. It’d be beyond anti-climactic if the Cubs re-sign Samardzija. Any word on what Garza is looking to get paid? I’d love to bring him back on a reasonable deal.

  • Stevie B

    Dylan Bundy plus a top 20 org guy for Shark straight up.

    Who hangs up first??

    • Kyle

      I think Cubs, but I bet O’s fans would say O’s.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Neither, but i do think Cubs would want more.

  • Stevie B

    This is going to sound bad, but here goes:

    I want Bundy so bad, I can’t stand it.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Not crazy, we all want Bundy.

  • Pingback: Will the Cubs Slow-Play the Jeff Samardzija Trade Market? | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()