Resumed Mariner Interest in Jeff Samardzija? Lingering Hope for an Extension?

jeff samardzija gatorade showerNow that he’s signed for 2014the Cubs can focus on trying to trade Jeff Samardzija!

I kid, mostly, as it remains unlikely that Samardzija is moved before the Trade Deadline – if he’s even traded then, that is. The big righty remains under team control through 2015, and it’s important not forget in the swirl of rumors: Samardzija’s presence on the team helps it in 2014 and 2015. That has value. Naturally, the Cubs must weigh that value against what they might get in trade and against whether the value of Samardzija in 2014 or 2015 will help the team make the playoffs (and against whether they can get a reasonable extension done later if they keep him).

Until we see the Cubs making a spirited effort to compete in 2014 (doesn’t look likely), however, trade rumors involving Samardzija are always going to be reasonable bits for discussion. So it is with a Tribune report, in which a source tells Mark Gonzalez that the Mariners have emerged (or re-emerged, depending on what you thought of December’s rumor mill) as a possible Samardzija trade destination. With a top-heavy rotation, potential financial limitations (as it relates to signing a free agent starter, anyway), and a go-for-it type offseason (especially if they add Nelson Cruz), adding a starter like Samardzija could be an enormous boon to the Mariners’ near-term playoff chances. Having reportedly struggled to find a fit in a David Price trade when the Rays insisted on the inclusion of top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker, maybe the Mariners would indeed be willing to fall back to Samardzija. 

I tend to think it makes more sense for the Mariners to try and get someone like Ervin Santana, but, if they did seriously pursue Samardzija, is a deal plausible? Well, Walker is off the table, so let’s start there. The Mariners do have some interesting arms in their system, including lefty James Paxton, who is a top 100 type, but might not be a true centerpiece. Would the Cubs take a quantity over quality return? Would they want big league pieces with reclamation value like Dustin Ackley? I tend to think the Mariners could put together an adequate package without Walker, but I question whether the Cubs would be willing to pull the trigger on such a deal right now when the possibility of picking up front-of-the-rotation pitching prospects at mid-season is still out there. The Cubs’ focus in dealing Samardzija is very likely to be impact pitching prospects with a chance to contribute within the next few years, as the Cubs’ young offensive core emerges.

I suppose the Mariners rumor is something to monitor, but not more than that right now. Setting aside trade rumors, are there any lingering hopes whatsoever for a long-term extension?

Well, Nick Cafardo reports that, despite persistent trade interest, the Cubs are holding out hope for an extension. Maybe that’s just a little bit of gamesmanship with the market, but maybe it’s true. At this point, the thing about an extension for Samardzija is this: it’s been discussed, at length, and each side knows quite well where the other one stands. Unless one of the two is willing to bend suddenly for some reason, it’s hard to see a deal being reached without more data being the thing that swings the talks (i.e., Samardzija comes out dominating, and the Cubs relent; or maybe Samardzija tweaks something – not serious enough to derail him long-term, but serious enough to give him pause – and he decides to grab guaranteed money while he can).

As I always say, a reasonable extension strikes me as the best possible outcome here. But each side has its own interests and perspectives, so I’m not so sure that the “best” possible outcome will ever be the “most likely” one.

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

126 responses to “Resumed Mariner Interest in Jeff Samardzija? Lingering Hope for an Extension?”

  1. Kyle

    At this point, I think a high-value trade is the best possible outcome.

    Other teams need Samardzija’s next two seasons more than we do, so we’re essentially wasting them by keeping him.

    1. Eternal Pessimist

      Welcome to “the plan” Kyle…we thought you would be arriving eventually :)

      1. Eternal Pessimist

        Cool…just realized the system turns my punctuation into emoticons. Well done BN :) :( :-’

        1. Eternal Pessimist

          This will take some practice…please bear with me :0 ;0

      2. Kyle

        Well, what I *want* to do is keep Samardzija, sign the four best players on the FA market, and trade a couple of our top prospects for Giancarlo Stanton.

        But I’m worried we’re going to watch Samardzija’s value lower and lower until we trade him at the 2015 deadline from a last-place team for a pile of vaguely interesting guys that is half what we could have gotten for him if we had traded him now.

        1. brainiac

          that’s exactly what has happened the past two years. jed waits and waits for trade catharsis and instead he gets a tupperware box of ramen. the guy’s gotta go. mcleod for GM.

        2. Jason P

          I don’t think that will be the case. We got a haul for 2 months of Garza, and I’m not sure anyone’s offering anything significantly better than that right now.

          I think we probably could wait a year and still get the same caliber offers we’re getting now. Plus, Samardzija will probably regress to the mean at least a little bit by then.

          1. YourResidentJag

            Wrong and wrong. Sorry, Jason.

            1. Jason P


              1. YourResidentJag

                1. Well, apparently you don’t know what the meaning of a rental player is–which is what Shark will be next year if he’s not traded this year.

                2. Apparently, you don’t realize that Shark’s two worst months the last two years have come during the time at which the Cubs will be showcasing him to potential buyers, which isn’t necessarily coincidence.

                3. Apparently, you don’t understand the meaning of the word “push” which is what the Garza trade was last year. Especially, if the hope is that the Cubs got back what they gave up in Chris Archer in CJ Edwards.

                Since apparently you don’t understand these things, I can’t help you, Jason. You’re on your own and all the “Nopes.” in the world ain’t gonna save that. ;)

                1. Jason P

                  We don’t know all of the details surrounding the Samardzija trade negotiations.

                  But what we do know:
                  -The trade offers have been underwhelming
                  -Samardzija significantly underperformed his peripherals last year
                  -The return for 1/2 a season of a pitcher who’s essentially equal to Samardzija except less durable netted a top 50 prospect, a reclamation project, a late inning reliever/back of the rotation starter, and a top-15 organizational prospect.

                  The fact that the Garza trade ended up being a push, perhaps even slightly better considering the complementary pieces the Cubs sent the Rays have never worked out, is an overwhelming victory from the Cubs side of things. The were able to get 2.5 solid years of Garza *and* recoup their assets. That’s like buying a car, driving it for a few years and then selling it back for the same price — it simply doesn’t happen.

                  Also, your second point doesn’t make sense. He wasn’t distracted by the trade talks before the trade deadline, but he was distracted by them after it when he couldn’t even be traded? Please explain.

                  For future reference, lucky for you, I do happen to have a basic comprehension of the English language, including the words “rental” and “push”. So it will no longer be necessary for you to define them for me.

                  If you are capable, I would prefer you respond to this post with some semblance of objectivity rather than just more snark.


                  1. YourResidentJag

                    Well, first of all, I don’t what you mean with the word “objectivity” when basically describing the Garza trade as a push. First of all, describing players to cars isn’t really objective, it subjective. Kind of like suggesting that “push” somehow is a bad value judgement on my part when it implies nothing of the sort.

                    “-The trade offers have been underwhelming
                    -Samardzija significantly underperformed his peripherals last year
                    -The return for 1/2 a season of a pitcher who’s essentially equal to Samardzija except less durable netted a top 50 prospect, a reclamation project, a late inning reliever/back of the rotation starter, and a top-15 organizational prospect.”

                    Boy, the problems here. Stroman as a centerpiece of a package isn’t underwhelming. So, who exactly was offered in the other underwhelming offers of which you speak? Top 50 prospect for Olt–not so much and a reclamation project….well exactly.

                    Also, your second point doesn’t make sense. He wasn’t distracted by the trade talks before the trade deadline, but he was distracted by them after it when he couldn’t even be traded? Please explain.”

                    Who said he was distracted? Way to go out on a limb there. So, he was distracted in June 2012 as well? I don’t recall trade talks occurring then? Am I missing something?

                    If your claims weren’t so presumptuous, maybe less snark would be necessary. You may want to consider this when comparing people to cars, suggesting somehow Shark was distracted in 2012 as well, and knowing for sure that return packages for Shark were underwhelming. No one really can really say this since no one knows exactly who was offered back. I’d be willing to debate that, though, if you know EXACTLY the specifics on each player the Cubs could have gotten in return from respective, interested teams this offseason.

                    And….Your Welcome.

                    1. Jason P

                      “Kind of like suggesting that “push” somehow is a bad value judgement on my part when it implies nothing of the sort.”

                      I did no such thing. If you actually read my comment, you’ll notice that I *agreed* that the trade was a push. When I asked you to “be objective”, I was referring to when you resorted to questioning my intelligence as a means of advancing your argument.

                      We know for sure that the Blue Jays offered Stroman as a centerpiece. But even if they did, depending on the complementary pieces, that package has the potential to be very underwhelming.

                      We’d be accepting a package of players no better than what we got for a year and a half less of a less valuable pitcher. As I said above, if that’s the best we can do right now for Samardzija, hold onto him because the offers aren’t going to get that much worse in the next year.

                      In the above comment, you said it was no coincidence that Samardzija’s worst two months came when the Cubs were showcasing him to potential buyers.

                      If you were suggesting it was because he was distracted, as I thought you did, then you would be incorrect because his worst months came after the trade deadline.

                      If you were suggesting that Samardzija purposely tanked the months when the Cubs were showcasing him, then that would be idiotic. He’s trying to earn a 9 figure contract. There is absolutely 0 incentive for him to purposely pitch poorly.

                      If that still is not what you were suggesting, then I’m not sure what you were trying to say.

                      Right now, there’s a wide gap between how the Cubs view Samardzija and how the league does. Until that gap narrows, the Cubs aren’t going to get what they perceive as fair value in return. And last I checked, the Cubs FO defined fair value as “Bradley, Skaggs, AND complementary pieces”. I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s a heck of a lot higher than Stroman and fillers.

                      By the way, you are still yet to tell me why my car example doesn’t work.

                    2. Jason P

                      I meant to start my third paragraph with “we don’t know for sure”.

                    3. YourResidentJag

                      You couldn’t have agreed with me that the trade for Garza was a push when you described it as a haul, connoting strictly positive value. The word “push” semantically doesn’t ascribe value to anything.

                      Accepting Stroman plus AJ Jimenez (a catching prospect), plus Alberto Tirado is NOT underwhelming. Analysts on Fangraphs like Stroman pitch repertoire and makeup so much so that he is drawing comparisons to Tom Gordon. Gordon had a solid 20 year MLB career both as a SP and a reliever, but he broke into the bigs as an effective SP. The Cubs could use a C prospect….and since SP prospet Tirado is all of 19, we really don’t know what possible for him. Underwhelming …try more like realistic. You realize also by your own admission that the fourth piece of the Garza trade was a “reclamation project” right???

                      If you were suggesting it was because he was distracted, as I thought you did, then you would be incorrect because his worst months came after the trade deadline.

                      Presuming, again, there Jason? You can pretty throw out that argument and everything that follows that you’ve said because it makes no sense. So, he was distracted then in 2012 and tanking things according to your presumption? Bizarre.

                      However, if you would just look at his mid-summer numbers, you would see consecutive yrs of inconsistencies with inflated ERAs, spikes in HR rate as well as BB rate during this time. Don’t know why…but I’m sure not to presume I know what was going inside Jeff’s thoughts at the time.

                      As for keeping him, there’s no reason. The Cubs have tried for nearly two years to work on an extension. They haven’t succeeded. As a result and in effect that they are now of the philosophy of amassing prospects, it would behoove them to get those prospects into the system sooner rather than later. You know, because it may (God forbid) shorten the rebuild. Hmmm….

                      Your car example doesn’t work because first of all cars and people aren’t both living creatures and secondly, a car is material possession which connotes value, something which “push” doesn’t.

                    4. Jason P

                      We’re comparing what the Cubs got for Garza this year to what the Rays got for him 3 years ago. If we’re comparing the Rangers to the Cubs, the trade was not a push. The Cubs won decisively. By equaling the return the Rays got 2.5 years prior, the Cubs got a great deal.

                      Stroman is a top 50-75 prospect, which is a nice guy to have, but if he’s the “centerpiece” — meaning, he’s discernibly better than any other piece the Cubs receive back — you’re asking for trouble. History will tell us the chance a prospect ranked in that range becomes as good as Samardzija is very small — somewhere in the 20% range.

                      Jimenez and Tirado are okay, but Sickels currently has them rated as C+ propects.

                      That package is very similar to what the Cubs got for half year of Garza. The Cubs should be able to do better for 2 years of Samardzija.

                      Holding onto him has a few benefits.

                      (1) Any shot the Cubs have of being competitive in 2015 lives and dies with Samardzija. That obviously has huge financial and other implications.

                      (2) Samarzija will likely experience positive regression next year. That would both increase his trade value and maybe even make the Cubs feel more confident offering a bigger extension.

                      Also, I’m not “presuming” anything. You made a statement — that it wasn’t a coincidence that Samardzija’s struggles came in the 2 months he was being shopped — and I made the only 2 conclusions that could logically follow.

                      Given that you are yet to tell me what you did mean despite my repeated requests, I’m starting to think you don’t even know what you were trying to say.

                      The fact that cars aren’t living beings and pitchers are is irrelevant. The whole point of a comparison is to liken 2 things that don’t appear to be alike on the surface to help advance a broader point.

                    5. YourResidentJag

                      The Cubs didn’t win decisively because Ramirez and Olt have yet to make any impact in the majors and the same can be said for Grimm. For all anyone knows, all three players could end up being busts. Currently, Chirinos isn’t even with the Rays, Guyer has yet to have any impact in the majors and the same can be said for the Korean SS the Cubs traded.

                      When you combine Tirado and Stroman, it’s not an underwhelming deal plus adding Jimenez makes it a reasonably great deal. You may want to do your homework on Tirado before spewing out such ignorance. Jason Parks begs to differ with your “just okay” opinion on Tirado as does this article.



                      “That package is very similar to what the Cubs got for half year of Garza. The Cubs should be able to do better for 2 years of Samardzija.”

                      So, Grimm is the same as Tirado. WOW. And the Cubs got a 19 yr old SP in the Garza trade with plenty of upside (and two plus pitches) who projects to be a #2 starter in MLB. Funny, I don’t recall that. I recall them getting two 25 yr olds who have yet to show anything in MLB.

                      (1) Any shot the Cubs have of being competitive in 2015 lives and dies with Samardzija. That obviously has huge financial and other implications.

                      (2) Samarzija will likely experience positive regression next year. That would both increase his trade value and maybe even make the Cubs feel more confident offering a bigger extension.

                      1. Wow, putting too much faith into one person and ignoring what the Cubs are trying to do with prospects and accumulating players of a certain age range.

                      2. Ignoring everyone else here and in local media about the surety of a Shark trade

                      Looks like someone’s in denial.

                      “Given that you are yet to tell me what you did mean despite my repeated requests, I’m starting to think you don’t even know what you were trying to say.”

                      No, that’d be you, Jason.

                      “The fact that cars aren’t living beings and pitchers are is irrelevant. The whole point of a comparison is to liken 2 things that don’t appear to be alike on the surface to help advance a broader point.”

                      The fact that you don’t understand that the word “push” ascribes no value to something really concerns me.

                      You may want to do your homework on things in the future, Jason, because there’s no point in debating you until you do.

                2. Norm

                  The Garza trade was a push?
                  Not a chance.

                  1. Jason P

                    We’re comparing the return the Rays got to the return the Cubs got. Not the Cubs side vs. the Rangers side or anything like that.

                    If you already knew what we were talking about, which return was so drastically better?

                    1. Norm

                      The Cubs return was better because they got 59 Garza starts and only gave up 13 Garza starts.

                  2. YourResidentJag

                    Right. We’ll just see about that, Norm.

  2. jh03

    I’m more and more falling into the camp of trading Samardzija. It just will depress the hell out of me when Travis Wood is the Cubs’ Opening Day starter.

  3. Steve

    Just keep telling yourself this is the acorn, that becomes an oak.

    You’ve waiting this long, what’s a few more years?

    I just renewed my MLB Extra Innings package and am behind our Cubs 100%.
    Yes, they will suck this year, but hey, baez and Bryant will be up…so, lets make lemonade out of these lemons…we just need to add a little more Kettle One to it than normal.

    1. Patrick G

      I’m about to sign up for after not being able to watch the cubs for so long. I’m just wondering if it’s worth it for this year since it will be a down year most likely. Them again, hopefully some of the youngsters come up that I could watch

      1. Bilbo161

        I’m thinking of doing that but more for the MILB coverage. I want to see some of the minor league games as our prospects rise through the minors. The MLB games will be more fun than it seems though. I’m looking forward to the season starting. Who knows there are a lot of guys ready to try to break out at the MLB level. If we can get a few of Olt, Lake, Arietta, Grimm etc to start looking good…….Its baseball right? Anything can happen.

        1. WGNstatic

          I may be wrong about this, but I think that MiLB is a different package (frustratingly) than the MLB package. I have bought the MLB premium package the last number of years and I don’t think that I have had access to watching MiLB games.

          1. Patrick G

            I will be a first time buyer of mlb tv and when I went to see how much it was, it was an extra $25 for minor league games on top of the $125. I think the only thing I read is that it’s not every minor league game, mostly Triple A games and various other levels depending on location and availability. But yes I think I am still going to order it even though the MB team might not be so fun to watch, I can also view the youngsters down on the farm

  4. Edwin

    I used to be against trading Samardzija, but since it doesn’t look like the Cubs will be ready until 2016/2017, they might as well trade him now.

  5. Noah_I

    Unless Samardzija implodes or gets injured in the first half of the season, I see it very unlikely that his trade value would diminish between now and July, when he very well could be the best available pitcher on the market. Barring Samardzija becoming a top of the rotation pitcher, though, I don’t see an extension happening. He wants to be paid like a top of the rotation pitcher, and the Cubs want to extend him at middle of the rotation rates. On the flip side of a trade possibility, the Cubs have been asking for a top of the rotation type of return, while teams have offered middle of the rotation returns.

    If Samardzija pitches like a top of the rotation starter in the first half, I think odds are 50/50 between the Cubs extending him and trading him. If he pitches like a middle of the rotation starter, I think the Cubs lower their demands and get a package similar to what has been offered for Samardzija at this point.

    1. Edwin

      His value could go down because the team trading for him would get a fewer number of starts. I think the only way his value goes up is if he either shows big improvement over the first half of the season, or if a team gets desperate and decides to overpay for him at the trade deadline.

    2. YourResidentJag

      Except when you consider
      1. this article:
      2.the fact that media intricately tied to the Chicago market (Nick Carfardo **laugh**) are stating he’s all but gone and Bruce Levine yesterday on WSCR reiterated his position that Shark is right to try for a $100 mil contract,
      3.the fact that the Cubs desperately need starters of note (heck, I’ll even buy into Kyle’s notion that with a tour de force offensive the Cubs can live with a bunch of 3′s starters), and
      4.outside of the Mariners, the Cubs could benefit from packages acquired by Toronto and Baltimore

      I think the Cubs should trade him still this offseason and waiting around is a huge mistake.

      1. Assman22

        Shark to Seattle is likely a smoke screen…possibly to force BJ’s hand…AA threatened to wait til the deadline for a starter…Theo is countering by flirting with a known-volatile FO in Seattle…AA and Theo have exchanged prelim offers several times recently…Theo still holding out for Sanchez inclusion…AA upped his most recent offer with a higher-upside throw-in…needless to say not much has changed…

        1. cubsfan08

          Good! I don’t want the FO to soften on their demands. Don’t want them to seem desperate for no reason.

        2. mdavis

          Good, I’d hold out for Sanchez included. Good info!

        3. YourResidentJag

          Good. I didn’t think Seattle was much of anything anyway. I still think Sanchez then and not necessarily the inclusion of Stroman should be enough to move the dealing forward.

      2. Noah_I

        I’d say this: if the Cubs could get Zunino in a deal from the Mariners, I’d be all for it. He could fill a need for years. But if it’s headlined by Paxton and Franklin? Paxton is another fourth starter, although the fact that he’s left handed help. And Franklin is an eventual flip guy, and he has to perform relatively quickly (to me, at least) because I like Alcantara more.

        But, likely based upon what Assman is saying, Seattle is unlikely to happen. Maybe if news floats out there that a Walker for Samardzija trade is being considered, that induced AA to include Sanchez?

        1. Jon

          The M’s should also trade Zuino before they ruin him.

          1. Rich H

            AMEN! The M’s are very close to what the Cubs use to be in the early parts of 2000′s, a lot of HUGE talent and very little development of that talent.

            It may turn out that the Mariners end up being Hendryfied and start gutting young players as they advance through their system before that warts show up. Or they can wait like they did with Ackley and get pennies on the dollar return for them when they do not pan out.

          2. YourResidentJag

            Well, that’s why this is a smokescreen. The M’s, for the most part, do a crappy job of player selection and development.

        2. TulaneCubs

          The Cubs don’t have a need at catcher, though.

    3. Bric

      All this trade talk reminds me of the Geo Soto trade talk of a couple of years ago. There were all these explanations and projections and predictions and opinions but all of the comments started with the same word- “If”. “If” he bounces back, “If” he follows the up year-down year, “If” he stays healthy, etc. In my mind any comment that starts with “If” is basically playing the lottery. And I’d like to think the Cubs management and fan base are a little smarter than that. “If” he was a true number one in our minds we wouldn’t even be talking about this.

      1. Brocktoon

        Luckily, the return is a guarantee

  6. Baseball_Writes

    They should wait. There is no reason to trade him now unless someone blows them away. Chances are he will be much more valuable at the trade deadline, so I see no reason to take a less-than-optimal package right now.

    1. Noah_I

      I think the statement that “chances are he will be much more valuable at the trade deadline” is overdoing it a bit. I think he is likely to maintain at least equivalent value, and if he shows himself to be more likely to be a consistent top of the rotation starter in the first half of the season than he has to this point, he could see a meaningful increase in value on the trade market.

      1. BenW

        Right, but if he comes out and pitches like a true ace, then his extension demands go up as well. So, if a team acquiring him assumes no extension, then they are getting 12-15 fewer starts than now. Even if they appear to be higher quality starts, I doubt the overall deal package goes up that much.

        You also have to consider that other teams may make starters available as well. What if the Royals falter? Shields could be dealt. Indians – Masterson.

        Right now, the Cubs basically have the market cornered, as I don’t think Price is getting dealt.

        1. YourResidentJag

          Yep, you also forgot Bailey…and just like the Cubs, he and the Reds are far apart on an extension. The summer market could very well be flooded with SP.

          1. mdavis

            very good points. the trade market at the deadline could def be flooded as well with some solid pitchers. its a tough game to play.

        2. Baseball_Writes

          I don’t think it matters if they “have the market cornered” if they are not going to get enough value for him. He has value to the team as a pitcher for this year and next, and what they get in trade has to outweigh that value.

          1. YourResidentJag

            If the market is flooded with big time pitchers with a larger sample size and track record, you bet they do. Also, don’t get your hopes up about the return. It could very well contain one of Stroman or Sanchez from Toronto (i.e.) but definetely not both. The national analysis and feelings on Shark as a trade piece aren’t as strong as Cubs fan’s or those who write about the Cubs.

            1. mdavis

              i’d be ok with Sanchez, Nolin, Davis, +? maybe?

          2. BenW

            That’s true, but currently he is targeted to provide 0 value beyond 2015. The Cubs could sign him to an extension, but outside of that, his future value is low. I’m not saying we should give him away, but if we get a realistic return for him, it’s definitely time to move him.

        3. Noah_I

          From all indications, Samardzija is looking for an extension in the Anibal Sanchez contract range. The ability to sign Samardzija to an extension will likely not come into play in talks to trade him: merely how good of a pitcher is and how many years of team control he has left.

  7. Jrock1

    I think in two years Samardzija will be considered a TOR. The Cubs aren’t willing to pay what it takes to have a TOR pitcher now or in the future. No team friendly deals out there for a great pitcher. We won’t have that quality of a pitcher until we develop one.

    1. Rich H

      You actually started your comment with the reason that no team will pay Shark like a TOR starter right now. YOU THINK is not a good reason to bet 20 to 25 mil per year for Shark.

  8. woody

    Let’s face it the renovation plan is taking on water and we are fielding a team that is an obvious attempt to go for a high draft pick in 2015. We might as well just move Samardzija and cut to the chase for the number 1 pick. And realistically how is the rooftop dilema affecting the TV deal? I would think that a network executive would want to know where the hell you are going to be playing your ball games before giving out billion dollar contracts.

  9. itzscott

    I’m not seeing a fit with the Mariners and you don’t trade Shark just to trade him.

  10. Jon

    I still think Kevin Towers is the GM to heist. Maybe if Shark has a great 1st half of the season and the Dbacks have even a punchers chance of the postseason, he’ll open up the Bradley talks again.

  11. FFP

    Shark is a good pitcher this year. He projects to be a good pitcher next. (And for more years after that–perhaps more than most pitchers due to his body type and lifetime pitch count, as long as he doesn’t overtax his arm trying to prove something that opposing batters already know.)

    The only way his value goes down is injury. He can protect himself from being (too) hurt financially from injury (and maybe from injury itself–with less to prove to the guys with the calculators) by negotiating an extension.

    Perhaps I’m in the minority in this thread; and yes this is partly fanboy rationale, but I see a Shark extension in the best interest of both the Cubs and Shark. Good pitching is hard to find. It gets riskier for the player, and it gets more expensive for the club the longer they both wait.

    1. Edwin

      Injury isn’t the only way his value goes down. It also goes down due to him being available for fewer starts to a prospective trade team.

      1. Rich H

        Not really because of the extra year of control.

        1. YourResidentJag

          Except that he loses value if they trade him after 2014 because then he becomes essentially a rental player. Why? Because a team that trades for him will only have him through 2015 if that team can’t extend him.

    2. brainiac

      this is right. the cubs are in awful shape without him. we have no prospects for a good rotation within 5 years without him in the 2 or 3 slot. if we trade him that’s a message to the rest of us bozos that we should take a long nap until 2018 until we should even start paying attention again. 2015 the minor leaguers will come up, mostly stink, but show some promise. what do we do if they don’t have middle of the lineup support, any pitchers over a 4 slot, and low team morale? things will start to move along ok and then the wheels will fall off.

      theo has really backed himself into a corner here.

  12. fossilhippie

    Off topic, but what’s going on with Yenier Bello?

  13. Blackhawks1963

    If Seattle is willing to give up Tijuan Walker, then I personally drive Samardzija to the airport and wish him well in the Pacific Northwest.

    1. Jon

      0% chance the Cubs get Walker for Smardzaja.

  14. Blackhawks1963

    So as I read things, Walker and Zunino are viewed as strictly off limits. Seattle won’t trade either. Given that, I have hard time believing TheoJed have any interest in a prospective trade with the Mariners. Paxton isn’t a good enough center piece. Hultzen has got a bad arm.

    1. Noah_I

      I’ve read mixed things on Zunino being available, but I can’t imagine why he would be. That would be the epitome of trading for a player when his value is down, and a player who could quickly reestablish elite value with a solid season.

      I think the best the Cubs could is Paxton and Franklin, and I don’t love that trade for us. No one with big upside, and I prefer Alcantara to Franklin long term.

  15. Sacko

    I don’t see a trade this off season Our pitching is so ??? Wood has to be as good as last year Jackson has to be much better and then what? Arrieta and Hammel? Trading Shark puts AAA in the bigs sooner then they need to be. We have to keep him as their is really nobody to pick up those innings and W’s.
    Better for the organization- between FO and team that we do an extension. We just have to put some money into this team and show more willingness to pay those we want to keep.

  16. Big City Mick

    Trade scenario 1:

    Mariners get: Shark
    Blue Jays get: Nick Franklin and Dustin Ackley
    Cubs get: James Paxton and Aaron Sanchez

    Trade scenario 2:

    Mariners get: Shark
    Pirates get: Smoak
    Cubs get: Paxton and Tyler Glasnow

    1. TulaneCubs

      I don’t think there’s any way the Pirates are giving up Glasnow for Smoak.

      Nor do I think there’s any way the Blue Jays would take projects in Nick Franklin and Dustin Ackley for Aaron Sanchez.

  17. Cubsin

    Shark’s trade value could go up or down significantly between now and July 31. It depends on how well he pitches in 2014, how many teams are in the playoff hunt and how many alternatives like Shields, Masterson and Bailey are available. If the Royals, Indians and Reds are all in contention in July, Shark becomes the Holy Grail for teams looking for starting pitching.

    1. Big City Mick

      That’s a good point because I see all of those teams contending this season and you could include the Rays with Price too. I believe the AL Central is up for grabs after the Tigers’ bone-headed moves trading Fister for next to nothing and swapping Fielder for Kinsler. That lineup especially looks a lot less fearsome without Prince protecting Cabrera.

      I believe the Cubs have already planned on waiting until the deadline and the company line when talking to the media will only involve extending Shark.

  18. josh ruiter

    What are the chances that the Mariners would do a Walker for Shark +?

  19. Cubsin

    I would argue that Zunino for Castillo would be a short term benefit for the Mariners (better defense and probably more offense), and might or might not be a good long-term deal for the Cubs. But trading for Zunino while keeping Castillo makes no sense to me, unless we already have a deal in place to move Zunino or Castillo for more pitching,

  20. Cubsin

    If the Mariners aren’t interested in discussing Taijuan Walker for David Price, they won’t be sending him to the Cubs either, unless the Cubs are offering a package of Shark, Baez and others.

    1. josh ruiter

      Large difference there Cubsin…Price is 3x the price with a decline in velocity and production, while the consensus on Shark is he is still growing and hasn’t peaked yet. It’s already documented that money may be an issue in Seattle after the big spending spree, but a top flight starter is still a desire…add the two together and you get shark (and that’s about it).
      What if we sent Alcantara, Soler, Shark…would you do that?

      1. Chad

        Doubt that they would want Soler. He’s pricey and a bit away from helping. If it were Shark and Alcantara or Shark and Russel I would say go get it.

        1. Eternal Pessimist

          Way too much…I wouldn’t give up two important prospects PLUS a proven MLB # 3 with 2 more control years for the hopes of Walker being able to perform at a high level in the MLB. He will probably be very good though.

        2. TulaneCubs

          Supposedly the Mariners’ front office is obsessed with power and Soler has a lot of it.

          1. woody

            So are you suggesting Shark and Soler for Walker? For me Soler is the only one of the big four I could bear to part with.

            1. TulaneCubs

              I’d probably do Soler, Shark and Russell for Walker. I know people would kick and scream, but at some point we need to give up quality to get quality.

    2. Jason P

      I wouldn’t trade Baez for Walker straight up.

  21. CubsFaninMS

    If Taijuan Walker is out of the equation, I don’t see the Mariners as suitors. Samardzija has potential for upside before the 2014 trade deadline, demonstrating that he is worthy of a high-caliber pitching prospect. Other than Walker, the Mariners’ options are limited in that regard. I see the Pirates, Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Orioles as possible landing spots for Samardzija during the trade deadline, assuming a long-term deal isn’t worked out between he and the Cubs. Without Walker, I believe the conversation is over for now with the Cubs front office and the Mariners’.

  22. ramy16

    Carlos Marmol officially signs with the Marlins! Can’t wait til the Cubs get their revenge

  23. Diehardthefirst

    Seattle needs a long relief guy and if Shark agrees he would be great 4 inning guy

    1. Jason P

      You say a lot of ridiculous things, but that …

  24. ColoCubFan

    Just as well trade Shark and then try to pick him back up in a couple of years when the Cubs might actually be worth playing for!

  25. Ivy Walls

    Samardz must be sold and he must be sold high. His value to a con-pretender is not leading a rotation but being the big #3 or #4 behind bigger studs. He is a pitcher that better lines up to a teams mid or late rotation starter and he gets innings. Cubs need to sell him now at 29 where he is at the peak of his performing value.

    As for the price it needs to be high, higher than normal value. That means Walker, though I think the Cubs add in an exchange of a number of players. Cubs can move one or even two 3B prospects, they could move a number of previous ranked prospects in the 11-20 which might be higher in Seattle’s eroding depth, this could even mean PTBNL as in right of first refusal on Olt in ST, it could also include Russell for Walker and another like Hultzen plus another.

    1. YourResidentJag

      Seattle’s really not a good trade partner though.

      1. Ivy Walls

        I agree, Baltimore would be better, Toronto a number those are the two others. In fact I could see Cubs trading Samardz, then signing Santana.Jimenez at even a better deal than 3/39, even though it means losing a 2nd round, if they could gain a Walker or Bundy or Stroman, where they then can install that pitcher into the starting rotation this year. I then think the sell off Jackson this year, (kind of rent a innings eater, in that they get little in return but someone buying a contract to have an innings eater),

    2. TulaneCubs

      The Mariners don’t need an MLB-ready 3B. They could use a guy like Vogelbach, probably. Probably a guy like Soler too.

  26. David

    Shark, Russell and Scheirholz for Walker. Get it done.

    1. Jason P

      Even if the Mariners agreed to that, I honestly don’t think our FO would make that deal.z

      1. David

        Shame on them, if they don’t. I think its fair.

        1. Jason P

          I think it’s pretty fair too, but I just don’t see this front office putting all their eggs into one basket. Granted, it’s a very nice basket, but a 3 for 1 deal where the 3 are proven major league players and the 1 is a prospect would be pretty much unprecedented.

          From a front office that has repeatedly stated they are looking for multiple core pieces back if they’re going to trade 1, I just don’t see it.

      2. TulaneCubs

        I think the Cubs FO would do it. I don’t think they see much value in Russell. And Schierholtz is a platoon player under control for only 1 more year.

        I think the Mariners say no to that (I think they sign Nelson Cruz and won’t need Schierholtz) and would want more from the Cubs.

    2. Edwin

      Not even close. Russell is a very average middle relief pitcher, and Schierholtz is an ok platoon/4th OF. Neither one is going to move the needle much in terms of value.

  27. woody

    I was reading today @ bleacher report that the blue jays are really kicking the tires with Santana. They have the 9th and 11th pick in the draft and they are both protected so they won’t really lose much if they sign him as a FA. I think that pretty well takes Sanchez and Stroman out of play for those that were wishing for that deal. At this point I would say that Shark is a cub for the forseeable future.

    1. YourResidentJag

      I’ve actually heard the exact opposite on MLBTradeRumors.

      1. woody

        Blue jays only give up the 49th pick in the draft to sign Santana. The verdict of that piece is “fact” that it is very likely. Santana is on the verge of not being signed if he doesn’t do something soon. But of course two years of Shark would be much cheaper if AA wants to give up the prospects. Maybe Santana takes a short term offer and tries his luck later when he doesn’t have a qualifying offer to hinder his asking price.

        1. YourResidentJag

          Except when you realize the intensity of interest in Santana by the Orioles, which appears to be higher right now that the Blue Jays. They’ve got a lot riding on this as well. If that’s the case, Jimenez wouldn’t be that great of a move for what you’re describing.

  28. Diehardthefirst

    If Yanks think Shark better than 4 inning pitcher they may still go for a trade especially if Tanaka shows that he needs same rest regimen he had in Japan- last 2 weeks of spring training will be interesting

    1. Edwin

      Shark averaged 6.4 IP per start, which led the Cubs. League average amongst qualified starters was 6.2. So all good on that account.

  29. TSB

    Is Samardzija gay? Oh sorry, wrong subject….

  30. kridertr

    I know this is off topic but foes anyone know where to find a list of players that will be in the minor league camps? I remember finding the list somewhere last year but can’t find one for this year.

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