new-york-yankees-logoIt’s a bit of a silly exercise, given that virtually every team in baseball would want Jeff Samardzija for at least the next two seasons, but there’s another team to add to the list.

Bruce Levine reports that the Yankees (and Braves, though we heard about the Braves last week) are now among the teams interested in trading for the Cubs’ big righty. That makes it the Yankees, Braves, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Angels and Orioles, at a minimum, having reported interest, but I suspect you’d also find the Royals, Mariners, Dodgers, Indians, Rockies, and a host of others interested if you could get them hooked up to a lie detector.

The Yankees don’t have the most attractive farm system for a trading partner, given that their upper levels are no longer home to many top pitching prospects. Gary Sanchez is an interesting catching prospect, one who would probably catch the Cubs’ eye (if they thought he could stick behind the plate), and there are a ton of interesting talents at the lower levels. On the big league roster, Ivan Nova is interesting, but he’s not going anywhere. David Phelps is modestly interesting, and Brett Gardner is thoroughly on the block. Being that he’s a free agent after this year, however, I don’t see a whole lot of value in including him in a Samardizja deal unless it was to spin off for other pieces.

That is all to say that, I’m sure a reasonable package could be assembled, but I’m not sure it’s the best fit. Interestingly, if the Yankees added Samardzija, how would their pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka be affected? I could actually see the answer swinging both ways, given that the Yankees could try to add both pitchers (Samardzija’s low salary helping their cause), or could be satisfied to have Samardzija in the fold (and use the salary savings in the infield).

Expect much more on the Samardzija front this week (which is why I wanted to make sure to get my extension discussion in early.)

  • MichiganGoat

    We got into this yesterday in the comment and I’ll stick with my belief that the Yankees could offer a good quantity trade package but not the quality package the FO wants. Shark is not going anywhere if a top quality prospect is coming back in return.

  • Leo the Cub

    keep and sign Jeff S. and get Tanaka. Build a great pitching staff. A great pitching staff is the best route to a very good baseball club.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Engage a third team….get Gary Sanchez and another blue chip prosect from the third team. I’d be good with that for Samardzija.

  • mdavis

    yeah unless they get a 3rd team involved i just dont see a fit. cubs looking for a blue chip pitcher and near mlb ready pitching….yanks dont have that.

  • Bucky

    My “source” is a “source” of a “source”, but IF the Yanks and Cubs get together the names that will be discussed on both sides include from the Cubs: Shark, Russell and Barney. Yanks: Gardner, Pineda, and Sanchez (and other low minor league pitchers).

    • JB88

      No way that deal ever happens. No way. The Cubs would laugh so hard at that proposal that Brian Cashman would probably suffer a damaged ear drum.

    • mdavis

      pineda has been damaged goods ever since that trade with the mariners. no thanks. i think the Orioles can put together a nice package around Gausman, paired wih Rodriguez, Harvey, Wright.

      • North Side Irish

        Orioles definitely have the pitching prospects to get a deal done, but Duquette was quoted this morning as saying they need to start developing their own pitching from within the system. The quote was specific to high priced FAs, but they don’t sound willing to part with their prospects right now. Or it could all be posturing.

        • mdavis

          yeah i saw that as well. i think he was responding about FA pitchers, but it could def be applied to the trade market as well. of course with what the rest of the division is doing, you almost feel like he has to make a move instead of “wait for our pitchers coming up” but never know.

          • North Side Irish

            I think the quote could apply to the need to sign a Samardzija extension as well, but you’re right that they need to do something to stay relevant in the AL East. I think the Orioles are probably my preferred trade partner over the Blue Jays or Braves…and by far over the Yankees.

            • mdavis

              yeah that’s a good point too about the extension. and i agree, i think they are best set with pitching prospects that the cubs could realistcally target, outside of the pirates. Wright and Gausman match up real well with the arrival of our other youngsters. could be intersting.

    • Michael

      Would shark, Barney, Russell get us mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, Rafael de Paula, Pineda

      • YourResidentJag

        I wouldn’t want either of those SP. Yuck.

  • BenRoethig

    Looking at the Yankees farm system, I don’t see what they can offer us that will be even close to acceptable. They don’t have many top prospects and none and in any need positions aka top of the rotation pitching.

  • David

    Here’s my post from yesterday. May not be a ” knock your sox off” deal, but it gives us 2 top 100 prospects ( a starting pitcher and a left handed bat) and a less expensive Choo type of player in Gardner/ someone we can use right now and perhaps sign long term.

    Let’s assume the Yanks do not get any of the available starting pitchers – Garza, Tanaka, Arroyo, etc.. It may happen, and they desperately need starting pitchers. Let’s give them Shark for Mason Williams, Rafael De Paula & Gardner.

    This De Paula guy looks like a beast: 6’2″ – 210 lbs. 146 K’s in 113 innings in high A last year. Williams is a left handed OF #10 ranked OF in minors – we need one more run producing left hander in the middle of the lineup! Gardner will make Rizzo a lot better hitting in front of him – he’ll see a lot of fastballs. He’ll make Castro better seeing that he’ll be able to bat 6th or 7th – not 1st or 2nd. He makes $2.8MM now, he’ll be a free agent in 2015. Seems like a Choo at fraction of the cost.

    Not enough for Shark, perhaps? Throw in another arm??

    • Luke

      I could be ok with a deal roughly like this.

      I’m not sure where the Cubs pitching would come from in 2015, but with addition of a Williams the door opens to using Almora, Williams, or Soler in a deal for a pitcher.

      • David

        Potential 2015 starters???:

        C.J. Edwards – maybe/ hopefully
        Vizcaino – maybe/ hopefully
        Neil Rameriz – maybe/ hopefully

        Who needs starting pitchers with the lineup that we’ll have any way???

        • mdavis

          pierce johnson could also be knocking on the door as well.

        • Noah_I

          Pierce Johnson doesn’t have Edwards’ ceiling, but he is arguably slightly closer to the Majors than Edwards, and is at least just as close to the Majors. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs have Edwards start back in Daytona for a month. I would be surprised if Johnson did.

          But yeah, at some point the Cubs are going to have to add some higher upside pitchers to that group you reference, or hope that either Edwards and Vizcaino reach their ceilings and can stay healthy.

    • SenorGato

      DePaula threw up most of those Ks in A ball this year at 22. I think he’s a little overrated, though BA did not put him on their top 10 list for 2014 that came out today.

  • Chad

    Love to see the Mariners get involved.

  • North Side Irish

    Joel Sherman ‏@Joelsherman1 7m
    #Cubs definitely talking Samardzija but price high and 1 interested exec said: “they will get it or just put him back on the market in July”

    Obviously the risk of Shark getting injured like Garza did, but this is probably the correct approach. Either a team meets your price or you wait to find a desperate team in July.

    • Chad

      If anyone thinks differently than this they are delusional, and if the FO did anything but take this approach they would be doing the organization a disjustice.

  • Patrick G

    Saw MLBnetwork winter meetings special last night with the Diamondbacks 3 main needs: Starting Pitching, Reliver, Veteran Presence. Shark, Russell and Schierholtz fits that so well and hope a monster deal goes down with them

  • http://BN Sacko

    Shark for Sori and a pitcher on the DL

  • cubfanincardinalland

    How could the hall put in Larussa? He is the steroid manager. Sad day for baseball and the hall of fame.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      ? Didn’t Torre get elected in the same vote?

      • frank

        Yes–Torre and Bobby Cox.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Oh I don’t know. 6 World Series appearances. 3 World Series Championships. 2,000 wins. Widely regarded as a pioneering manager.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Pioneer of his players cheating to win those championships. They should have canseco and mcgwire present him. How you going to feel when they put sosa in? Proud?

  • Funn Dave

    Hooking managers up to lie detectors should become standard practice for BN’s investigative journalism.

  • Diamond Don

    If the Cubs can’t extend the Shark (this would be the preference) then trade Shark, Barney,Russell and Schierholtz to Arizona for a trade centered around Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs.

    • Luke

      I’m not sure Arizona would give up Bradley for any package.

      • hansman

        What if we throw in Barney?

        • Shawn

          I’m all for getting rid of Barney but don’t think that is enough to entice Arizona into giving up Bradley

          • hansman

            And I didn’t see he was included in the initial offer. Just being silly about adding Barney.

      • mjhurdle

        I don’t see Arizona trading Bradley either, but sometimes teams get desperate. I didn’t see the Giants giving the Mets Wheeler for 2 months of Beltran. I didn’t see the Blue Jays giving Syndergaard and D’Araund (sp?) for Dickey.
        Obviously the situations are not 100% the same, but if the Diamondbacks are feeling like they are in their window, and they want to take a next step to compete with the Dodgers next year, that might be enough to make them over-pay a little.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Arizona isn’t trading Archie Bradley, so we can forget that. Tyler Skaggs and other pieces out of Arizona aren’t good enough. So I’m thinking a deal with Arizona doesn’t happen.

  • cubmig

    I hope the moves the FO make don’t add waiting time to their rebuilding efforts. Trading Samardzija for prospects can mean just that too. Add to that the possibility that Choo won’t be signed and/or the Cubs fail in the Tanaka sweepstake, and one can envision the rebuild timeline stretching itself out quite a bit. Patience should never come at the expense of hope.

    Theo, Jed. Add strengths. Don’t just shed them. And bite the bullet if you have to to do it.

    • Noah_I

      But what does “biting the bullet” even mean here? Samardzija is a guy who has shown flashes of excellence, but he was flat out bad in the back half of 2014. A guy who gives you 120 very good innings and 80 terrible ones just isn’t worth a big contract. If Samardzija is demanding more than the Cubs think he is, or will ever be, worth, they should trade him. Also, if you note, all the trade rumors except for the Toronto ones you hear are headlined by an established MLB player (e.g., Gardner) or by someone who is all but MLB ready (e.g., Skaggs).

      • cubmig

        “Biting the bullet” in context here means making the re-sign offer to Samardzija one that is an incentive-to-consider-to-sign one.

        btw…..why is 2014 mentioned?

  • James

    I made the comment over the weekend that the Yankees could be a sleeper team because of them signing McCann and Elsbury. Again Sanchez and Williams would be a good start for Jeff Samardzija. There would have to be an pitcher or two added to make it happen. Like Blackhawk 1963 said maybe a third team needs to get in on it. Then again maybe Theo and Jeb like some of there younger prooescts.

  • woody

    I still think in the end it will be Toronto that signs him if he is traded. I can see Barney getting traded if anything of value is offered. Thinking that Olt may be the opening day third baseman then that frees up Valbuena to play second. I would like to think that a lot of contenders would like to have Barney to add to their defensive depth. After all he isn’t costing very much.

  • Noah_I

    There’s a rumor on MLB trade rumors that the Phillies are shopping Domonic Brown. Depending on what they are looking for, I’d be very interested in Brown. Brown isn’t arbitration eligible for another year, so he’ll be controlled through his peak, and is the one thing the Cubs don’t have in their minor league system: a left handed power bat. He’s flawed because he’s awful defensively, and I wouldn’t give up a top tier prospect to get him, but if you could lead that trade off with Amaya and a pitcher not named Edwards or Johnson, I’d be interested. He could also be a big piece in a Samardzija trade, if the Phillies would be willing to kick in a significant (not top tier, but a meaningful guy) prospect as well.

    Not saying he’s a must have, just that’s he’s interesting and I’d like having him in our batting order both for 2014 and for 2015-2017 if the price is right.

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      It seems to me (from what I’ve seen) that a few people here think he’ll turn back into a pumpkin and aren’t interested in him.

    • Rebuilding

      Please no Dominic Brown. He was scorching hot for the first two months last year and then the league just started throwing him offspeed stuff which he can’t hit. The book is out on him

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        ^^ Case in point.

        I still want Kemp.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        That narrative does not come remotely close to fitting the facts. Brown put up very solid numbers from May – August, with May being particularly monstrous due to a ridiculous 43% HR per FB. His April & September performances were pretty bad.

        Oddly, nothing about his peripherals really stick out in those two months: his K-rates remained normal, and he actually had his best walk rate in September/Oct. His GB, LD & FB rates remained normal, too. This falsifies the “breaking ball” idea, which predicts increased K-rates and GB rates.

        Brown simply did not homer in September: had he homered at his normal rate for the rest of the year (~18%), then his numbers would not have dropped at all in Sept. That’s not a trivial concern: but it could easily reflect injury or something.

        • Rebuilding

          “That narrative does not come remotely close to fitting the facts.” – Hyperbole much? Or is this like your comparison of Choo and Gardner where you’re wrong?

          Dominic Brown:

          Pre All-Star Break: 273/320/535 – 855 OPS
          Post All-Star Break: 270/333/390 – 723 OPS

          He had a massive May/June where he kept launching fastballs. They did a whole segment on it on MLB Network. They then howed how the league adjusted to him with heat maps. Look at how is power vanished in the 2nd half. It’s called getting nothing but offspeed stuff

          • Rebuilding

            Brown’s SLG% by month:

            April 372 —-
            May 688 ++++
            June 537 ++++
            July 471 ——
            August 431 ——
            September 314 ——

            Notice a pattern?

            • hansman

              Ya, he had a concussion mid-late July and then hurt his Achilles Tendon.

              Brown, probably, isn’t a .500+ SLG machine but to suggest that the league figured him out, is less likely than he was suffering from injuries.

              • Kyle

                There were some articles suggesting his average fly ball length was way out of line with his homer total, implying that he’d gotten lucky with a lot of 340-foot home runs that weren’t sustainable.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Over 40% of Brown’s FB in May were HR. That’s not just unsustainable: that’s just nuts. Maybe the opposing pitchers realized setting all of their hair driers to maximum and straight out while he was up wasn’t a good idea…..

                  Brown’s typical rate for last year was 18%, which is very solid. September was the wonky month: but as his K rates & GB rates didn’t look anomalous, the “breaking ball” hypothesis hold little water.

                  • Rebuilding

                    “the “breaking ball” hypothesis hold little water.”

                    That’s a pretty definitive statement since you offered no proof of its validity. I will say again, MLB Network ran an entire segment based on how the league adjusted away from throwing him fastballs anywhere near the plate.

                    What is more likely? That at 26 he suddenly figured it out or that he had a scorching (and luck aided) 2 months until the league got a book on him?

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Hypotheses make predictions. In this case, the prediction is greater swings and misses, and greater bad contact by altering swings (e.g., rolling over wrists to bring the bat down to the ball, resulting in ground balls).

                      The data say that those things did not happen. So, if X then Y1 and Y2; not Y1 & not Y2, ergo, not X.

                      This is a text book example of valid modus tollens logic.

                    • hansman

                      Oh boy, I was reading my chart backwards. His hottest stretch came while he was seeing the fewest FB.

                      As a trend, he saw fewer pitches in the zone at the end of the year but more fastballs.

                    • hansman

                      FB trend, from what I can see went from 52% at the start to 54%

                      Pitches in the zone went from 49% to 45%

                    • Rebuilding

                      That sounds great. It could just as easily be explained that he adjusted to the different pitch selection by trying to make more contact. It kept his other ratios fairly consistent yet sapped his power.

                      E Pluribus Unum

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Well, to keep the conversation in Latin, entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem!

                      Or, put another way: my explanation is simpler, and we should always stick to the simpler explanations over more complex explanations until we get hard data refuting simplicity.

          • DarthHater

            Based on a rough eyeballing of the pitch data at Fangraphs, it appears that Brown saw as many fastballs after the all-star break as before.


            • Rebuilding

              The segment on MLB really focused on the fact that they stopped throwing him fastballs over the plate. They may have kept the pitch selection somewhat consistent, but they ween’t coming anywhere near the zone with the straight stuff

              • DocPeterWimsey

                My guess is that the MLB segment focused on what they could understand as reasons: and the first explanation that old-schoolers give is that “It is known that a guy starts hitting poorly when he quits seeing fastballs.” (Chorus dully chants: “It is known!”) No matter how often you show them data to the contrary, they’ll just blink dumbly and chant: “It is known.”

                At any rate, that wouldn’t explain the data. A steady diet of fastballs down the middle doesn’t make anybody get 40% of their FB over the fences (that’s a good batting practice!), and a susceptibility to breaking balls doesn’t let guys keep their K, BB, GB, etc., rates if they start seeing more of them.

                • Rebuilding

                  No, the segment focused on heat maps and pitch selection in the strike zone. If it was simply just luck on FB length then my original point stands: no thanks

                • Rebuilding

                  MLB Network isn’t as dumb as you are making them out to be here. There was no “it is known” chants. It was a detailed breakdown of the 9 hitting zones and what kind of pitches he was seeing early in the year and then later in the year in each of the zones. The number of fastball off the plate went way up, and the number of breaking pitches on the inner half went up as well

            • hansman

              Looking at a quick chart of FB vs. Off-speed, there is no discernable trend throughout the year.

              In fact, it appears that in September he saw the highest number of FB than any period previously.

              I wouldn’t want to trade for him based on the dream of .900 OPS but I think you could pencil him in for .800 for the next few years.

              • Rebuilding

                And I’ll repeat…it’s where the fastballs were located

                • DarthHater

                  Makes sense to me.


    could the cubs trade the shark to the yankees for players and the promise not to try and sign Tanaka?

    • Edwin

      I don’t think so. Wouldn’t that be collusion? I would think Tanaka and his agent would be pretty mad about that.

  • SenorGato

    I consider Gary Sanchez one of the best prospects in the minors. If he’s available for Samardzija then they are most definitely in the conversation. OTOH, that’s the only way they should be in.

    After Sanchez guys like Mason Williams, Manny Banuelos, Nik Turley, and so on get a little more interesting, but without Sanchez not sure how interesting. I like the three I named after Sanchez there, but would not trade Samardzija for them.

    • David

      I feel catchers are kind of like offensive linemen in football. You can good ones late in the draft. Along the same lines, I don’t think that a catcher should be the centerpiece of the Shark deal. A lot of us are saying catching is a weak point in our system…. With Castillo hopefully around for the next 4 to 5 years, I disagree. Let’s continue to draft young catchers late in the draft like we did in 2013.

      • On The Farm

        But if an injury happens to him there is literally no one in the system that can provide depth, even in an emergency situation I am not sure the Cubs have anyone that is really good enough to provide backup quality. Kotteras is a backup, but even the Cubs don’t want to have to use him as the starter for an extended period of time as the starter if they don’t have to.

        And I would disagree on the finding good catchers late in the draft, and certianly wouldn’t compare it to finding OL in late rounds. It’s true, even the Bears found a decent RT in the late part of the draft this Spring (5th round?), but the MLB draft is top heavy for talent. If there is a catcher at the top of the draft (1st/2nd round) and they are on the board for best available, they should be taken, because everything after the first few rounds is a crapshoot, and you could even argue that odds after the first round of panning out are pretty poor.

        • YourResidentJag

          Baltimore has a C named Michael Ohlman who had a breakout season last year in high A ball. I know, he’s dealt with suspension but like SP Stroman of the Jays, there not of the PED variety.

          With Eduardo Rodriguez and Michael Wright, that’s as solid a trade the Cubs are going to find now or in July.

      • Noah_I

        I don’t think that’s really accurate. The star catchers were largely very highly thought of at the time they signed. The thing with many catchers, particularly HS catchers, is that it’s near impossible to know if they’ll be able to stay at the position. And many of the guys who end up being able to stay at the position just can’t hit.

      • SenorGato

        Castillo’s a JAG, but he’s our cheap JAG, that’s what he has going for him. Sanchez is a much better offensive prospect. He’s the single best offensive talent at catcher in the minors.

        • FullCountTommy

          Yes, but he has Jesus Montero syndrome (little to no chance that he sticks at catcher)

          • SenorGato

            Better defender than Montero, but carries the perception because he’s a Yankees (automatically assumed to be overrated) and so was Montero.

  • Chad

    For all of those interested in Brett Anderson (includes myself) the Rockies were in deep discussion with the A’s but talks broke down due to medicals. I think he is still worth a flier, but the prospect cost would have to be very very minimal.

    • YourResidentJag

      Vogelbach and Pierce Johnson?

      • mdavis

        thats way too much for damaged goods. I was thinking like Amaya and throw them Cabrera

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