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.

  • Frank

    I think someone blinks and makes an offer the Cubs can’t refuse.

    • jay

      Considering you handed the likes of Edwin Jackson a four year-$52 mil deal and the price of pitching currently, I don’t see how you lowball Smardj to the point where he doesn’t want to sign.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Where did you find out the Cubs were “lowballing” Smardj? Did you hear numbers? Some rumors have him expecting #1 money while his track record screams #3 performance. We’ve been over this ad nauseum. Smardj may just have that “gambler” gene and may not be willing to give any discount to the team that is willing to take on the risk of an injury over the next two year while extending him.

  • BenRoethig

    The rumors are not mutually exclusive. If the Cubs front office is smart, they’re working towards both ends.

    • Brett


      • DocPeterWimsey

        Eggs, baskets and all of that. Mmmm, turkey eggs….

  • Blublud

    I think the return will determine if an extension is a good idea. If the Cubs can get another MLB ready player who is younger, with a younger star prospect and another next tier prospect, then a trade is a better idea. If it’s more about quantity than quality, then an extension is better.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      We have a lot of quantity already, and I would worry we cannot protect enough of our near MLB ready on the 40 man…time to expect quality in return for our quantity.

      • d biddle

        I have the same concern. These 3 for 1 trades have run its course. Eventually we will need to release a player from the 40 man roster for every additional player we add. Are we really gaining anything or are we just delaying things?

        • Chad

          Most prospects don’t need to be added to the 40-man so that’s not a big deal at all.

          • Eternal Pessimist

            …except that we better be expecting near MLB ready prospects for Smarg…not just some high A guy that will take another 3 years to simmer. I don’t think we are letting Smarg go for long-shots.

        • cms0101

          It all depends on what they receive back for the player. But there are certainly guys on this 40-man roster that can be removed without much concern if there are better, younger players coming back that need to be on the 40-man. If they can improve their starting pitching depth in the minor leagues, and they are required to sacrifice a Daniel Bard, Matt Gamel, or Brian Bogusevic, I don’t see an issue. How many untouchables are there on a 96 loss team after all? And really I’m being conservative. There are a few more that are expendable. Logan Watkins, Brett Jackson, and Brooks Raley too. Really, they probably have close to 10 spots on the 40-man that they can clear if needed. I’d expect to see a few cleared out for the Rule 5 draft soon too. At least one. With a high pick they’ll definitely take another flyer on a young arm.

    • cubmig

      My money is on an extension.

      • Mick

        How much money you got because I guarantee he’s going and anything you read or hear to the contrary is a plume of smoke contrived by this front office.

        • cubmig

          Save your $$$. It’s bad enough you are going to be disappointed.

  • Ivy Walls

    I think you nailed it….Looking at 2014’s SP lineup

    Wood, Jackson, FA addition?, Arrieta, Baker?or other FA/acquisition from trade, Villaneuva for injury/spot start.

    But it will be the bullpen that will be as or more important.

  • http://bleachernation Ferris

    Garza is at least as good so bring him back an shark could bring us the most back that trade will make us a top five farm….we must trade him, he wants more money than garza anyway

    • Bwa

      That trade better guarantee we are the top farm or it’s not worth it

      • http://bleachernation Ferris

        How if we get a package like we did for garza an resign garza itd be worth it..shark is good not great…an he wants wainwright money…no way..he was offered plenty, trade while his value is high.

  • Dumpgobbler

    A lot of talk about Shark in trade talks. Probably should be some talk about Wood as well. His value most likely is as high as its going to get. Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to think about dealing Wood, Castillo and Lake this offseason.

    • Eric

      As young and cost-controlled as all three of those players are, what would be the purpose of trading them?

      • Dumpgobbler

        Outperformed what we can realistically expect going forward IMHO. Especially Wood. The three are in the same boat as Barney IMHO. If you can sell Wood as a 3 going forward with a bunch of control.. you can turn that into some real talent coming back. If you can sell Lake as a Starting level CF going forward, well, you have to really think about it. Castillo is extremely valuable right now. I’m not saying give these guys away, but I would pull the trigger on some deals with these guys if the returns are acceptable.

        • Jason P

          I agree with you. But other teams aren’t unaware of the advanced metrics, which is why I don’t think you’d get much for Lake. Maybe he’d make a good throw-in in another deal to sweeten the return.

          Castillo has a ton of value as a cost-controlled, young, strong defensive catcher who can hit. But his BABIP is not going to stay .349. If they can find a replacement, trading him would not be a bad idea for the right return.

          Wood had the largest negative difference between his ERA and his FIP in MLB, so he would be a tough sell as a #3. I think he has more value to the Cubs right now than he’d have in a trade.

          • YourResidentJag

            Depends on who those people are. I might argue Amaro Jr, Sabean, and even Towers may very well not be part of that group.

        • Playoffs!

          1. T-Wood has way more talent than Barney, and has control years left. No trade anytime soon.
          2. We don’t know if Lake is an All-star, everyday player, or bench player. Selling now could be costly.
          3. I’m all for trading Barney, but I have no idea how much value a defensive 2nd basemen gets you. It can’t be much…

      • jay

        Some people just have no idea what they’re talking about.

        • Dumpgobbler

          You talking about me or?

    • Borocks

      We need to keep Lake at least one more year… Just MHO.

    • ClevelandCubsFan


      Not saying we won’t trade. But there is no good reason to be LOOKING to trade any of those guys. Lakewood be the most likely. And that’s only because it’s possible that some team is overvalued him based on last year’s performance.

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        I really need to stop using speech to text to comment on this site. But I think that comment was understandable at least.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Would not have the same trade value, or even more if signed to a friendly extension?

  • Die hard

    As I reported 2 wks ago Cubs to cut bait and sign the Shark for lots of clams

    • Dumpgobbler

      Could go either way really. This FO could know for sure they have no plan on dropping however many clams it takes to get Shark, and is using this as leverage to milk more out of the teams interested. It most likely is a tactic to get these teams to loosen the grip on the Bradleys, Bundys, Giolitos, Ect ect.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    There are too many pitching starved contenders and Samardzija is too appealing on the surface (age, low mileage pitching arm, two years of control, etc.) for there not to be a trade that meets the lofty expectation of TheoJed. I believe Samardzija is traded within 2 weeks.

  • YourResidentJag

    Or there could be a trade btn three teams as @TomLoxas reported last night.

    • Dumpgobbler

      Yea it was something along the lines of getting a third team involved that needed a SS correct? Something like this maybe?

      Zona gets Shark, Lake

      Cubs get Skaggs, Delgado, Glasnow, Trahan

      Pittsburgh Gets Owens.

      Guess I could see something like that.

      • YourResidentJag

        I’d do that.

        • Dumpgobbler

          Makes sense for each side imho.

          We get a ton of talented pitching. Glasnow and Delgado are both pinned for mid rotation. Skaggs could be more if he takes steps forward. Delgado steps into the rotation right away. Trahan instantly grants us a legit catching prospect and a good one at that.

          Arizona obviously gets Shark, but also gets Lake, who I’ve read they cherish for whatever reason.

          Pirates get a ML SS which they need. They give up a good prospect, but probably make out the best here.

          • TulaneCubs

            I think the Cubs are easily getting the best side of that deal. Getting that package for Shark and Lake would make me ecstatic. I actually think the Pirates are getting the worst side of that deal, Glasnow is a top 50ish prospect and Owings is not.

            • Dumpgobbler

              Ehh.. Glasnow is really good. over 13 k/9 is really impressive while giving up very few walks. He’s almost like our CJ Edwards but much bigger. But young ML SS’s are expensive. Remember how much Didi cost the Diamondbacks?

              • TulaneCubs

                I think that’s a case where Towers knew more than other teams and was frantically trying to get rid of Bauer before other teams caught on. Not only were the numbers bad for him, but the reports on him seemed really awful.

                I think Kingham might be a better fit in that package, who generally seems to be a notch below Glasnow, although I seen to recall some liking Kingham more.

                I still would be enamored with getting Skaggs, Kingham, Delgado and Trahan for Shark and Lake.

            • YourResidentJag

              If they got Gregorious, it would be worth it for them.

              • jsorensen

                I think you are overrating Gregorious. Owings stock is picking up. I think the 3 way deal includes the Mets and looks like this:

                Cubs get – Snydergaard, Delgado, Holmberg, Trahan
                Arizona gets – Shark, Lake
                Mets get – Owings, Eaton, Russell

                Just make believe.

                • YourResidentJag

                  Or the Cubs get: Ventura, Delgado, Holmberg, and Trahan
                  AZ: Shark and Lake
                  Royals: Olt and Owings and put Owings at 2b.

      • David

        LOL, you’re not getting Skaggs, Delgado, Glasnow, and Trahan.

        • When the Music’s Over

          Most people fail to realize that if the trade is something you’ll definitely do (an obvious yes on one side), that it’s probably a pretty unlikely trade scenario . There are of course exceptions, but trades often hurt (as in what you have to give up in relation to what you get back) both sides.

        • Dumpgobbler

          Well not going to make everyone happy. Looks a litte heavy return for Shark but all relatively young pitching cost a lot right now. Take a look at what Shields got. And the Diamondbacks don’t even have to give up Bradley in that deal.

          • David

            You’re biased, it’s a ridiculous package to expect.

            • Jason P

              That is a little high, but not that high. Delgado’s back of the rotation, Skaggs may be a little better, but too early to tell, and Glasnows a good but not elite prospect. Minus the blue chipper like Bradley, the depth there makes it worth it.

      • praying the cubs get ready to win

        This would be absolutely terrific for the Cubs.

  • N.J. Riv

    Bradley or bust.

    • Professor Snarks

      It would shock me if Az traded Bradley. If you believe the Hype on Bradley, he will probably out perform Shark next year, even if he’s not called up until June. Seems like a lot to give up for the chance to play one extra game.
      The Nationals trading Giolito does make more sense. He probably won’t be big league ready until 2016, and the Nats think they can win their division next year.

    • Playoffs!

      I agree if we trade shark, we need an organization’s top pitching prospect hands down. That’s the price for front line pitching. If we get anything less it’s disappointing. We need impact prospects.

  • josh ruiter

    I too would really like Bradley or Giolito, but I have to say that package of skaggs, delgado, glasnow, and trahan is very very tempting. I know quality over quantity, but like Jason Parks of baseball prospectus says, “I’ll take two 7’s over one 8.” While Bradley most likely has the much higher ceiling, I would also consider a package with Luis Heredia thrown in rather than Trahan.
    Also, no way Pittsburgh gives up only Glasnow to get Owings. Arizona has no reason to do that portion of the deal. That would be Skaggs, Trahan, Delgado, and Owings for Shark and Lake. They could be better served cutting the Pirates out and making that trade straight up with the Cubs. Then…if the Cubs want to make that trade they could – but could also throw in a kicker or two to bring back more than just Glasnow from Pittsburgh.
    More than likely if Shark is dealt I am seeing a deal with Washington including Giolito and other parts – if we add a sweetener we may get Cole as well…or maybe the asking price is so high that Washington knows it is Cole and Giolito, and they are ready to do that, but not before exploring FA?
    I also like the combination of Bradley, Skaggs, etc. if Arizona will bite on it.

    • Dumpgobbler

      Glasnow is a really good pitching prospect. I’ll admit they make out the best but hey, if a third team is getting involved I guess.. Your right about it being a better idea to cut them out completely, but maybe the cubs just don’t want to deal with it? I don’t know.

      • josh ruiter

        Right, for the Cubs it makes life easy….but for the Diamondbacks….they gain literally nothing from involving the Pirates….Now if the consensus is that we can get Skaggs, Delgado, Trahan and Owings for Shark and Lake – I do that right now personally. But I think more likely the Dbacks as well would rather give up Bradley plus one…maybe Bradley and Trahan…or Bradley, Trahan and one of Delgado, Skaggs and Owings for Shark and Lake. Just don’t see the reality or sensibility in Arizona parting with a top 3 prospect who is MLB ready when they get nothing back in that portion of the deal.

        • Dustin S

          I definitely think there’s a good chance Lake is traded, either with Shark or in another deal this offseason. There have been some hints along the way going back to late July that the FO is looking at him as a good sell-high opportunity.

    • TulaneCubs

      Yeah you’re right, the DBacks are giving up a ton there. I change my vote for worst end of that deal to them.

  • bbmoney

    Two posts thanksgiving morning…… Brett rocks!

  • Cheryl

    Trade him. I’d rather have him go than have almost twoyears of rumors wince he evidently wants to go the free agency route.

    And on a separate note,Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • Stevie B

    Is my suggestion of bringing back Garza, and extending Samardjiza completely off the radar??
    Both would take 5 years to sign, and if we’re not competing in that time frame, I give up.

    Sign them when they’re available…..right?

    • TulaneCubs

      Garza is injury prone and the first 2 years of that deal would probably be wasted on teams out of contention.

      I don’t see a reason why Garza-like pitchers won’t be available in the future, so I’d pass.

      Unless they sign Tanaka, I’d prefer they didn’t sign a big name free agent this offseason and they instead wait until next offseason.

  • Dale Jr

    Ass man where are u

  • JL

    The FO isn’t going to come straight out and say hey he’s available. Of course their going to say they’re trying to sign him to an extension. They don’t want to lose any leverage.

  • waffle

    as I said the other day I fully expect some team to fall in love with the potential of SHARK and overplay/overpay. Does the FO then go back to Shark and say “we’ve got a deal we like…here is our best offer, take it or leave it”

    This FO likes to play from a position of strength and I LIKE IT

  • Bob Johnson

    I don’t think Jeff believes in the plan & wants to win now. He seemed most offended by the departure of his fellow teammates especially the other starting pitchers.

    • willis

      I don’t either. He’s a competitor and actually wants to win. He doesn’t see that out of this organization right now. And at his age, ready to enter his prime years, I could see him not wanting to waste them in Chicago. I said it yesterday, but it could be why he’s pushing for so much money…he probably knows he isn’t going to get that much, even on the open market. But it pushes the FO to move him, which he probably wants at this point.

    • Assman22

      Shark has been insistent on getting a NTC in his extension and has even reduced his asking price in return for a NTC…does not want to leave Chicago…Cubs FO has seen an uptick in offers from interested teams…FWIW in regards to Didi…no one values him as high as Towers and Dbacks will not get much in return for him…can’t see a 3-way trade with Dbacks coming to fruition…

      • DocPeterWimsey

        That’s the one thing that many anti-NTC fans leave out of the equation: it’s not $XM + NTC vs. $XM, it’s $XM+NTC vs. $(X+Y)M.

        And you are dead-on that nobody values Gregarius as much as the DBacks do. That’s part of why I think that the DBacks would overvalue Barney. Of course, I often think that they’d take one look at a Neandertal dancing in the snow in front of a fire in a not-but-a- loin cloth and promptly go through a weeks worth of Depends, too.

        • Carew

          Im on break. Please dont do math :)

        • TOOT

          “That’s the one thing that many anti-NTC fans leave out of the equation: it’s not $XM + NTC vs. $XM, it’s $XM+NTC vs. $(X+Y)M”

          Doc, you sure you got your mathematical operations going today?

      • Jason Powers

        Gven its KT…after months of on off talks, can we assume KT is just hoping to get Shark too cheaply? Realize FO are creating bids competition for shark hoping someone is finally gonna pay the min price you want. AZ archenemy of LA now? Can mets be reasoned with?

      • YourResidentJag

        Problem is that the Cubs aren’t going to get enough from AZ, so there has to be another team involved. I hope the deal doesn’t center around Delgado or Skaggs. Please, no!

        • nkiacc13

          im not sure the Cubs will get enough from any one team since they want 3-4 top players and im sure at least 2 are pitchers

          • YourResidentJag

            That’s why there needs to be a 3rd team.

        • cubswin

          what about shark of skaggs and delgado. I doubt the backs would give both up, but i think cubs would do that in a heartbeat.

          • TOOT

            What about shark for 4 toads?

  • Spoda17

    Happy Thanksgiving BNers… thanks as always Brett and Luke. Hope all eats well, drinks well, and no relatives are damaged in todays festivities… HA!

  • Soda Popinski

    Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it’s grand! I’m thankful for this Cubs community!

  • SenorGato

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    I like the headline…I swear these people are just fucking with all of us.

  • nkiacc13

    I think someone will be included with Shark if he goes to Pitt or to AZ

  • Antonio

    What would you think of this 3 team trade:

    D’backs get: RHP Jeff Samardzija, RHP Kyle Hendricks, OF/3B/SS Junior Lake, OF Nate Schierholtz (Cubs) and OF Brandon Nimmo (Mets).

    Mets get: SS Starlin Castro (Cubs), LHP Tyler Skaggs and OF Adam Eaton (D’backs).

    Cubs get: RHP Archie Bradley, LHP David Holmberg, C Stryker Trahan (D’backs), RHP Noah Syndergaard, RHP Rafael Montero and C/1B Kevin Plawecki (Mets).

    I think the three teams would be addresing some of their needs, and it would certainly give great pitching and catching depth (and quality) to the Cubs.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • CubsSuck2014

      I think in that deal the Dbacks are overpaying, Mets underpaying, and Cubs in the middle or maybe a little underpaying. I think the winner would be the mets and the loser the dbacks of that trade.

    • JDB

      So the Cubs are having trouble fielding a half-ass competitive team and I know the idea isn’t to win next year or maybe even the year after but you want to trade 3 guys that will start next year and another guy that might or will at least get major playing time? Not to mention there are 14 players in that trade. I understand it’s fun to play around with different trade scenarios but thats just absurd.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I can see the D’Backs and Mets involved in a three way. Arizona may wan Samardzija and have young and very good redundancy at shortstop, plus pitching prospects. New York desperately needs an upgrade at shortstop.

    But…I doubt Arizona will trade Bradley and New York Wheeler or Syngaard. So how does a deal then appeal to the Cubs? Well Skaggs would be a must, but it would take MORE than that.

  • Jason Powers
    • Luke

      Samardiza, Schierholtz, Arrieta, Lake, and Barney plus $13 million in cash for Skaggs, Syndergaard, and a couple other pieces. And you’ve got Montero down as an alternative for Syndergaard, so he’s not even definitely in the deal.

      Can’t say I’m a fan of that proposal.

  • jt

    I’d be fine with that deal if they went out and signed all of Franklin Gutierrez, Arroyo, Hughes, Kazmir and Choo.
    Somebody has a good imagination though!

  • Big Joe

    Samardzija has been good at times, he’s even shown signs of the possibility of more on fewer occasions, but overall, has been a B/B- (hell, maybe a C+?) pitcher for the majority of his stint at that major league level. Yes, that’s above average. But, no, that’s nobody’s ace.

    I’ve never understood all the love. I’m happy to have the guy in the Cubs rotation. But, I wouldn’t lose any sleep, or tears, if he wasn’t there come next season.

    Jeff is not worth Archie Bradley, and another top prospect. He’s not worth Bradley alone. I keep hearing about some “package”, full of “top prospects”, that would be required to “pry him from the Cubs”. Really? If that’s the case, he’ll be a Cub next year, and for a while going forward.

    I realize that Jeff’s advanced stats say he’s better than he pitched last year. I way I see it, he’s still the same up and down, inconsistent, inefficient, frustrating to watch pitcher that he’s always been. One day he’s unhittable, then next…88 pitches in 4 1/3 innings 7 ER, 5 BB.

    You’re not getting Archie Bradley for that.

  • ruby2626

    Honestly why is this regime always in such a big hurry to sign guys to multi year contracts? Jeff has 2 years of arbitration left, I say the time to offer him the sign now or be traded ultimatum is next year. If he pitches like a #1 then pay him like a #1, if he still pitches like a #3 or #5 like the last half of this year then sign him comensurate to that. I realize you might not get as much in a year, lets face it if he struggles one more year then teams are going to think he’s reached his ceiling. Just not a fan of extending guys 2 years in advance of their free agency, too much can change.

    • nkiacc13

      cost certainy and trade value.

  • waffle

    but the potential of shark is still there. He has everything going for him imo for someone to overpay.

    • Big Joe

      If what you mean by “everything going for him”, is inconsistent play, inefficient pitching, and poor use of his strengths in key situations, you’re exactly right.
      I’ve watched him look like a Cy Young winner one night, then a bum then ncxt outing. I’ve watched him throw 75 pitches in under 5 innings. I’ve also watched him get shelled, while trying to finesse his way through an inning, even though he’s a power guy.
      Nobody is going to “overpay” for that kind of “potential”.