With 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.