The Jeff Samardzija Stove: Fister Fallout, Extension Talks, Possible Price Tags, More

jeff samardzija gatorade showerI kind of really hope this doesn’t become a regular feature, but there are a variety of Jeff Samardzija bits to share and discuss, and bullet-style makes the most sense …

  • Fister trade, Fister trade, Fister trade. I don’t have a lot more to say that I didn’t already say when the trade happened last night, or in the Bullets this morning, but I’m now hoping the Tigers do what many are expecting they’ll do, which is spend big on some free agent. Then the narrative can be, “the Tigers foolishly accepted an extraordinarily weak package for a 4-win pitcher because they were desperate to clear some cash to sign Player X, who was pressuring them to put the deal together quickly.” I still think the Tigers were silly for making this Fister deal (dumping cost-controlled great players to free up cash for the privilege of overspending in free agency is rarely a laudable strategy), but at least it would be nice to have a story to sell when discussing why Jeff Samardzija’s trade value should dramatically exceed that of the Fister deal. Right now, the best you can come up with: Fister is a year older, he’s slightly more expensive, he’s a soft-tosser who has lost a mile or two on his already soft stuff, and … well, that’s all I’ve got. Fister probably doesn’t have the upside of Samardzija, but Fister is already a fantastic pitcher. Samardzija, we hope, will get there next year.
  • (That all said: because the consensus is that the Tigers didn’t get nearly enough for Fister in this trade, it’s not as if prospective trade partners can tell the Cubs, “Hey, that’s the market price for Fister, so the market price for Samardzija is X-1.” Well, they can say that, but the Cubs can respond, “We’re content to hold Samardzija for a little while, given that he and David Price are probably the only upper tier arms available on the trade market, and the free agent market is looking weak, too.” I still like the Cubs’ leverage here. I just would have liked it even more if the Tigers had received a healthy score for Fister.)
  • Bruce Levine apparently reported this weekend on his radio show on The Score (I say apparently because I couldn’t find audio for myself – anyone have it handy?) that the Cubs have offered Jeff Samardzija a five-year, $55 million extension. That’s the exact extension I’ve suggested as reasonable for about a year now (based on Matt Harrison’s similar extension a couple years ago), so, yeah, that’s reasonable. I could understand Samardzija continuing to refuse, preferring to bet on himself. The Cubs could probably go a little higher and keep the extension in the range of “good idea,” but there’s only so much wiggle room, even when you factor in inflation.
  • Nick Cafardo also discussed extension stuff, saying that the Cubs’ preference remains signing Samardzija to an extension. If the trade market crumbles in the wake of the Fister deal (and that’s probably going too far), an extension probably does become more likely, since the Cubs may have to pony up if they want to convert Samardzija into a long-term asset. As I say in the previous bullet, though, there has to be a limit.
  • Although Dave Cameron’s gut tells him Jeff Samardzija will be traded, he doesn’t seem to think the Blue Jays should have interest in acquiring him (and especially not if the deal includes one of Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman). For my part, any deal with the Blue Jays that doesn’t include at least one of Sanchez or Stroman might not make sense for the Cubs. Maybe there’s just not a fit there.
  • Jim Bowden proposes four trades that are probably now in the range you’d be looking in a Samardzija deal, like it or lump it. From the Orioles, the Cubs get Kevin Gausman, straight up (eh – I like him, but risky); from the Diamondbacks, the Cubs get Tyler Skaggs and Stryker Trahan (still doesn’t wow you); from the Royals, the Cubs get Aaron Crow and Miguel Almonte (doesn’t seem like nearly enough); and from the Blue Jays, the Cubs get Sean Nolin, Daniel Norris, and Alberto Tirado (not bad, though I’d still want to see one of Sanchez or Stroman in the mix). You can see Bowden’s thoughts on/explanation for each deal here.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

228 responses to “The Jeff Samardzija Stove: Fister Fallout, Extension Talks, Possible Price Tags, More”

  1. Ken

    The Fister trade hurts but it doesn’t completely reset Shark’s market value.

    It’s like real estate. If your house is on the market for $300,000 and the house down the street sells for $150,000 in foreclosure it’s not helpful but you can usually point to other homes that have sold for at or near your asking price.

    The Fister trade is a “comp” but not the new standard. If that were the case no one would trade another starter this off season.

  2. Bea Arthur

    Two reporters/commentators people I put among the least stock in what they “report?” Bruce Levine and Jim Bowden.

    Not right very often.

    1. Funn Dave

      That’s why I hate when people use Twitter posts as news. I’d rather wait for bits to get reported on a reputable website that’s held accountable for its content than see a brief tweet about something-or-other and spread it around the internet as gospel just because it’s the first tidbit out.

  3. YourResidentJag

    Eric Hinske–Cubs new 1b coach.

  4. Chef Brian

    I’m sorry but is Bowden sniffing glue at his desk. None of these offers would be fair compensation for Shark in today’s market. Even with the Tigers pulling the trigger on that ridiculous trade. The Cubs are under no pressure to make any deal regarding Shark unless it absolutely blows their doors off. The offers Bowden was suggesting I could see maybe in another year to year and a half of holding on to Samardzija, maybe. It’s hard to believe Bowden was a GM, because he has a made a career out of predicting goofy trades. Honestly, if that is what the Cubs are being offered, keep him. For the record, unless a crazy trade offer comes to the table, I really hope we extend him.

    1. Rebuilding

      To be fair, Bowden was a pretty terrible GM too

  5. North Side Irish

    Gregerson to the A’s…that is quite the bullpen the A’s have assembled. Billy Beane must not sleep.

  6. North Side Irish

    Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan 2m
    Sources: Yankees among many teams showing interest in A’s starter Brett Anderson. A’s likely to deal him at Winter Meetings.

    Blue Jays and Indians reported interest earlier…will not be cheap to acquire Anderson.

    1. Hutch

      Vogelbach and Russell would be enough to get anderson

  7. North Side Irish

    Bob Nightengale ‏@BNightengale 20s
    The #Dbacks expect to re-sign Daniel Hudson, who was non-tendered, Kevin Towers says.

    Would have been a nice flyer for the Cubs…

    1. JB88

      It’s Bob Nightengale, though, which probably means that Hudson has already signed with another team …

      1. North Side Irish

        We need a macro to insert a disclaimer every time Nightengale’s name appears in the comments.

        1. Funn Dave

          Or we could simply refrain from posting Twitter tidbits and wait until there’s actual news from an actual news website.

  8. Hutch

    I’d like to keep shark. And try to acquire Brett Anderson. Shark ando wood Arieta and Jackson would be a pretty solid staff. All are pretty young and if we added a couple relievers the pitching staff as a whole will be solid. The offense is gonna blow going forward but hopefully some of these prospects start coming up next sept. Don’t go out and spend a ton of money this year and don’t trade shark. After the fister trade I don’t think the value will be there. If they can’t pound out an extension and he is gonna be traded a contender next July will overpay for him

  9. North Side Irish

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 1m
    #Astros have struck, getting CF Dexter Fowler from #Rockies for RHP Jordan Lyles and OF Brandon Barnes. ‘Stros also active on other fronts.

    Last 24 hours have been crazy fun to watch…

    1. On The Farm

      This is madness!

    2. C. Steadman

      gotta love the offseason!!

      1. North Side Irish

        Somehow this has been more exciting than the Trade Deadline…

        1. YourResidentJag

          It’s a liquidation sale. Everything must go.

          See folks, waiting until trade deadline to trade Shark really doesn’t make any more sense than shopping him now.

        2. On The Farm

          Just the A’s alone is more exciting than the deadline.

          1. YourResidentJag

            Billy Beane = Mad Scientist

    3. Jon

      Even the worst team in baseball is making moves to better their team, while the Cubs seem content on sitting on 96 losses again. Parallel fronts? Not so much.

      1. YourResidentJag

        Well, in this instance, yes because Salty is most likely headed to Marlins as well.

      2. MightyBear

        Astros haven’t made any moves yet.

        1. YourResidentJag

          Yeah, they have.

        2. MightyBear

          Oops my bad. Just saw the Fowler trade.

        3. Jon

          They added a pretty good young center fielder, meanwhile, we have added Darrnell McDonald.

        4. C. Steadman

          they got dexter fowler

      3. Professor Snarks

        Yes, the Astros are the worse team in baseball, but it doesn’t seem like the Cubs are that far behind.

        1. YourResidentJag

          Well, it just furthers my belief that the Cubs should make 2014′s goal the #1 amateur draft pick.

          1. Jon

            Houston has added Fowler, Marlins are going to get Salty, Sox got Abreau, Twins signed Nolasco and Hughes, all five of the worst teams in baseball are trying to put a better product on the field, except the Cubs, who are stocking up on AAAA outfielders. Wooooooo!

          2. Professor Snarks

            I seriously believe this is their second goal for the year. I would think their first goal is to get a few of their top prospects acclimated to the major leagues.

            1. YourResidentJag

              Maybe. The first wave of prospects seem to be a lot more high risk-high reward guys though, unlike the Big Four.

            2. Jason P

              If Samardzija is traded, the 2014 Cubs rotation could be the worst they’ve had in a long, long time. If we go into the year expecting Jake Arrieta, Chris Rusin, and Carlos Villanueva to start 60% of our games, I might just have to cover my eyes until the years over.

              When Epstein came here, he said in his introductory press conference some variation of “every opportunity to win is sacred. Even if we’re not going to take shortcuts, we’ll do our best to put a competitive product on the field without hindering our long term goals.”

              Last year, that’s what they did with the signings of Jackson, Feldman, Baker, Villanueva, Schierholtz, and Fujikawa. Let me throw in the caveat here that it’s still WAY too early to be judging this offseason, but if things don’t change, it will be very disappointing.

        2. Jon

          oh and the Royals are looking to get Beltran.

      4. Jason P

        Dexter Fowler isn’t all that good. 106 OPS+ last year playing half his games in Coors, and his home/away splits are huge.

        A 2-2.5 WAR player in Colorado is probably a 1.5 WAR player anywhere else. That would make him a fringe starter.

        1. Professor Snarks

          As it stands now, our starting CF’ers are Sweeney/Lake. I’d take Fowler.

          1. Jason P

            That’s debatable. His OPS+ on the road last year was 77. A Lake and Sweeney platoon could top that with ease.

      5. DarthHater

        There’s still plenty of time for the Cubs to do something significant and plenty of time to get upset if they don’t. But whether other teams made moves first is irrelevant, except to the extent those moves might affect the Cubs’ moves. I don’t think the establishment of the mighty new Fowler and Saltalamacchia dynasties in Houston and Miami is going to impact the Cubs offseason plans, so I ain’t gonna worry about it.

  10. Danno

    The Rockies just traded Fowler to the Astros. What on gods green earth is going on here. Just wish we knew what was going on behind the scenes in Cubville. Everyone is making trades and those that aren’t are at least rumored to be. Let’s get something of significance done for goodness sake!

    1. Jon

      The Cubs are tanking for another draft pick again. Now isn’t the right time to “try and win”

      1. aaronb

        MOar Prospects!!!!

  11. YourResidentJag

    Rany Jazayerli ‏@jazayerli 4m
    At this rate, I think we’re going to be able to cancel the Winter Meetings.

    1. MichiganGoat

      See this one has no breaking news attached to it it’s basically a retweet/favorite and not needed here.

      1. YourResidentJag

        The Head of BN Police Dept has spoken. ;)

        1. Jon


          1. MichiganGoat

            You two should start a blog.

            1. YourResidentJag

              Don’t you already have one???

        2. MichiganGoat

          And another snarky crying response because you can’t question the Great Lou, I’m trying to be helpful vs being aggressive when people say inane useless crap, trying to do what is needed and Brett has requested we all strive for, but never mind -continue to be annoying I’ll leave your sensitive self alone.

          1. YourResidentJag

            So, YOU’VE taken that duty upon yourself. Well, that could be your first problem.

            1. Jason P

              The tweets do get a bit excessive when they aren’t news related. They’re still better than #CGreugs or nonsensical FO/Ricketts bashing, though.

          2. Andrew

            Blah blah blah. It’s a comment page. People can say whatever they freakin want.

  12. Deacon

    The Cubs news is NO news. Why aren’t we writing about that? Last year, the strategy was to strike early for the ‘sign-and-flip’ guys like Feldman. What’s the plan this year? Nearly non-tender Barney because $2MM is so much money? To points above, how is it even thrifty teams are trying to do something to better their teams? I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts without flaming me for pointing out the obvious deafening quiet.

    1. cub2014

      Maybe no news is a good sign, maybe the FO is
      working on the big stuff? If not 90 plus losses
      here we come.

    2. TulaneCubs

      Because it’s December 3rd and there’s still plenty of offseason left, so who cares if they haven’t done anything by this point?

      The idea that your team MUST do something early in an offseason or your team isn’t attempting to win is flat out stupid.

  13. YourResidentJag

    Matt Clapp ‏@TheBlogfines 36s
    RT @TheCCO: RT @FeinsandNYDN Source: Tigers are hot for a left-handed outfield bat; Shin-Soo Choo is their top target.

    1. Jon

      Ease up on the tweets or TWC is going to get real pissy :)

      1. DarthHater

        What has he been up until now? :-P

        1. Jon

          He went all Sean Penn on a poor guy yesterday for just posting some twitter references :)

          1. North Side Irish

            Come on now…it wasn’t anything like that. I posted a couple Tweets in a short timespan and TWC told me he didn’t think it was useful. Some people said they appreciated the info, a few said they didn’t like it. That was about it.

            And obviously we’re meeting tomorrow at dawn for a duel.

      2. YourResidentJag

        Yeah. Oh well.

        1. MichiganGoat

          Tweets are the new memes

          1. DarthHater

            Bah, humbug!

          2. YourResidentJag

            Or a way of informing others. At least that appears to be Brett’s take.

            1. MichiganGoat

              Yes when used in moderation posting an entire timeline and tweet after tweet is not necessary.

          3. DarthHater


            1. MichiganGoat

              I knew that was coming

          4. MichiganGoat

            Both have limited value and become annoying if over used.

  14. Sect209row15

    The lights are on at wrigley for the seat relocation for season ticket holders. My turn is wed at noon.

    1. North Side Irish

      I’m tomorrow at 3…probably not moving, unless I can grab the two on the aisle next to our seats.

  15. Joshzach9

    My goodness, we’re not even to the Winter Meetings yet and Cubs fans are already complaining about the lack of action by the front office. Let me ask folks like Jon a question. Has anyone signed or been traded that you would have liked in a Cubs uniform?

    Deals and signings for the sake of deals and signings doesn’t work. It didn’t work in the past, and it won’t work now. This front office knows what it’s doing. I am confident that the right moves will be made. It doesn’t matter whether those moves are made today or in January.

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