Rumor: Cubs and Blue Jays Still Discussing Jeff Samardzija

jeff samardzija gatorade showerIt didn’t take long for the Jeff Samardzija rumors to re-emerge, eh?

As the pitching market shakes out following the Masahiro Tanaka signing (wall punch), and as it absorbs the new information that attends A.J. Burnett’s apparent decision to keep playing and shop around, the Toronto Blue Jays are trying to figure out how best to add the pitching they clearly need.

Jon Heyman reports that the Blue Jays are in contact with both Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez, but also with the Cubs on Jeff Samardzija. Bruce Levine confirms Heyman’s report, as it relates to Samardzija, saying that the Blue Jays are still interested.

It’s no surprise that the Blue Jays are still interested in Samardzija, pending what happens with Santana and Jimenez (but, note, the Blue Jays could stand to add a couple starters, so signing one of the free agents doesn’t necessarily preclude a trade for Samardzija). But, even if the Cubs and Blue Jays are talking, there isn’t yet any reason to believe that the Cubs have come down from their initial trade demands, which were extremely high in December. At that time, the Cubs were reportedly asking the Blue Jays for both of their top pitching prospects – Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman – as well as a third prospect.

With the possibility that Samardzija could finally produce up to the level of his peripherals in the first half of 2014, and with two years of control remaining (and the teeny, tiny chance of an extension), there remains no need to trade Samardzija at this time. If the Blue Jays are truly still in contact with the Cubs about Samardzija, I expect they’re hearing that the price remains high.

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

107 responses to “Rumor: Cubs and Blue Jays Still Discussing Jeff Samardzija”

  1. SenorGato

    Two Blue Jays prospect arms I’d love to come away with are Stroman and Norris. Norris doubles the number of legit LH SP prospects the Cubs have, and he’s got more of a power arm than Zastrzny. Stroman seems solid to me despite the size – power fastball/breaking ball combo with a brain, athleticism, good mechanics.

    As someone who is not a big Aaron Sanchez fan as he is right now, start with those two and grab a toolsy OFer like a Gose or Davis plus some surrounding fodder.

    1. CubFanBob

      Agreed on Stroman and Norris. I wonder if the Jays would have interest in any of the Cub’s other players, Barney etc. Wouldnt mind seeing Rasmus back in the MLB central. I am sure he has some bent up rage vs Cardinals.

      1. BenW

        Rasmus is a FA at seasons end. I wouldn’t be interested in him, as it will probably cost a fortune to sign him long term.

        1. CubFanBob

          I get that but he does improve the team. I would love to see how his left handed bat plays in Wrigley over a season.

          1. Jon

            I’ve been beating the Rasmus drum for a while.

            20+ HR’s and gold glove D in CF aint too shabby.

            1. Norm

              Rasmus will be a 230/290/410 guy in 2014.

              1. Jon

                All the experts and major projections disagree with you.

            2. hansman

              I think you have your answer as to who should be targeted on the offensive side of the ball next offseason.

          2. Big City Mick

            I don’t see the Blue Jays trading any players on their 25-man roster and especially not any OF’s young or old. They’re looking to compete this season and next Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus will both be FA’s at season’s end.

            I’m a fan of Rasmus too and he could be a sneaky good signing next offseason.

            1. BenW

              I actually like Rasmus to an extent as well. But he could easily be the best FA OF next offseason (possibly the best hitter period).

      2. snakdad

        If you’re going to trade, you have to give to get. I’m sure other teams’ interest in Barney is nil. Sort of like our team….

        1. CubFanBob

          Have you seen the Blue Jay’s current second baseman platoon ?

          1. Big City Mick

            2B is a definite hole for the Blue Jays but I doubt they’d want to add Barney to the mix. There’s been rumors that they’re interested in Stephen Drew to fill that spot which makes total sense, especially if they trade for Shark. The BJ’s 2 most glaring holes are SP and 2B.

    2. MattyNomad

      Stroman, Tirado, and a PTBNL…..I’d take that in a heartbeat.

  2. Javier Bryant

    If we could get one of Sanchez or Stroman with another like Osuna or Nolin, I think the Cubs pull the trigger

    1. Xruben31

      Sanchez, Tirado and Osuna would make for a big return.

    2. Assman22

      BJ’s interest in Shark is the same as it was a couple months ago…as is Cubs’ asking price…BJ’s have offered Stroman++…Cubs want Sanchez and Stroman+ for Shark+…both front offices like to hold firm…return all depends on who blinks first and when…Cubs still prefer to move Shark now rather than deadline if no extension seems reachable…

  3. CubFan Paul

    “It didn’t take long for the Jeff Samardzija rumors to re-emerge, eh?”

    Toldya. I think Mr.AceMoney is as good as gone

  4. Javier Bryant

    I just don’t think the Blue Jays will be a team interested in trading for him at the deadline.

    1. On The Farm

      I don’t think anyone would think they would. Maybe they are just feeling the heat considering Boston is coming off a WS, the Yanks signed Tanaka, and the Rays are always pitching rich. The Jays really do need two SPs if they think they are going to run in that race.

    2. dunston donuts

      Good point. The Jays will probably be out of contention by the deadline. The Cubs may need to move Shark now if the Jays have the players the Cubs really want. If the Jays don’t have the players the Cubs really want then waiting until the deadline is perfectly acceptable.

  5. Jon

    I’d hate for the centerpiece of a Shark trade, to be a reliever.

    1. itzscott

      Just think of that bullpen though…. Stroman, Edwards, Grey and whatever other dwarfs Theo can come up with!

      1. Drew7

        Edwards is 6’2…

        1. itzscott

          It was a tongue in cheek, sarcastic joke

    2. Boogens

      Absolutely agree.

  6. itzscott

    Did I read that the Jays have two 1st round draft picks this upcoming draft and that they can afford to sacrifice a couple of their top prospect arms and reload via this draft?

    1. On The Farm

      Correct they will have pick 10A (#11) because Bickford didn’t sign.

  7. BenW

    Looking at Klaws top 100 list, I sure think the Blue Jays, Orioles, or Dbacks could put together a nice package for us.

    1. mdavis

      long been hoping the orioles go after shark. Centered around Gausman, and a combo of Rodriguez, Wright, Hunter in there, could be very appealing.

    2. On The Farm

      Just curious, outside of Bradley (who is off limits) who could the Dbacks offer that would be a worthwhile trade?

      1. CubFan Paul

        “who is off limits”

        Negotiating tactic. If Theo&Co sweetened the pot with a gritty player like Alcantara, Bradley comes this way.

        1. Jon

          If there is a GM to heist in baseball, it’s Kevin Towers.

          1. SenorGato

            This got common to say but nobody’s actually heisted the D’Backs yet. They’re announced as heists sure, but two are still yet to be played and Bauer for Gregorious looks pretty smart on their part right now.

            Actually a pretty big fan of what Towers has done…All the while he’s kept his two best prospects – Bradley and Owings. That ML roster is interesting as heck, especially in the current cesspool that is the NL right now.

        2. gocatsgo2003

          You think “grittiness” is going to get Archie Bradley?

          1. On The Farm

            In Arizona having a gritty player is the equivalent of a Cubs player having the will to win or sCRAP. And I am putting words in to Paul’s mouth here, but no grittiness won’t land Bradley, grittiness and one of the best pitchers in the trade market would get you Bradley.

            1. hansman

              If we still had Reed Johnson, we could get 2 Bradleys from the DBacks.

        3. Brocktoon

          I would not trade shark and alcantara for Bradley alone

          1. blublud

            I agree with Paul. Bradley is not untouchable. But to maximize his value, the DBacks have to make him look that way. You know, kind of like the Cubs are doing in asking for a lot for Shark.

            1. On The Farm

              I would agree, but I think someone would have to go along with Samardzija in order to make a deal with them. I guess I meant he was off the table if the Dbacks were only getting one player. Maybe I am valuing Bradley too much, but I just don’t think they could make that trade without getting a little more to help their team.

              1. YourResidentJag

                If it was Toronto, I’d offer Lake.

          2. blublud

            Replied to the wrong person, but I don’t think he was speaking of Bradley alone. He was speaking of Bradley as the “center piece” of a deal.

          3. On The Farm

            I don’t think the Cubs would either., but Bradley is the only one who could be viewed as getting a great centerpiece from their system, so the trade would need to have Bradley to even sit at the table.

            1. ari gold

              Shipley would be a great centerpiece for a Shark trade, if only he could be traded now. Can’t be traded until sometime in June and I highly doubt we’d see him as a PTBNL.

  8. itzscott
  9. Action

    Maybe Stroman, Norris, and Brett Lawrie for Samardzija and Barney plus something else. Lawrie still has four years of control, is only 24, and is a solid player who can play 2B or 3B.

    1. CubFan Paul

      “Lawrie still has four years of control, is only 24, and is a solid player who can play 2B or 3B”

      Why would they trade a player like that. It would be like the Cubs trading Olt after a successful 2014

      1. blublud

        If the Cubs are getting a solid starting pitcher in return, that would be a great deal.

        1. CubFan Paul

          Because Luis Valbuena is the answer.

          1. blublud

            Valbuena has nothing to do with it. If the Cubs were being offer a good starter with solid peripherals, Olt would be traded. You know, sort of like he was traded last season for 2 months of Garza. So 2 years of a better pitcher would definitely be worth it.

            1. CubFan Paul

              “If the Cubs were being offer a good starter with solid peripherals, Olt would be traded”

              I disagree. Quality third basemen don’t grow on trees. Trading Olt would create another hole in 2015 & beyond.

              “You know, sort of like he was traded last season for 2 months of Garza”

              They didn’t trade for him only to turn around and create another hole. Rebuilding clubs usually hang onto Top 50 prospects when they fit a need.

              1. Edwin

                There’s a good chance Olt is not a quality 3B. I don’t think Olt is even a top 50 prospect anymore.

                1. CubFan Paul

                  “There’s a good chance Olt is not a quality 3B”

                  That’s not the topic.

                  “I don’t think Olt is even a top 50 prospect anymore”

                  He was Top 30 before the 2013 season. I’m not going to overreact to his injury.

                  1. Edwin

                    My bad. I didn’t realize the hypothetical situation involved Olt being good in 2013. That makes more sense.

                    Although, if Bryant were to perform well enough to win the starting job from Olt for 2015, then they could either trade Olt for pitching, or trade Bryant for pitching.

                    1. CubFan Paul

                      I don’t see a Major League 3B in Bryant. Too big/tall and awkward going to his right. Schierholtz is keeping RF warm for him.

                      I’d rather trade younger prospects away for pitching than our ML ready ones.

                    2. blublud

                      Since you believe it, though the scout disagree, it must be true.

                      I know, I’m the same way, but at least I admit.

                  2. Jason P

                    Olt isn’t even a top 100 prospect.

              2. Edwin

                You could make a case that Olt’s only the 3rd best 3B prospect on the team, behind Bryant and Villanueva. And that’s not even considering moving Baez to 3B.

              3. blublud

                Olt is not a top 50 prospect. He is still eligible to be ranked and he was on no top 100 list. Also, the Cubs deepest position is 3B. I like Olt, but Olt is not some superstar, untouchable 3rd baseman. If the Cubs could get a front line starter for a deal involving a couple prospects and Olt, the value that Valbuena provides at third plus what the front line pitcher would provide compared to what the Cubs have would be more than what Olt and the current 5 pitcher in the lineup would provide.

                Maybe the Cubs are not in a position right now to make that kind of deal, but Toronto is. If they Cubs were, they would pull the trigger without blinking.

                1. CubFan Paul

                  ” He is still eligible to be ranked and he was on no top 100 list”

                  Because of the injury. The list are based on results

                  1. Noah_I

                    Keith Law still had Arodys Vizcaino ranked number 64 before last season, after not pitching in 2012. John Sickels had him at 112. Baseball America had him at 83. BP had him at 54.

                    Everyone is overstating how certain the scouts are that: (a) the problem with the eyes has been fixed; and (b) the problem with the eyes was the primary cause of his 2013 struggles at the plate.

                    If the scouts were convinced that the only difference between 2012 Olt and 2013 Olt was the eye issue, and the eye issue has been fixed, he’d at least be in the back end of some Top 100s.

                    1. CubFan Paul

                      “he’d at least be in the back end of some Top 100s”

                      Not necessarily. Olt waited til October to get healthy because he didn’t want to miss more time.

                      Most of these list were made in part from reports from during the season.

                      Olt just missed out on proving himself

                    2. blublud

                      Since you believe it, though the scout disagree, it must be true.

                      I know, I’m the same way, but at least I admit.

                  2. Jason P

                    Even when Olt had the eye drops, he was awful.

                    1. On The Farm

                      I thought the piece Sharma did on Olt said that he forgot to take his drops for a while. He wasn’t taking them frequently enough.

                    2. Jason P

                      It’s hard to tell based on the wording. It sounds like at some point he was on them for a month-and-a-half straight.

                    3. Brocktoon

                      If olt was struggling because he forgot to take his eyedrops for a month then he’s an idiot

                  3. blublud

                    I recall Vizcaino being on the ranking list 2 years after being injured. If they feel you’ll overcome the injuries, they’ll still rank you.

                    But that’s not point. The point is ranked or not, if the Cubs could get a good front line pitcher for Olt, with a chance to compete for the division, he would be as good as gone. History of just about every team/GM agrees with me.

  10. Dustin S

    Not crazy about the return options from the Blue Jays. It would seem more like a slight desperation trade unless they were 100% committed to dealing him before Spring Training. I’m still hoping the Pirates get back into the mix.

  11. Big City Mick

    My demands for Shark would be Sanchez, Stroman and 1 of this list: Tirado, Osuna, DeJong, Robeson, or Labourt. I actually think the Blue Jays present the best opportunity for a trade and also provide the best return in regards to filling our gaping hole in our farm system for upper tier SP prospects.

    1. YourResidentJag

      Good luck. Have fun getting a lesser prospect than Sanchez during the deadline as well if Shark won’t extend his contract by then.

  12. BenW

    I wonder if the Cubs would be willing to take back a bad contract, like Buehrle. He’s owed nearly 40 million the next two seasons.

    However, if we sent Shark/Barney to Toronto, and were willing to take Buehrle back, I bet we could get Sanchez, Stroman, Gose, and a couple of lower A guys with upside.

    It would cost the Cubs around 10 million net this year, and even less next year. The result would be a boatload of pitching for a single, valuable asset.

    1. blublud

      Goes is horrible. If we trade out top pitcher, it doesn’t need to involve another 4th outfielder.

      1. mjhurdle

        he isn’t horrible. in half a season of PAs,
        he accumulated 0.7 WAR. a full year he would be worth a win and a half over your average 4th OF. :)

        1. blublud

          Actually, at 1.4 WAR, he would still be below average. Average is actually 1.75, 0 is replacement level, which is below average.

          1. BenW

            Look, I’m not saying he’s great or anything. However, he’s only 23 years old.

            Plus, it’s not like the current Cubs OF is loaded. If Lake flops, it would be nice to have another guy to run out there, and just see if we get lucky. I wouldn’t expect Gose to be a headliner in the deal, just another asset we are acquiring, along 3-4 pitchers.

            1. blublud

              And I’m saying I don’t want Gose unless he is the last and final piece in a trade for Shark. If he were waived or a FA, I would take a chance on him, but a Shark trade has to look better than a Garza trade, and everybody we received in that deal has a chance to be good.

          2. mjhurdle

            isn’t the 1.75-2.0 WAR assumed for starters, not 4th OFs?
            I believe both Fangraphs and BR use a less than 1 WAR for bench players.
            Could be wrong though.
            anyway, it was more of a (poor) attempt to be a humorous throwback to previous WAR arguments as opposed to a legitimate defense of Gose’s value.

    2. BWA

      Very interesting thought, though I’m not sure how much the jays would want to deal beuhrle given their need for pitching unless they plan to reinvest the saved money in a guy like Santana or Jimenez. Beuhrle is still very serviceable and I’m sure he would like coming back to chicago.

  13. Blackhawks1963

    Toronto is desperate. They have had a horrible offseason after a horrible 2013 season and their big offseason trades of last offseason horribly backfired.

    The ONLY way I consider moving Samardzija to Toronto is if Sanchez AND Stroman are part of the deal. Cubs are under zero pressure to move Samardzija and in fact his market value might be higher by the July 31st trade deadline…and the Cubs may still elect to keep him as an integral piece to a bright future.

    1. YourResidentJag

      If the Cubs were to miss out on Sanchez because they had to have Stroman, I be pissed.

  14. CubFanBob

    Gose is interesting. Will he get on base enough ever is my concern. Almost feels to me as if he need more time in the minors to work on his OBP.

    1. Blackhawks1963

      Cubs don’t need broken youngsters or failed prospects. The ONLY way you trade Samardzija is if frontline prospects come in return. Not interested in spare parts and garbage unless it is throw-in stuff.

      1. CubFanBob

        Dude I am just saying Gose is an interesting player in terms of potential at age 23. He has an “80″ speed and I feel he was rushed to the majors and not developed properly.

        Eesh one cant not even mention a player on another team out of curiosity here without hearing.

        1. Failed prospect no use to the Cubs
        2. Cubs dont want to improve in 2014
        3. No one wants that Cub player
        4. What are you stupid or something !!!

  15. Blackhawks1963

    Kevin Towers would be burned at the stake if he traded Archie Bradley. Not going to happen.

    1. mjhurdle

      what percentage of chance would you put on Towers trading Bradley?

      1. YourResidentJag


  16. jschwei17

    Question…if the Cubs trade their 2nd round pick in 2014 to, say the Jays (along w/ others), would they only have to give up their 3rd round pick to sign Sanata or another QFA?

    1. jschwei17


      1. CubsFaninMS

        It’s the speling guru.

    2. Jon

      You can’t trade draft picks in baseball.

    3. Edwin

      I don’t think you can trade picks in MLB.

    4. BWA

      Can’t trade draft picks unless they are competitive balance picks. We don’t have those.

  17. When The Musics Over

    I’m guessing the Blue Jays, like so many other teams in trades, are more curious than serious in regards to trading for Shark. Curious as in if he’ll come cheap(ish), sure we’re interested.

    1. Blackhawks1963

      Yep. Hit the nail on the head.

  18. V23

    Trading Smarj is either admitting he isn’t a #2 (in the future) or pushing the timeline even further.

    With arbitration years left, that is the time to secure players you believe in, into long-term more affordable contracts (Sale, Rizzo, Castro, locally).

    If you are trading for a future #2 (possible) then I really don’t see why to do it.

    1. BenW

      You don’t trade him for just a number 2. That’s why it would take 2-3 top Blue Jays pitchers to deal him.

    2. When The Musics Over

      You can’t sign players to long term affordable contracts if they don’t want to sign long term affordable contracts. That’s the rub in this situation.

  19. Serious Cubs Fan

    I seriously wonder how the Theo/Anthopoulos negotiations go.

    Anthopoulos: What you want for Samardzija?

    Theo: Stroman, Sanchez, and another arm and a leg

    Anthopoulos: No….

    End of phone call

  20. cubzfan

    I would like Mike Zunino and a good pitching prospect for Samardzija from the Mariners. That is all.

  21. Lukewarm Stove: Blue Jays Moves, Samardzija, Burnett, Yoon, Chen, Prospects | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] maybe the salary demands of Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana fall? maybe the Cubs back off their exceedingly high price tag on Jeff Samardizja? – and they’re still waiting. It seems like the Blue Jays are going to do something, […]

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