jeff samardzija gatorade showerWith apologies on the back-to-back Jeff Samardzija pieces …

Jerry Crasnick reports that he’s heard the Chicago Cubs “plan do some serious listening on Jeff Samardzija at [the] Winter Meetings.” Those meetings, which start on Monday, tend to feature some of the most feverish action of the offseason, so it’s unsurprising that the Cubs might be willing to do some “serious listening” down in Orlando while all of the teams are represented in one place.

Crasnick adds, apropos of the earlier discussion, that the Diamondbacks are an obvious fit in trade. He says the Angels could try, but there’s probably not quite enough there in the system to entice the Cubs.

Without being too cynical, this coming from Jerry Crasnick, who has always seemed to have an in with the Cubs’ front office, very much has the feel of a purposeful leak. The purpose? Not having a Doug Fister situation, where the Cubs don’t get top dollar for Samardzija because they don’t all know they’re supposed to be bidding. With this leak, including the specific language and time frame, the Cubs are essentially saying: “Folks, line up your best bids for Jeff Samardzija by next week.”

That doesn’t mean the Cubs will trade Samardzija next week. Indeed, as I’ve said all along about the trade rumors, the byproduct here could be as much about getting the best offer in trade for Samardzija as it is about getting Samardzija back to the negotiating table on an extension. And there remains the possibility that the Cubs will play things slowly and patiently, knowing that they’ve got Samardzija for two cheap years either way.

The front office’s delicate job will be to get the best trade offers for Samardzija, while also trying to get the best extension offer, and then decide which offer – from among both sets – provides the most projected value.

  • Patrick G

    Just read that Arizona stated no one is untouchable but prefer not to deal Bradley(this we knew). If they could do shark and Schierholtz for Skaggs, Delgado and Davidson would you do it or is that too little in return? I would think adding another young shortstop would make Davidson, Baez or Castro expendable for another trade for more pitching.

    • Rebuilding

      Davidson is a 3b. A Mike Olt type without the vision problems

      • Patrick G

        Whoops. Think I meant Owings, but still would have depth at that position making someone expendable.

        • Rebuilding

          Supposedly Towers is in love with Owings and with Gregorious being bad he looks at him as the SS of the future. Doubt we are getting him no matter what we send that way. I’ll say it again – Adam Eaton

          • C. Steadman

            i agree!! if we send Schierholtz to Arizona at all, Eaton better be in return!

            • davidalanu

              Agreed with you both. I still say that if Eaton is anywhere in the neighborhood of what he’s shown coming up the DBack’s system, he’s a huge add for the Cubs.

              • Rebuilding

                Eaton has the chance to be a 380-390 OBP guy, who hits a ton of doubles, bats left-handed and plays CF. *Preparing to duck* I would trade Samardzija straight up for him *Ducks*

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Dave Dombrowski? Is that you?

                  • Rebuilding

                    Could be. I would only do it if they included a Steve Lombardozzi type utility player

                • YourResidentJag

                  I rather have Lucas Sims….but not straight up. Eh Gads!

                  • Rebuilding

                    I’m telling you. Trust me here – Eaton is going to breakout and be the best lead off hitter in the league this year. He hurt his arm last year and it hurt his value, but his minor league numbers are truly unique. And no we are not related

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Yes, and Lucas Sims at 19 is going vault up the SP prospects charts. Kid’s got a plus 90 fastball, great curveball, and feel already for the change. Not even in high A ball yet.

    • C. Steadman

      if Schierholtz is added, i would want Eaton added to bring in an OF for losing Schierholtz…also feel the Dbacks wouldnt deal both Skaggs and Delgado, so might have to substitute either Spruill for Delgado(both righties) or Andrew Chafin for Skaggs(both lefties)…Davidson might be out of our reach, he’s gonna be a darn good 3B

      • BWA

        I played against Matt Davidson in high school. He was a really nice guy. Came in for the save throwing 93 and walked me.

        • BWA

          He played short the rest of the game. Didn’t mean to sound like he was a pitching prospect.

          • Rebuilding

            Must be nice to throw 93 and not even be a pitching prospect

            • Patrick G

              I threw 88 and I was a pitcher and some people can play any position throughout their life and hop on the mound and chuck 100. It’s crazy

      • Mick

        Gross, let’s just load up on back of the rotation SP’s. C’mon Spruill, Delgado, and Chafin. I’m great with Skaggs and even Trahan for organizational catching depth but we need to go out and find a 3rd team to take on of AZ’s prospect SS’s and in return sends a young TOR SP our way. My trade would be:

        AZ Shark and Schierholtz
        MIN Owings and Delgado
        CHI Skaggs, Trahan, and Berrios (from MIN)

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          Sorry about that.my response was to a different post.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      That’s contrary to the piece that Brett posted.

  • Mike

    just heard Japanese league agreed to 20 mil max bid. Huge for Cubs.

    • Cerambam

      20 could be Bad for cubs.
      Max bid is great for cubs, but I was hoping it was higher to deter some teams that would be happy to make that bid

      • Eternal pessemist

        Higher posting fee shouldn’t deter anyone…for small teams it is just a matter of cost. This absolutely helps the cubs chances with almost the full cost os the aquisition counting against the cap. NYY will need to reconsider how much hey could pay him with limited cap space… And if A-roid gets some of his games/money back this could set the NYY back further.

  • Smackafilieyo

    According to a Sanspo report, NPB officials are prepared to accept MLB’s new posting system proposal that includes a $20 million limit on posting fees.
    The report was translated by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. It’s a big win for Major League Baseball teams, who have seen posting fees skyrocket to ridiculous levels in recent years. Masahiro Tanaka is the big fish on the international pond this winter and will be able to begin accepting bids once the new system is put into place. Full details should be disclosed soon.

    • mdavis

      don’t know if that helps or hurts the cubs. depends on how they select the team if a bunch make the max posting. do they all get to negotiate? is it winning %? is it player’s choice? it’ll be interesting.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Brett, I just can’t see the FO keeping Samardzija around for two years because he is cheap. His value may be higher in July based on health and performance, but there is always risk involved by waiting. With these ridiculous contracts being tendered and considering the money available, I have to believe that Jeff is going to bet that he strikes Gold in FA. He is also seting a bad precedent for guys like Wood whom the team might want to lockup this coming year. I say he goes.

  • Mike Feeney

    I’m not sure this is the best post for this comment and I’m on my phone. So excuse any errors. But I was watching an interview witb Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos yesterday and Fister came up. AA said some GMs like to start a bidding war or almost like an auction. Others don’t. He said he spoke to Detroit about Fister and Dombrowski(sp?) had a specific set of players he was looking for in terms of positions and roles for the Tigers. AA said the Jays weren’t a fit with those wants so he was never able to get in on Fister. I found that interesting. It seems our front office is more of the auction type which is fine with me. I love watching Shark pitch but if a bidding war ensues and we add some top 10 prospects then so be it.

  • Stevie B

    When trading for prospects, unless it’s a Bundy, or Bradley type, you are truly playing with fire.

    No sir, don’t like it, don’t like it at all.

    • mdavis

      i mentioned this in another thread, but i much prefer Gausman to Bundy. Bundy coming off arm probs already, is undersized.

      • BWA

        And Gausman hasn’t done anything and has meh minor league numbers. I prefer a package with Stroman and Sanchez from the jays or some combo of prospects from the dbacks. which I think at this point are the best offers we can get

  • CubbieBubba

    With all due respect, sometimes, this entire site “very much has the feel of a purposeful leak”

    • DarthHater

      Or some kind of a leak, anyway. 😉

      • sans


  • cub2014

    probably late to the dance, but I just heard
    the posting fee will be between 20m & 40m
    and the right to negotiate the contract will
    go to the team that had the worst record.

    if they end up doing this it certainly bodes
    well for the cubs chances!

    • Rebuilding

      I surely hope not. He will be in Houston if that’s the case

    • DarthHater

      Cubs Den is reporting that all teams that tie for the bid will get the right to negotiate with Tanaka, not just one team.

      • Rebuilding

        Thanks. And thank goodness if true

      • Kyle

        I would be shocked if that’s true (not that I haven’t been shocked before).

        a) The entire point of this negotiation was to try to drive down the cost of the player. This would completely reverse that effect.

        b) Nobody at the negotiating table had any incentive to add that to the deal. MLB doesn’t want players negotiating with multiple teams, and NPB doesn’t care.

        • DarthHater

          I have no idea if it’s true. But they said they had “a source.” 😛

        • Rebuilding

          I don’t agree with that at all. The MLBs incentive was to lower the posting fees. After Darvish the amount of the contract ship has sailed – guys coming over are going to demand market anyway. Not sure if they have to approve, but if they have any input the union wouldn’t want any restriction on negotiation. The NPB most certainly wants open negotiation because if the player doesn’t agree to a contract they don’t get the posting fee

          • Rebuilding

            So everyone but possibly MLB wants open negotiation. And I guarantee the big market teams were pushing for it as well

          • aaronb


            There needs to be some mechanism involved or teams can just submit bids and essentially block a Tanaka from playing for a rival.

            • Rebuilding

              That’s also a good point. Lowest record system doesn’t work because people would just bid to block and then not negotiate. It wouldn’t cost them anything

              • Kyle

                Why wouldn’t you want to negotiate? Even bad teams like having good players are below-market contracts.

                • aaronb

                  It’s would be negotiating in a completely closed market. What stops a team like Tampa Bay from submitting a bid. Offering league minimum over 10 years. And keeping Tanaka away from Boston or New York?

                  Generally there is going to be some give and take. And I can’t believe these changes are going into effect for the sole purpose of making Tanaka as cheap as possible for the Cubs.

                • Rebuilding

                  I don’t know. Maybe they don’t have $20 million plus $10 million to pay the guy the first year, but they don’t want anyone in their division to have him either? Point being there is no penalty for your bid so why wouldn’t the Astros bid $20 million no matter what and then offer him the minimum?

      • YourResidentJag

        Mark Gonzales is reporting if tie team with worst record gets negotiating rights. Not so good for Cubs.

        • mdavis

          it seems like no one has any idea haha. some people are reporting its the worst record, others are reporting everyone gets a place at the table.

          • Funn Dave

            I’m hoping it’s the latter. I’m usually in favor of conditions that promote equity in the face of differing economic realities, but I feel that the players should have the right to negotiate with any teams that meet the posting fee. They should be able to benefit from bidding wars just like American-born players do. IMO.

        • YourResidentJag

          Joel Sherman is saying that Japanese reports believe that in tie everyone will have right to negotiate. Mixed feelings about this for Cubs.

          • Carew

            not a big fan of that

            • aaronb

              Only fair way to do it if there is going to be a bidding cap.

  • waffle

    worst team with deep pockets? Sounds alot like the cubbies to me.

    • Rebuilding

      Unfortunately, Houston and Miami both have a lot of money lying around

      • YourResidentJag

        So do the White Sox. They’re looking for a young RH SP to fill out that rotation as well.

  • wasssup

    Shark is confident that he won’t be traded this winter… teams are not blowing the cubs away with offers. Good source.

  • Rich

    It would seem that if I am in Japan and my dream is coming to MLB if I look at the last place team and go, nah…Im staying another year..
    I would hope the bottom 3 teams all get a chance to negotiate, otherwise it’s here’s 20 million we will gladly take your best player.

  • YourResidentJag

    Of the teams out there, I like Atlanta’s Lucas Sims the best as a viable SP prospect.

  • North Side Irish

    For the NPB deal, I’d like the see the cap set around $40M. And if they want to use the worst record thing to decide multiple max bids, then I’d rather see it be something like the 3 or 5 teams with the worst record get to negotiate. Because a $20M cap and worst record tie breaker just makes Houston or Miami the landing spot for every international free agent in the next few years.

  • YourResidentJag

    Awkward. #Cubs pic.twitter.com/ac4wb1tnmF
    Sorry, I just have to.

    • mjhurdle

      good for Ransom.
      I mean, Rogers was right, but still didn’t have to take that shot. And if he wants to take the shot, he better be prepared to get called on it.

      • YourResidentJag

        Yes. I agree.

      • hansman

        What were the Cubs supposed to know?

  • Funn Dave

    “Without being too cynical….”

    Cynical’s my middle name.

  • http://www.rotochamp.com RotoChamp

    Seems like no matter what posting system they end up with, the Cubs will get squeezed.

  • cub1

    Why aren’t we talking about the Braves as trading partners? They are looking to add a starter and they have plenty of young arms. Plus, we have traded with them in the recent past.

  • Blackhawks1963

    There is no chance Archie Bradley is going to be traded by Arizona. No chance. So the question then becomes can Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer accept a deal that is built around Tyler Skaggs among other things? Which might mean a 3rd team will need to get involved. Kevin Towers will choose to not acquire David Price or Jeff Samardzija if the only alternative is he has to give up Archie Bradley.

    Probability that Samardzija gets traded to Arizona? My opinion is LOW.

    I still think the NY Yankees bear watching. If a 3rd team can be involved then maybe Samardzija gets traded for catcher Gary Sanchez and other considerations. Probability however? LOW

    So what I’m saying, I’m not going to hold my breath that Samardzija gets traded this winter.

    • Assman22

      Cubs have two offers from Dbacks and Blue Jays currently for Shark…both offers are very similar to Garza package…quantity over quality…Theo and Duquette have setup a meeting for next week already, although this is fairly common at the WM…Cubs want blue chip prospect in any Shark deal…Cubs have had on-going talks with Ryan Webb…

      • Carew

        Anything floating around about Brett Anderson?

        • Assman22

          Cubs have limited interest in Anderson…handful of clubs have excessively more interest and willing to give up more…Cubs feel he’s headed in Brandon Webb’s direction…oddly enough they’re still interested in Hudson however he’ll cost a lot less than Anderson…

          • Carew

            bummer but understandable. I’d take Hudson. Thank you Assman

  • Blackhawks1963

    Tanaka situation turning out very bad for Cubs I’m afraid. If “max bid” is $20 M then Houston, Florida and the White Sox are going to be lining up for his services before the Cubs if the biggest loser gets first bite at the apple.

    If true, then Tanaka will be pitching for the Houston Astros in 2014.

  • Brains

    If the FO have proven to be good at anything at all, it’s not valuing pitching talent, and then putting someone on the market for so long that the pitcher loses his morale and loyalty to the team, who they then trade for a pittance after waiting too long for an unobtainable deal.

    • Rebuilding

      Garza pitched as well as ever last year and then they got as much, if not more, for him than they would have the year before. So who are you talking about?

      • Brains

        garza, gregg, dempster.

        just sign shark to a new contract. he’s good and will help the team. this is another drawn out charade at best. our staff is going to be a joke next year. and our minors are not as well stocked with arms as bats. terrible move.

  • Kyle

    The semantics the Cubs like to play with their planted leaks is amusing.

    They’re “listening aggressively,” but not shopping. Because they would never *shop* a player like Shark.

    • DarthHater

      I “aggressively listened” to my wife once and got in big trouble. 😛

    • Rebuilding

      What team ever says the are actively shopping a player who isn’t a clubhouse cancer and has 2 years left on his contract?

  • willis

    Trade Shark! Continue to get worse! Hooray!

  • Crazyhorse

    No one forced the Cubs deal on Joe Rickets ,actually his bid was not highest. He actually jumped through hoops so HE CAN BUY THE TEAM. That Sam Zell drove a hard bargain.

    • BenRoethig

      True, everyone else looked at Zell’s required debt structure and told him he was nuts.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Blah blah blah, Samardzija trade! 2014 sucks anyway you look at it. Just more money ball moves to be made. Theo said there wouldn’t be a sell off in July this coming year. He didn’t say that he wouldn’t gut the roster further this winter to get more prospects. This new posting system puts the cabash on the Tanaka thing. Time to cut bait. Let’s face it Samardzija doesn’t want to pitch 2 more years for a team chasing 100 losses. Haven’t people figured it out yet. For this owner and front office there is no appeal to field a team that wins 80 games. That is money wasted to them. they want 90+ wins or nothing. I think they trade Shark and continue to hoard as many prospects as they can until 2015. In 2015 we may not contend, but the young studs will be there for sure. They will get some exposure in 2014 but there is no reason to believe that they will spend money for 2014. How many times does Epstein have to say he’s not going to sacrifice the rebuild regardless of what we do.

  • Matt

    Not saying both will happen, but doesn’t trading Jeff and signing Masahiro suggest opposite strategies, or at least timelines? I mean, if the Cubs get Tanaka it would make them more competitive quickly, and probably better convince Samardzija that the Cubs will win sooner.

  • Oswego Chris

    Wesley Wright s a quality pick-up and I am surprised the Cubs were able to get him so quickly…

    He seems to be a bit Homer-y, but other than that, nice numbers…

    Always room for lefties

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      I just hope he can throw strikes Got tired oof watching the bull pen walk the lead off man last year.

  • JL

    The Great Nate & Shark will be dealt next week to the Dbacks. You can count on it.

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