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jeff samardzija gatorade showerWhile his future with the Chicago Cubs remains mostly cloudy, Jeff Samardzija continues to do the one thing within his control that can lead to only good things for both Samardzija and the Cubs: pitch like a freaking beast.

Samardzija’s 1.62 ERA is second-best in baseball, behind only Johnny Cueto. He’s tied for 16th in baseball in WAR for starting pitchers, and he’s completely reinvented himself (in a good way). Pitching to contact early in the game, with a limited arsenal, and then saving his best stuff for later in the game, Samardzija has his groundball rate up to a robust 52.8%, 22nd in baseball. That’s a career high for him, and it’s ticked up every year since 2010 (and it’s gotten really good under Chris Bosio, who seems to be a groundball-inducing wizard).

That’s really all Samardzija can do at this point. As Jed Hoyer said yesterday, the Cubs and Samardzija’s camp are still having discussions about an extension, but very few believe that’s a legitimate possibility anymore. If not, the trade rumors are coming. Quickly.

Enter Bruce Levine, who reports that the Blue Jays had “top scout” Jim Beattie in to watch Samardzija last night. We recently heard that the Cubs have continued to scout top Blue Jays pitching prospect Marcus Stroman, so there’s at least a little bit of early-season smoke here. Add that to the considerable offseason Cubs/Blue Jays smoke, and it’s interesting. Keep in mind: those offseason rumors had the Cubs asking for both Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez (another top 100 type), and a third piece. It was an extremely aggressive ask, but completely justified by the circumstances. Would the Cubs stick to those guys midseason? We’ll see. Levine adds that the Cubs have been scouting Blue Jays prospects all the way back into Spring Training.

For his part, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulous isn’t biting on the rumors.

Anthopoulous tells Kin Fidlin that there are no “active trade talks,” that there hasn’t been any “exchange of names,” and that it’s generally too early to have any kind of real trade talks. Hoyer has said the same thing this week, so Anthopoulous’s denial is actually not technically a denial. He said there haven’t been any specific trade talks yet, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that were completely true.

But that doesn’t mean the scouting dance, and future contingency planning, isn’t taking place. If the Blue Jays – currently 16-17, 1.5 back in the AL East – stay in the race on into June, and still have a need for a starter, I think you will see these rumors really taking off.

Of course, if Samardzija keeps pitching like he has been, there will be about 10 other teams lining up to try and grab him by then.

  • Jon

    Shark is the guy you should be working feverishly to keep not trade. But that is the culture bestowed upon the Cubs now. We are essentially the pirates/royals of 10-15 years ago

    • ari gold

      Well our team has a salary cap till 2019 so you can’t keep everybody.

    • JB88

      Can we stop with this false dialogue that the Cubs AREN’T trying everything in their power not to trade him? We get that you have a very specific view of this front office and its attempts to put together a winning team, but not every trade is made because the FO is seeking to flip aging assets.

      • Jon

        “Cubs AREN’T trying everything in their power not to trade him?”

        Now, that’s a false dialog.

        • salesguy

          Both sides of the discussion are probably correct at this point. The cubs want to extend Jeff, but most likely the money, as well as a rumored NTC are most likely non starters, and if the return is a younger TOR candidate plus another top shelf pitching prospect, (both younger, and with more years of control) why wouldn’t you look to trade him. He’s 29, about to get very expensive, plus he’s pitching lights out this year, sell high. He’s an asset, and a luxury that the team in it’s current state, can probably get more productive value from the return, than from the asset itself.

    • Medicos

      JON; In complete agreement with u that Shark needs to remain a Cub. He the type of starter that a team could build a pitching staff around. For 20 consecutive years, the Pirates finished below .500. Last year they finally put together a roster that made the playoffs. Pittsburgh got awfully fortunate to have brought in Francisco Liariano. After getting some Cy Young votes in 2013, he now 0-3 with a 4.54 ERA and the Pirates are 8 1/2 games out at 13-20.

  • Big Daddy

    I think we should pay Shark what he wants. There have to be some veterans in that clubhouse when the kids get there, and Shark is a warrior. I just keep looking at all of the TJS among young pitchers, and I would rather keep the proven commodity.

  • JB88

    Your last sentence is the most interesting one to me. Realistically, Shark should pull in a haul significantly larger than Garza’s (1.5 years of control, draft pick compensation, lower salary, no injury history), but much of the Garza haul was a byproduct of one GM willing to pay the Cubs’ asking price.

    Will that happen this year? Hard to know, but the division races are shaping up the way you’d want to see for a seller’s market to develop. There are currently 19 teams that are either leading their divisions or within 3 games of first. If those numbers stick into early July, the Cubs might really be able to drive up the price for Samardzija.

  • CubsFaninMS

    I give the odds of us keeping Samardzija about 15% to 20%. We will get a haul for him and, unlike the Garza deal, the GM acquiring Samardzija will be smart in doing so. Look for impact talent to come our way. I like Samardzija and hope he stays, but consider it a remote possibility at this point. His comments of late are typically made by players who have a foot out the door already (note that I said “typically”).

  • bonger0493

    If shark keeps pitching this way into late June, I think the cubs are going to get a hell of a haul for him. We might be able to add a couple more top 100 prospects and maybe some more after that. I would love for them to agree on a reasonable extension for both sides, but it seems as if that ship has sailed. I’m looking forward to what we will add to our system this year.

    • http://iawrestle.com On The Farm

      “We might be able to add a couple more top 100 prospects and maybe some more after that.”

      It would be nice for the teams that said his winter asking price was too high, only to net a better trade with 1.5 years left of control – as opposed to the 2 years he would have provided had a team traded for him this winter.

  • Voice of Reason

    You don’t sign Shark because:

    1. You want veteran leadership in the clubhouse. If you feel that is a necessity then sign a veteran free agent for a million bucks and let him play occasionally, but otherwise sit on the bench and talk to the kids. A hell of a lot cheaper than signing a free agent starting pitcher for $100 million or whatever Shark seems to think he’s worth.

    2. Shark is a warrior. What does that mean? He has heart? He wants to win? He pitches when he is hurt? There are others just like shark who are “warriors”.

    3. You would rather keep a proven commodity. There are other teams with proven commodities that we might like to get in a trade for Shark. Could Shark get injured tomorrow? You bet! Could someone we trade for get hurt in the future? You bet.

    • Big Daddy

      1. What about a veteran who performs? I’m not talking about a Darnell Mcdonald type.

      2. I mean he goes out every fifth day and competes. He gives you around 200 innings every year.

      3. Look at how many of these top young studs are getting hurt.

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

        But as Brett just glowed about, he’s been pitching…awesome. So, he too likely moved his asking price up to at least $100M+ for 5 years. Cubs – likely said, $70M for 4 years. What’s 30M between “friends”…right?

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          If Shark wants 100 million + for 5 years, he’ll be gone. LONG gone

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

            Agree.

            Players coming to (or going from) Chicago must par down their compensation expectations…

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              In what world is Shark worth 22.5 million dollars on the open market??

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

                The brave new world of $6.2M/WAR and 100/5 is 20M. 22.5 suggests 112.5M. Didn’t we see a bunch of so-so pitchers get around 50M? If Shark dominates in 2014 -15, he’s gonna get some cash north of 90M+. Tanaka did without throwing 1 pitch in the MLB.

  • Darth Ivy

    Hopefully Stroman doesn’t go to the Cubs. That’ll be about 30 less wins for my fantasy team (according to Garza, at least)

  • NorthSideIrish

    I would be fine overpaying Samardzija if he’d drop the NTC request. His 5-and-10 rights would kick in in 2017, so it’s fairly unlikely he would get traded against his wishes anyway since it would be unusual to trade a player right after signing an extension. I do think it would take something more like 5 years and $80-90M, but it would be worth it to have a mid-rotation anchor in place for the rest of this decade.

    • Pat

      5 and 10 rights wouldn’t kick in until some time during the 2019 season. The ten years is based on service time, not since first appearance in the league.

  • another JP

    It seems like the NTC is the real problem with getting a deal done with Shark and I’m wondering if there couldn’t be a monetary solution to that… just offer some money to buy out the provision. Is that an allowable option?

    • Voice of Reason

      If the no trade clause is the reason for the Cubs hesitation then it’s a tell by the organization.

      They are not that stupid to think they are never going to have to give no trade clauses to players who produce at higher levels. If they are not willing to hand Shark a no trade then they don’t think that highly of him.

      I don’t understand the logic. I’d give him 5 years and $75 million and no trade. Lock him up if you can. He’s proving to be a #2 starter and PERHAPS a #1 in the not too distant future…

  • half_full_beer_mug

    Please tell me that what ever the Cubs get back for Jeff is either ML ready or at most a year away. If the return is all A and AA players it will be very disappointing.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      You can probably look at the return for Garza as your guide. The Cubs did pretty well getting some near future guys (Grimm, Ramirez), longer term guys (Edwards) and lottery tickets (Olt) in that deal. I suspect any Samardzija deal would be similarly diverse.

      • Jon

        Similarly diverse, but I hope much, much more impact talent. Shark is a year younger, has an extra year of control, and pitching at a higher level than Garza was at the time of the trade.

      • http://iawrestle.com On The Farm

        I wouldn’t mind a similar return, but I would hope that at least one of the pitchers coming in the trade would profile as SP more than RP. Ramirez and Edwards (at the time) seemed destined for the bullpen and Grimm was probably the best shot at being a starter of the bunch. I really like the Texas return, but having a guy who is looking like at least a #3 would be nice.

        Maybe I am reaching too high.

        • CubFan Paul

          “ut having a guy who is looking like at least a #3 would be nice”

          That’s still Grimm. Him being in the bullpen this year was a numbers game.

          Bullpenning for a year with Bosio tutelage will go a long way for 2015

          • http://iawrestle.com On The Farm

            That’s true, I still hold some pretty high hopes for Grimm transitioning back to a starter some day, but I would like to see some results from him that make me believe that he would more suited as a middle rotation guy, rather than a back end filler.

            I still think Ramirez could be a potential #4 or 5 guy too, I guess I was just hoping for Samardizja the Cubs get a guy who looks like a starter and can instantly help the rotation when he is called up.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          All three of those guys still have a pretty good chance of being starters long term.

      • half_full_beer_mug

        I understand that everyone loves that trade, but if we’re trading a top tier #3 (at the absolute worse) starter and all the immediate help is two bullpen arms (don’t we have enough of those) and two prayers….no thanks.

        • Truely Blue

          Half_Full, I agree 100% with your comments. A proven, major league, starting pitcher is worth much more than 2 bullpen arms and 2 “iffys”. Garza was a jerk and a head case unlike Shark. Pay him and keep him. The Big Four prospects so highly touted are now down to Bryant. Prospects are great but proven major league talent is much better!

        • willis

          I agree too. Trading Shark and not extending him is a mistake. But, with no money and no desire to throw in a NTC, well, he’s gone and they are not willing to budge on it. The return needs to be better than Garza’s though. Better pitcher, control, durable. We’ll see what happens but regardless of what they get back, it won’t add up to what Shark could give the cubs going forward.

          • ajbulls23

            Looking at Sharks age and trying to predict when the Cubs kids will be ready to hit the Bigs, I think trading Shark now, if you can get the right deal, is the smart play.

  • CubsinCarolina

    I would love to see the Rockies stay in contention and have their name start popping up in trade rumors. Being able to possibly net Eddie Butler and a David Dahl/Rossell Herrera type is enticing to me.

    • davidc

      Agreed. Butler/Dahl is probably my second favorite expectation as of now, right behind Sanchez/Norris.

    • http://waittilnextyear.net WTNYPodcast

      I’ve been watching Herrera play here in Asheville the last couple years. He was fantastic last year, but his stats don’t really stand out before that. And this year, he’s been pretty pedestrian in high A. (I know…..sample size.) I’d want to wait until he’s produced at the higher levels before going after a guy like him.

  • David

    Lets get the Mets involved. Shark for Syndergaard in some fashion. From the Mets perspective, they are 2 games back now, 16 – 16. You add a low cost Shark and Harvey to their 2015 team and they look pretty damn good.

    I do recall Theo/ Jed saying that any pitching acquired would be one that could start a World Series game (paraphrasing).

    • Bilbo161

      Syndergaard would be very difficult I think. He may be the best pitcher in the minors considering Bradley still walks a lot of hitters and Gray is in only his first full season in the minors. I’d be very pleased if we could get him.

      • David

        Lester, Syndergaard, Wood, Arriata, Jackson, Johnson, Grimm/ Rameriz: 7 starting pitching options for 2015… if we pull out the checkbook for Lester & perhaps sweeten the pot to get Syndergaard. This HAS to put us in wild card contention in 2015. Yes? No???

        • Bilbo161

          Certainly could depending on development, but our biggest problem at the MLB level has been offense. I wouldn’t want to weaken the future there by trading prospects before we know what we have. Shark should be enough to trade for an ace prospect. Though I guess that depends on the sweetener you have in mind.

  • itzscott

    I’m expecting the return to be somewhere between what the Mets got for Dickey and the Cubs got for Garza.

  • davidc

    If Stroman does well in the majors, why would the Jays be willing to trade him? I’d be thrilled with a package built around Sanchez and Norris, hopefully Shark keeps dealing and the Jays stay competitive.

    • Darth Ivy

      young pitchers seem to be more up and down. Even if they’re really good, their inexperience provides more risk of having like 3 blow up starts in a row, where a veteran should be more stable. And the rookie will have his adjustment periods, while the league already knows the vet and the vet knows the league. So you know what you’re gonna get more with the vet

  • vcardamone

    I know this is a little late but should the Cubs have interest in a trade sending Shark and getting Joc Pederson and Zach Lee in return? This is just my own idea but I know the Dodgers do not have room for Pederson.

    • Chad

      Yes the cubs should have interest, but I doubt that the Dodgers do.

    • another JP

      I was just thinking Pederson would be a great player to have but I’m thinking the Dodgers would rather unload some of their existing high priced OF and plug him in at less $$. The Cubs could use him right now.

      • Chad

        Absolutely, the cubs would love to have him and I would be very excited about that deal and Zach Lee would be a great 2nd piece to that deal.

        It is possible they could want an arm as Kershaw and Greinke are very good, but Samardzija would be an upgrade over Beckett, Haren, and Maholm, Even when Ryu gets healthy Samardzija would make them much stronger.

        Could the Giants be dealing for a SP? Shark is probably too much for them, but they have some potential guys the cubs would like. They need a SP, but they rarely are involved in moving prospects. I’d like to get Krick and Susac.

  • NorthSideIrish

    BP did a Mock Draft of the top 10 picks and have the Cubs taking Jeff Hoffman at 1.4.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23506

    In the write up, Professor Parks says that Hoffman profiles as a #2 SP and calls him both “arguably the top all-around arm in the class” and “perhaps the safest bet to bump his head on his tool-based ceiling”.

    Obviously a lot of concerns about Hoffman’s recent arm troubles, but Parks says that the reports he got were that Hoffman had some fluid build up and the team was just being cautious.

    • jp3

      Sweet, we’ll get another pitcher with arm trouble history that we have to convert to a really good bullpen arm…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      My biggest hold up on Hoffman is the medicals. If the doctors sign off on it, I’d be OK with im at four.

      And if those medicals mean he agrees to a somewhat underslot deal allowing the Cubs to score maybe a higher caliber player in Round 2, I’d be OK with that as well. I don’t expect it though.

      • NorthSideIrish

        @ECUBaseball RHP Jeff Hoffman will miss the rest of the season because of an arm injury. Projected Top 5 pick. #mlbdraft #ECU

        Doesn’t sound encouraging…

        • NorthSideIrish

          keithlaw ‏@keithlaw 46s
          RHP Jeff Hoffman of @ECUBaseball will have Tommy John surgery next week. Had been a probable top 4 pick in the draft before injury.

          Even less promising…

          • willis

            Yeah please stay away from that guy.

          • JB88

            Now you just hope that the Sox get scared and select Jackson …

          • JB88

            Thank god for Hoffman’s sake that he is a junior …

        • another JP

          And there you have it… Rodon, Kolek, and Aiken will probably be gone. Beede probably the favorite at #4, right?

          • cubbiekoolaid2015

            I don’t think so. Jason Mcleod is said to really like Jackson. If those three are gone, I think Jackson is the pick.

            • another JP

              That works for me- doesn’t sound like Jackson will stay at catcher and projects for the OF.

            • Head and Heart

              Probably shouldn’t be the Cubs at 4 but I would still take a long look at Hoffman. TJS is a big question mark obviously but that’s still a high upside arm. The team drafting him can control his rehab and ease him back. And since most pitchers end up with TJS anyway you are getting a head start on the process. Instead of drafting an arm, having them in your system for 2-4 years and then having TJS.

              • jp3

                If he’s (Hoffman) drafted in the 1st round at some point why on earth would he go back to Greenville? What in the world would he have to gain by going back for his senior year when he can’t pitch? I guess an education, wonder if his major is worth it?

                • Head and Heart

                  Technically he could redshirt and then pitch as a senior.

                  • jp3

                    Hmm, how does the redshirt in baseball work? He’d totally not be able to play at all in college next year then he’d play the following year? How old would he be by his next draft time and I’m not sure I wouldn’t want the best surgeons and rehab therapists working on my million dollar arm. Can’t get those docs in college, surely he’d be breaking some NCAA rule by employing all the proper care he’d need unless his family has lots of money to spend on that.

                    • Head and Heart

                      To be fair I don’t know how redshirting works in baseball. I also can’t claim to know all of the rules of the NCAA. But I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that a guy can’t find great doctors at a University. East Carolina does have a lot of medical programs. I wouldn’t go back to school if I was him. But if a team with a spotty track record for bringing back pitchers from TJS drafted me I would certainly consider my options.

          • NorthSideIrish

            Grant Holmes is another name…he’s rising fast up the boards. And if Rodon and Kolek go 1-2, not sure if the White Sox take a HS pitcher. They could take Jackson or Beede leaving Aiken for the Cubs (thanks Moody!)

  • another JP

    It’s common knowledge that the Cubs are looking for pitching talent in return for Shark, Hammel, or any player they send off in a trade, but I’m wondering if they aren’t reducing their pool of potential trading partners or players by doing so.

    I believe the Cubs really need to focus on how to address their pathetic OF production.

    As it stands today the Cubs have the 4th best pitching rotation based on WAR value and they have other options awaiting at Iowa and Tennessee if there were some trades to be made. The outfield is a disaster area and if we are waiting for the dream scenario of Bryant, Almora, and Soler to emerge that might take three years and still not be what is necessary.

    The Pirates have the worst starting pitching in the majors right now and it would be nice to have Polanco, but I don’t believe there’s any way Pittsburgh lets him go. Unless the Cubs go the FA route there doesn’t look like many good options until the prospects arrive.

    • Chad

      Yes they want pitching, but they want the best talent available. An example earlier was the dodgers. If the dodgers were to approach them about Samardzija but would only include Joc Pedersen I think the cubs would take him in a heart beat depending on the other pieces.

      • another JP

        That would be awesome if it would happen because Polanco and Pederson are the best outfield prospects available right now by far. I’m obviously not including Tavares because no chance the Cubs would deal with the Cards for him.

        • Chad

          And I think Tavares is overrated. Buxton is probably as highly rated as those guys, but the twins can’t even be in the discussion.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      If Soler can get it going and get promoted to AAA we may be in a situation out of ST next year where we can start the season with Bryant and Soler in the corners. With Lake in a platoon in center we could get some decent offensive production there. But the way things are looking at third base I’m not too sure that they don’t give Bryant a look there when the roster expands in September. How the infield shakes out is still very much in question. As far as this outfield goes somebody needs to take out the garbage.

  • Norm

    Cubs should give Samardzija 8 years, NTC, $25M per year, because Jon wants the Cubs to do whatever it takes to keep him.

    • Jon

      25 per year seems a bit steep but I could really give two shits about the NTC. If Shark lives up to the contract you would have no reason to trade him and if he doesn’t he would be tough to move NTC or NTC.

      • Fishin Phil

        I’ll see your two shits and raise you one.

      • mjhurdle

        “25 per year seems a bit steep but I could really give two shits about the NTC.”

        At least until they give Shark a NTC, then Shark struggles, then you would be on here every day posting about how stupid the FO was to give Shark a NTC when he clearly didn’t deserve it and now the “rebuild” is pushed back to 2045.

        It is easy to say now that you don’t mind the NTC. But if they gave it out, along with a lot of money, and Shark performs to what his career stats indicate, people would start freaking out everywhere.

        • Jon

          If he struggles, with that deal, you aren’t moving him no matter what. But continue on with your little hyperbole.

          • mjhurdle

            How is that hyperbole?
            Are you trying to say that it is unrealistic for teams to eat a large portion of an over-paid, under-performing player in return for a low level minor league player? Or are you just continuing your Blackhawk1963 routine?

        • BT

          This is a point that seems to elude a lot of people. The very same people who spend half their time screaming “Why don’t we sign SOMEBODY, anybody, to at least show we are trying to be competitive!!!!!”, spend the other half of their time bitching about the contract we gave Edwin Jackson.

    • Chad

      My pitch to Shark would be a 5/75 contract that starts next year, buying out 4 FA years. 5/70 if he wants it to start now.

      I hate NTC but I would give one to Shark just because it keeps a TOR in Chicago and it makes it a little easier to attract a FA pitcher I would think.

  • Jorbert Solmora

    Give me Sanchez, Tirado, and Norris and you’ve got yourself a deal.

  • http://BN Sacko

    I have several reasons on keeping Shark that I’ve talked about enough not to repeat right now. If a trade is going to happen I would just like to know what the true differences are between the two. If Shark is asking something ridiculus I’d like to know what it really is or does anyone really know what it is. Then I could favor a trade.
    Theo talked last year about the distraction already..so what is really going on?

  • SenorGato

    I could go either way on Samardzija, it makes sense to either extend or trade him. I just want to see an outcome. My thing about the trades is that we’re too married to pitching prospects only. I think the FO would gladly take a premium bat prospect at OF or C (Gary muhfckin Sanchez folks).

    1 – The draft this year offers pitchers at the top. By pitching I mean Tyler Beede or Brady Aiken, but that’s besides the point.. Alex Jackson is the only hitter who has some shot at being worth 4. That is a big deal – the FO clearly has a thing for getting premium bats when they can and the draft this year doesn’t really offer that unless they love Jackson’s bat. Samardzija is an opportunity to land the bat prospect they probably won’t land in the draft.

    2 – As hot as Castillo’s start makes him seem – he’s still neither a premium bat or glove at catcher and he’s only a couple of years away from pay raises AND decline. His career .340+ BABIP isn’t going to hold. A little bit of foresight is all that is necessary to see that the catcher position here isn’t locked up for long.

    3 – Almora and Soler are the main OF prospects and neither one is currently enjoying a breakout, to put it nicely.

    4 – Pretty much every premium pitching prospect in other systems has been hit with injury. Doesn’t mean you automatically don’t want them so much as you want to avoid making one the centerpiece of a deal. Even double dipping – landing a Stroman and Sanchez to headline – is less appealing to me than landing a premium bat and a higher quality arm (my personal favorite combo being Sanchez and Banuelos).

  • another JP

    With all the talk about the Blue Jays interest in Shark there are other clubs that will likely need SP if they stay in a division race… Colorado and Baltimore are two such teams. And both have some young pitchers as well as OF talent that might be of interest. Theo already has a past trade relationship with Bmore, so Gausman, Schoop, or Harvey would be some arms that might be available. Also, Dariel Alvarez is an OF that I think the Cubs should take a shot after.

    Colorado doesn’t have much in the way of pitching but they have some interesting OF talent that might make sense- Kyle Porter is a guy I like but the Cubs might want Tapia or even consider Dahl- if the kid could get his act together.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Colorado has Butler. He’d be a nice starter to a Shark package. Gray would be too, but there are some signing day complexities there…. if Colorado were even willing to deal him.

      • SenorGato

        Butler isn’t bad as a piece but what else do the Rockies have to offer beyond that? Quick glance at their system and I’m not impressed.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Dahl is very good. Tapia and Herrera are also very good prospects, but pretty raw

          • another JP

            And Dahl might be a good buy low candidate right now given some of his past behavioral issues.

          • SenorGato

            None of those really does it for me, especially considering Butler is already the second best the Rockies wold have to offer. Dahl comes close but not eager to take on a guy who just lost a season to injury and attitude without an elite guy in front of him.

            • another JP

              I’m being a bit conservative in who the Cubs might get because I don’t believe any team will just unload their top two or three prospects for Shark.

              As good as that Garza deal with Texas looks, it’s still not 100% that it will work out for the best. Olt needs to improve, Edwards has to continue improving and show some stamina, and Ramirez/Grimm are gaining experience as we speak.

              I’d really like to get someone like Pederson but I don’t think the FO would just settle for him if Shark were the target and I’m pretty certain LA won’t give much else in return. Maybe the Baltimore or Jays options are the best. Right now I think the FO is thinking that Shark might be best if he were resigned and I agree… have to get past the NTC though.

        • another JP

          Kyle Porter would be a good outfielder to include in a trade with Colorado. Maybe Shark isn’t the player to deal to Colorado anyway… Hammel would probably also interest them but then Butler would likely not be available.

          • SenorGato

            Parker isn’t bad but I don’t really think he’s Samardzija good either.

      • another JP

        Yeah, I thought Butler would be a possibility if the deal were for Shark.

        The OF is an area that I fear is not getting proper attention and it’s doubtful that there’s anyone outside of Bryant in the organization that projects as an impact talent at those positions. And KB is still a 3B. Soler and Almora are a ways off and the Vitters/Andreoli/Rademacher types would not have a high probability of helping out. Perhaps Alcantara can move out there but he has to master AAA first. The 2014 first year draft is obviously not going to bring any usable outfielders for the near future.

        Unless the Cubs can land a top notch talent in a trade this season I believe the only way they’ll be able to get an impact OF is through FA. There really doesn’t seem to be a large number of pure OF in the minors that project as core talent.

  • Bilbo161

    I like the idea of a bat headlining the trade with some lower level lottery ticket type pitchers included if we cant get the TOR type guy we are looking for. I think the penchant for holding on to the TOR type pitchers is a pendulum that has swung too far and is risky due to the injury issues that high velocity arms tend to have. If Jeff keeps up this performance I’m sure the FO will get their moneys worth and then some.

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