suk-min yoonI never really bought that bogus “joking among friends” explanation

That Oriole-hat donning picture from Suk-Min Yoon was the real deal, according to multiple reports that indicate the Orioles are in agreement with the Korean righty. He’ll reportedly get three years and $5.75 million plus incentives based on starts. The deal, which is pending a physical, confirms that teams viewed Yoon as a possible starting option, but not a lock. He battled a shoulder issue last year, and, despite his age (27), could only get a small guarantee. That should tell you all you need to know about the potential upside here (as in: there isn’t too much).

Given the deal, it’s fair to conclude that the Orioles may not necessarily have landed their long-sought starting pitcher just yet. A.J. Burnett may have been their preferred option, but he signed with the Phillies. Add a couple million for Yoon and money to spend on a bat like Kendrys Morales, Baltimore may not have enough left in their budget to sign someone like Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana. Jeff Samardzija will make just a touch over $5 million next year, O’s. Just sayin’.

In other potentially Jeff Samardzija-relevant news …

The Mariners’ pitching situation behind Felix Hernandez just became a little more dire (it already looked scary): Hisashi Iwakuma, quietly one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last two years, has a strained tendon in his right middle finger (pitching hand), which will prevent him from throwing for the next four to six weeks. Even if he’s back on the mound in a month, Iwakuma will need another few weeks to ramp up for competitive pitching, so he’s going to miss some regular season time.

Is that enough to push the Mariners to acquire a pitcher? Maybe not by itself, but they already needed another starter or two. I still tend to think it’ll be someone like Jimenez or Santana, but it’s possible, with Jeff Samardzija rumors popping back up, that the Mariners come back to the Cubs.

  • mdavis

    Orioles still make a good trade partner. Mariners, I’ve been convinced do not (B/c obviously, not getting Walker).

    • CubFan Paul

      “(B/c obviously, not getting Walker)”

      I don’t understand this line of thinking.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Because Walker is probably the better pitcher than Samardzija right now, is 21 years old, and will be under control through 2020.

        • mdavis

          the thinking is that not even the Mariners are that dumb to give up Walker for Shark. AKA they are not a good trade partner.

          • CubFan Paul

            Someone should tell this to the Mariners front office

            • Edwin

              I havent’ heard much interest from Mariners in trading Walker for Shark. Seems like it’s more wishful think from fans than actual front office info.

              • CubFan Paul

                Theo&Co have the bar very high in all trade demands

                • Edwin

                  What does that have to do with the Mariners front office?

                  • CubFan Paul

                    …The M’s are shopping for a starter

                    …Samardzija will cost less in money of the availables (Price, Santana, Jimenez)

                    …spelled. it. out.

                    • Edwin

                      Just because the M’s are looking for a starter doesn’t mean they’ll be willing to trade Walker for Samardzija. Unless the Cubs are willing to kick in something more, Walker is most likely unavailable.

                    • Jon

                      The M’s could have had Price for Walker yesterday if they wanted. They can have it today.

                      Don’t you think if they want to get a starter and give up Walker as the cost, Price is their guy?

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Unless the Cubs are willing to kick in something more”


                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Don’t you think if they want to get a starter and give up Walker as the cost, Price is their guy?”

                      No. Price will cost $18M this year ($4M from 2013). Samardzija will cost less in money of the availables (Price, Santana, Jimenez)

                    • Jon

                      But Price is a much, much, much, better pitcher than Shark.

                    • Edwin


                      I just don’t understand what you’re arguing about then. Is Walker available for a high enough offer? Of course. Almost any player is. Is Shark and a couple throw ins a high enough offer? Probably not.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Price is a much, much, much, better pitcher than Shark”

                      Money IS an issue.

                    • Ricky

                      I tried having this conversation with Paul the other day, he won’t budge.

                      The Cubs would love to have Walker, but just because the M’s need a starter doesn’t mean they give up their MLB ready top prospect who might be better than Shark right now. Sure the Cubs could add more pieces, but why? They are trying to get the most return for Shark, not him and one of the Big 4 and a second tier prospect.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Sure the Cubs could add more pieces, but why?”

                      To acquire a young cost controlled pitcher.

                      The M’s would want more pieces also, to offset the loss of said young cost controlled pitcher.

                      & the Cubs would ask for additional pieces from the M’s to offset loss of their package

                    • Ricky

                      RIght – both sides would have to increase their offer. In a perfect world, what type of players would you see in a deal from both sides?

                    • CubFan Paul

                      I’d dangle any prospect outside of the Big 4 to package with Samardzija for Walker

                • brainiac

                  the problem with an abnormally high bar is that they themselves can’t scale it.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    It worked in the Garza & Marshall deals

                    • Kyle

                      It cost us quite a bit in the Garza deal, if you go back to what he could have commanded pre-2012.

                    • Isaac

                      The problem with any Walker/Shark deal, is that from the Mariners perspective it is robbing Peter to pay (CubFan) Paul. Walker is already penciled in as their #2, trading him for another #2 isn’t solving anything whatsoever. If they want to add to their SP, their option is to trade from surplus (Franklin/Ackley/Seager), and give up some nice prospects (Paxton/Zunino)….Is that enough for the Cubs to pull the trigger? I don’t know.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “trading him for another #2 isn’t solving anything whatsoever”

                      Yeah, if you ignore Walker being a rookie & Samardzija’s success.

                • DarthHater


          • BenW

            I wonder if an expanded deal with Seattle might give us a shot at Walker. Maybe like Shark, Schierholtz, and a guy like Vogelbach for Walker, Ackley, Gohara, and maybe another minor leaguer. I think if Walker is off limits, you really have to like Paxton to be a future 2/3 guy for a deal to be possible (unless it’s Paxton/Zunino, but not sure who Seattle would use at C this year).

        • Chef Brian

          Come on now, Walker is not better than Samardzija right now. Potentially, yes. But there are a lot of things that can happen before Walker reaches the majors and dominates. He is still a prospect no matter how highly he is touted.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            When has Shark dominated in the big leagues on a consistent basis?? I might be admittedly high on Walker, but if I had to take a guy for the 2014 season, I would take Walker over Shark

            • CubFan Paul

              “When has Shark dominated in the big leagues on a consistent basis??”

              Why is this even a question? It doesn’t matter.

              • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                “But there are a lot of things that can happen before Walker reaches the majors and dominates”

                I was replying to that statement, so yes, it does matter

                • CubFan Paul

                  But why is this even a question? What does Samardzija dominating consistently have to do with Walker’s 2014 campaign or call-up?

                  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                    I was comparing Walker to Shark. He said Walker hasn’t dominated the big leagues yet. I said Shark hasn’t dominated the big leagues either. What is so hard for you to comprehend?

                    • CubFan Paul

                      It seemed like a silly question, that’s all. Whatever. But i’m quite sure the wannna be contender Mariners would rather have the experienced Shark in the rotation over a prized rookie who has yet reached the Majors and needed to make adjustments to adjustments.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      Don’t get me wrong, Shark is a good pitcher, but I wouldn’t trade Walker for him. Walker did come up last year for 3 starts and threw very well. While Shark has experienced in terms of service time, all of his starting experience has been for a last place team. To me, Walker is the better pitcher right now, and us under control for 5 more years than Shark. If Walker were in AA right now, this would be a different argument, but he is a guy who has had a cup of coffee in the Majors and barring injury, will be in the Mariners rotation in 2014.

                    • Kyle

                      I’m gonna laugh so hard in 2016 or 2017 when the Cubs are finally contenders and start shopping around for upgrades, and the same fans who demand Walker for Samardzija are aghast when other teams want our top prospect for their middling upgrdae.

                    • Jon

                      I’m going to laugh so hard in 2016 when we are still “punting” seasons.

                    • ssckelley

                      “I’m going to laugh so hard in 2016 when we are still “punting” seasons.”


                  • Kyle

                    I am reasonably certain this is the last true punt. I don’t think they make a push to be a top team in 2015, but you can’t punt 2015 without dumping elite graduating prospects to keep them from helping you win games.

                    • DarthHater

                      “you can’t punt 2015 without dumping elite graduating prospects to keep them from helping you win games.”

                      Shhhhh! The new plan is supposed to be a surprise!

            • Darth Ivy

              me, too. I’d take Walker over Samardzija even for just this year

    • josh ruiter

      “b/c obviously” statements really do not apply in these types of situations. The “b/c obviously” M.O. in Seattle is that they just spent a royal f*** ton of money on revamping their roster to win now. So to them the only real “b/c obviously” is the need to acquire another arm or two. Especially now that Iwakuma is out for awhile this need becomes ever more dire to their postseason fantasies. The other notion that you build your argument on is not hold true either. The Mariners list Walker at the bottom of their rotation, and they would most likely be pleased to start him in AAA again if the pitching talent level allowed. He very well could be better than Shark in a year or two, but to say a kid who has pitched in 3 big league games is better than a guy who was a 200 innings machine still on the rise, and cost controlled for #2….well that’s just silly and frankly ignorant. Fangraphs has Walker as falling somewhere around a 1.3 WAR with a 4.25ish ERA and a 4.35ish FIP. Shark is seen by fangraphs as a 3.8 ERA with a 3.65 FIP and roughly a 2.5 WAR, some high some lower. That to me says not many folks perceive Walker as the better option this year, including the Mariners. The point of these trades is immediate upgrade in value, knowing you are likely giving up better future value down the road. That being said, with the Mariners in win now, with multiple needs still apparent…OF, 2 SP (especially with the Iwakuma injury). And if they are hitting the ceiling of dollars available The Cubs could easily package a deal that fills all those voids without upping the payroll much for Seattle.
      Shark (5.34 mil) T. Wood (3.9) and Schierholtz (5)
      That’s about 14 million going to Seattle
      The Cubs take back one salary guy and two prospects (Walker and Tyler Pike/James Paxton)…It’s really a win win, the Mariners fill their holes for less than what one free agent would cost them in annual salary, but the Cubs get young stud pitching prospects.

  • Darth Ivy

    I don’t get why the mariners need pitching more than offense. Don’t get me wrong, I believe brett and everyone else when they talk about pitching as their biggest need. Maybe everyone else has more confidence in the mariners’ young hitters than I do.

    • Darth Ivy

      in other words, I believe people who know baseball better than me despite not understanding their position

  • Jon

    One thing I’ve wondered, when discussing trade options for Samardja, we’ve always discussed other teams, upper level pitching prospects because naturally, trading Shark creates a pitching void that needs to be filled.

    But then I have been thinking, if you just focus on pitching prospects, don’t you limit yourself? What if the Pirates won’t give up Tallian but would give up Polanco(as a center piece) in a deal for SHark? Assuming prospects are currency, wouldn’t you have to consider that?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think we tend to focus on those guys because of the logical fit; but the Cubs would definitely seek the best overall value they could get. Don’t forget, the rumored asking price from the Braves was Jason Heyward or Justin Upton.

  • Darth Ivy

    Looking again at the mariners’ depth chart, offensively, they have one elite hitter and two above average hitters. That’s it. For their pitching, they will likely have one of the best 1-2-3 starters in the game. And Paxton might be good, above average. Their offense seems to be way behind their rotation

  • NorthSideIrish

    Now seeing reports that Walker is having shoulder stiffness…which would make Scott Baker the Mariners #2 starter…

    Jeff Sullivan ‏@based_ball 1m
    THIS IS HOW IT STARTS RT @RyanDivish: Don’t panic. But Taijuan Walker is battling a little shoulder stiffness according to Lloyd McClendon.

  • AA Correspondant

    The strained tendon in the finger caused Smokies pitcher Dallas Beeler to miss most of his season in 2013. A 4-6 week estimate for Iwakuma seems unrealistic to me.

  • Blackhawks1963

    There isn’t the RIGHT market for Samardzija right now. Seattle isn’t going to give up Walker or Zunino. Arizona isn’t going to give up Bradley. Baltimore isn’t going to give up Bundy or Gausman. Cubs need to get a blue chip return in any trade for Samardzija. Not just quantity. His situation is different that Dempster and Garza, and his market value should be distinctly better. I don’t want 3 or 4 “good” prospects in a trade…rather I want 1 super stud prospect. That sort of trade can’t or won’t happen right now.

    I’d be stunned if Samardzija is traded anytime soon. The best case scenario is that he has a strong start to the 2014 season and that a couple of contenders get very interested at the trade deadline.

  • Ivy Walls

    Lot of smoke here, could lead to a blockbuster exchange of players including some overages in the Cubs system, this is going to have more acts, exactly what Hoyer and Eppy were looking for, a change in necessity

  • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

    Shark Value: http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/2014/02/13/a-valuation-project-of-jeff-samardzija-what-is-he-worth-to-the-cubs-in-trade-for-prospects/

    Mariners, if they are truly committed to making the playoffs, then increasing franchise valuation for a sale in potentially 2015 (since their owner died late in 2013 – and upheaval is afoot in their FO, usually followed by shopping the club) makes it all the more important to splurge. Raise that valuation..on paper.

    It would seem a good fit to catch a Shark. Safeco field has a Ballpark factor well below 1.00 for home runs – Shark’s bane – and so, he’d actually work out for them, maybe produce as an ace. And he’s cheap cash wise…and we know they have 2-3 arms worth looking at.

    Baltimore seems more like the Cubs…rebuilding and shifting cash to cheaper assets. Can’t take on Yanks, Sox, and Rays yet…in due time though. Don’t think they’d part with their dynamic duo of pitchers.

    • CubFan Paul

      Well put. But the font on your website hurts my eyes.

  • StevenR

    I think we can make a deal with seattle and get a good return, one that we can do other deals with to completely maximize the return. I don’t expect anyone, or very many will agree with my suggestion, however, its just my take on it, and would like to see what others think of it, so here it is…
    Seattle gets – Shark(RHP), Schierholz(RF), Carlos Villanueva(RHP), Barney(2B), and a middle tier prospect.
    Cubs get – Paxson(LHP), Wilhelmsen(RHP), Ackley(2B/CF), Montero(C/1B/DH), Franklin(2B/SS), Hultzen(LHP)

    Now I will explain my thinking, cause I’m positive there’s a name or two here that people will have a problem with, but maybe my explaination will explain my thinking. Seattle gets the #2 starter they need right now, and another starter that can go back to a swing role when the Japanese guy returns, or stay in the rotation depending on how things shake out for them. They get a RF that can hit with some power from the left side, and gives them quality defense in right, and they get a gold glove 2B that actually can slide over to SS with Cano there, giving them great defense up the middle, with the possibility that they can get him to develop a little offense to go with his defense.

    Our Cubs get a good return IMO, even though there are some questions I’ll attempt to answer. First off we get a LHP that has #2 type ability, possibly more, but not likely. Paxson can be a very good LHP for us for a long time, I really love this kids potential a lot. Wilhelmsen would be added to the growing set of power arms we have in the pen, strengthening it even more. He has closed before and could actually team with Strop to give us 2 young guys back there that can grow into the role with the other setting him up, I really like this kid as well.Ackley is a guy that needs a change of scenery, the kid can hit, he’s coming off a down yr, but I think Mueller can fix any issues this kid has, and he can be a very good player for us be it at 2B, or CF, with Baez coming up, Ackley would give us more options if he stays at 2B, and give us the freedom to move Castro for even more quality young pitching when Baez is ready and we could leave him at SS to combine with Ackley to give us a pretty good tandem in the middle IF. Franklin gives us another good young middle IF that can be a utility type, or just trade bait, making our possible trades this yr a little stronger.

    Montero is a guy that can hit for power, and IMO I only added him to this deal to even it out some, and strictly as a young trade chip to an AL team. Combine him with maybe Franklin and we could maybe add another quality young arm without having to touch our top talent in the minors in any trades. Hultzen to me is a guy that is basically a lottery ticket, albeit one with very high potential. He’s rehabbing so we wont get anything out of him this year, but once fully healthy this kid has Ace potential, and could give us that TOR type that we would ordinarily have to sell the farm to get. He’s young, left handed, and IMO once healthy can be dominate.

    All that said, I go to a team like Cleveland and offer him straight up for a guy like Bauer. They need some offense, and he would be enough, IMO, to grab a guy like Bauer. Both guys are young, need a change of scenery, and could be a trade that would benefit both teams. They’d get some power they’re lacking and can give Montero the playing time he needs to reach his potential. We can put Bauer in the rotation and giving him every opportunity to reach his full potential. Bosio has done good work with other underachieving, and I think he can get Bauer to reach his potential. We also aren’t gonna be big winner this year, so guys like Paxson and Bauer can get a full season worth of starts to further their development, Hultzen can come along next year and do the same. a guy like Ackley has very good potential, and like I said we could keep Baez at SS, if Olt is performing well, and allow us to trade Castro in some kind of package for maybe Stanton. I look at the offensive trade off of Ackley and Schierholz as a win for us. Nate over achieved last year, and is due to revert back to his norm, Ackley is a better hitter with compareable power, IMO.

    I know its long but I’d love to see what others think honestly, and possibly give their own trade ideas.

    • TulaneCubs

      That’d be an absolutely awful trade for the Cubs.

      • StevenR

        why would you think that, we aren’t giving up much, Shark, IMO has TOR potential, but I’m not so sure he reaches it, Villanueva is not a guy that we will have beyond this season, Barney is defense only, and we need offense, and Schierholz is likely to regress this coming year. If we do the deal and only Paxson and Ackley reaches their full potential, the deals a win for us. Once Hultzen is healthy he could be an absolute steal. Willhelmsen would add another young power arm to our strengthening young pen. The others was just filler to be moved in other deals to help our club.

        People seem to think we would get a Walker type pitcher for Shark, and it isn’t gonna happen, so I have the mind set to get what we can, with an eye for young pitchers that can help this team this year and the years to come.

        • josh ruiter

          And I don’t think it is so much that people think we will get a Walker type for Shark. More it is a situation of the FO won’t trade Shark for less, so really any trade scenario that doesn’t feature a healthy prospect with ace potential we probably won’t be seeing a deal anyway.

    • Patrick W.

      If Montero for Bauer worked the Mariners would have already done it. At the end of last season the M’s were stretching out Wilhelmsen to start. They already have a SS better than Barney (considering all things) and they were so burned by playing Brendan Ryan there they won’t make that mistake again. The M’s have a surplus of Nate Schierholz types. With the exception of PaxTon you’ve mentioned all guys who are bench players for the Mariners (or perhaps career threateningly hurt) for the Cubs #1 starter, starting RF, swing man and best defender. It’s not a good trade for the Cubs.

  • StevenR

    That trade idea with Cleveland was Montero for Bauer. We could trow in Franklin and maybe grab one of their young arms in the monors, or another guy altogether. Maybe we can trade Montero, Franklin and maybe a Russell, to them for Bauer, and Micheal Brantley. We’d get a young pitcher with the ability to be a dominate TOR type, and an OF that isn’t a world beater, but he can hit, play defnse, and would give us some much needed speed at the top of the lineup. Bauer has great potential to be a TOR type arm, however he needs to have a pitching coach that can reach him, I think Bosio can. If so, and Hultzen gets back healthy, in a year or so our rotation would be full of good, young arms to grow with.

    Bauer, Hultzen, Paxson, Wood, CJ, and Pierce, along with whomever we add in this draft as well as a few of the kids we drafted the past few years could be a very good set of arms to go thru a season with.

  • josh ruiter

    Yeh, that trade proposal is preposterous on a few levels. Seattle doesn’t need a 2nd basemen (Barney), and his defense for dang sure doesn’t play up enough at SS to justify a big league job. Montero would be a waste of trade space (including him better make this a three team deal), Hultzen may never throw again (he isn’t rehabbing, he can’t throw yet), Franklin and Ackley are flawed players at best, and at positions we don’t have a future perceived need. We have a glut of premier infield prospects, we need pitching. Paxton I like, but at 25, is no sure thing to offer #2 upside for his career, though he does appear to be a decently solid lefty. So what you are proposing is giving up Shark (TOR talent) for a bunch of flawed players, broken players, and one potential mid rotation arm. And we are giving up three other major league players. They call that kind of deal “getting fleeced”. If Walker isn’t included, we ought to get that package back for just Shark at a minimum! Also end result of hoping on Bauer, Hultzen, Paxson to anchor a rotation is mighty high hopes for a crew of guys who are nothing certain by any stretch.

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