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jeff samardzija gatorade showerAlthough it remains too early to expect any kind of trade action – even after the sad Jose Fernandez news – it’s probably not too early to peg the Chicago Cubs as midseason sellers. And, as we’ve discussed ad infinitum, the Cubs’ biggest trade chip is Jeff Samardzija, who remains under team control through 2015, but with whom the Cubs haven’t been able to come to terms on an extension.

Dayn Perry writes at CBS about the possibility of a Jeff Samardzija trade later this year, and looks at the contenders who satisfy a handful of yeah-that-makes-sense criteria: the Braves, the Orioles, the Mariners, the Rangers, the Blue Jays, the Angels, and the Yankees.

You can read Perry’s piece for his thoughts on each team, but I can see immediate problems with a few of them. The Angels simply don’t have the ammo to get Samardzija, full stop. It’s really rare that you can say that about a team, but, in their case, it looks to be true. The Yankees are only slightly ahead of the Angels in that category, and, while I’m sure they could put together a digestible package, I doubt they’d be the Cubs’ first choice of trade partner.

Then you’ve got the Rangers, who have the pieces to get a deal done, and definitely have the desire to pick up a guy like Samardzija … but would they really deal with the Cubs again? In some ways, that’s just a fan narrative question – if a trade is worth it, you do it, and who cares with whom you’re trading? – but, at the same time, I do wonder whether the Rangers would be wary about giving up whatever hand-picked prospects the Cubs would want, given how effective they have been thus far at grabbing some of the best. (On the other hand, I could make the argument – based on performance or injury – that none of the six prospects the Rangers have lost to the Cubs (seven if you count the Geovany Soto trade) in the last two years is a guy they are absolutely beating themselves up over losing.)

That leaves the Braves, Orioles, Mariners and Blue Jays. All strike me as plausible (and I’d throw in the Giants, A’s, Royals, and Rockies as similarly plausible destinations), and all would have the pieces to make a deal work. And if you don’t hack out the Rangers and Yankees, that’s 1/3 of baseball in a position to want, and to be able to acquire, Samardzija.

The good news in an early exercise like this is that it’s shaping up to be a pretty robust market to which the Cubs could try and sell Samardzija (and Jason Hammel). It’s still very early, though, and we’ll see some shifting as May turns to June.

  • David

    In order of preference, Id push for a deal centered around getting: Grey from Colorado (he can be traded in July, right), Syndergaard from NY or an established MLB hitter.

    • Brocktoon

      We’re not getting Gray unless he undergoes TJS in the next couple months.

      • Brocktoon

        And even then we won’t.

  • MightyBear

    I trade Hammel. I don’t trade the Shark yet.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Depending on the circumstances, I suspect they will do the same thing they did last year. Dish out the “1-year playing better than he ever has guy” out pretty early (like they did with Feldman) and keep the Samardzija trade chip (like they did with Garza) until close to the trade deadline. That also allows them time to negotiate further with Samardzija, although my sentiments are that they will not get a deal done. I put the odds of Samardzija re-signing at about 30% (a touch higher than a mentioned a few days ago).

      • ssckelley

        Remember I think Garza would have been traded the previous season had he not gotten hurt. It all comes down to if another team is willing to meet the Cubs asking price on Samardzija, and obviously they have that price set pretty high as it should be.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    I am really starting to have a change of heart here. As mentioned in the thread about run differential, I am feeling that we need a young Aramis Ramirez type who is already in the major leagues. Olt was the Rangers #1 prospect at one time and then got hurt and we took a chance.

    Samardzija is much better than Garza. I think we keep him unless we get someone who can step in the lineup and project to be a middle of the order RBI type fairly quickly.

    Couple our pitching with a two more middle of the order legitimate hitters and we would be a much different team. I am not in such a hurry to dump our pitchers for a lottery ticket on some kid in the minors.

    regards,
    5412

    • jp3

      5412 I totally agree, I did like the idea of selling everything and loading up the minors this year and last but after seeing some of the prospects we got not setting the world on fire I like having a known commodity. Other than paying a king’s ransom to the FA pitchers next year who would we get that’s >or = Shark at his price? Probably nobody, we should stick it out and try to contend next year by adding a bat or 2.

    • ssckelley

      I agree with this, I don’t want the Cubs getting a haul of prospects for Samardzija unless that is the best deal they can make. Ideally I would rather sign Samardzija to an extension but if he is dead set on being a free agent then I hope the Cubs can pick up someone that can help them in 2015. To me it would be a big set back for the Cubs to trade their top starter for a bunch of top prospects that are projected to arrive in 2016, 17, or 18. The Cubs have a top farm system now, time to upgrade the MLB team.

      • willis

        I also agree with this. Even though the organization is ranked highly in the minors, there still aren’t any impact arms that will be ready soon. Edwards was a maybe and he’s hurt. You do everything you can to hold onto an arm like Shark, and build around him, not bring in a bunch of maybe young pieces just to set this team back even more at the major league level.

        Also, for those holding onto hope that trading Shark is no big deal because they’ll sign a pitcher in the offseason of his calibur…stop. The Cubs aren’t going to spend that kind of coin. Don’t set yourself up for another disappointing offseason.

        • Karl Groucho

          The problem is that the second point contradicts the first, right? If we aren’t going to spend the $$$ to get an arm of his caliber this offseason, we’re not going to spend the $$$ to keep him around.

          I suppose there’s the angle that we keep him through 2015 and maybe he’s more convinced of an extension and we have a clearer picture of finances at the time. But that’s a lot of ifs on top of his arm staying attached and him continuing to be a valuable piece into his mid-30s, the age we would be signing him for if we agreed to an extension.

          • willis

            Not really a contradiction…I’m saying what the team should do (but won’t) and what so many seem to think the team will do (but won’t).

    • Zoolander

      How about trading Samardzija this season for a few great prospects and then re-sign him when he becomes available as a free agent? By that time the Cubs should be a much more competitive team and will hopefully have the financial means to pay him market price.

      • Spoda17

        ala Cliff Lee… so it does happen… but rare

      • Brocktoon

        I think the same issues with the Cubs will exist after the 2015 season that exist now. Samardzija isn’t going to go back to the team he lost a million games with.

        • Brocktoon

          Hit reply too soon, “…and the Cubs aren’t going to pay open market price for him”

          • Karl Groucho

            That’s what it really comes down to. We want the type of hometown discount a player gives when he’s happy with where he is — when there’s a clubhouse that doesn’t see a ton of turnover, when the team wins, when he has personal reasons to stay. To Smardja we don’t offer any of these positives so, unless we offer something that tops his expected market value, he’s not going to bother taking it unless and until he hits the market and finds out he overprojected.

            (A player could of course sign an extension out of injury concern, but Smardja has rejected that notion out of principle.)

          • mjhurdle

            Why are you so sure the Cubs wouldn’t pay Open-Market price for him?
            Are there any other examples of where the Cubs backed out of negotiations because they didn’t want to pay openmarket value?

            Just off the top of my head, they were willing to pay open-market prices for Sanchez, and he took that offer back to Detroit.
            They were willing to pay Jackson open-market value.
            They appeared willing to pay Tanaka open-market value (though I don’t know exactly what they offered) before the Yankees blew everyone away.

            Not saying that the Cubs definitely would, but just trying to understand where all this “no way they pay him the money’ line of thinking is coming from.

            • Karl Groucho

              I’d think if they were willing to do so at this point, we wouldn’t hear reports of them being so far apart. The Cubs hold all the cards, though, and don’t have a ton to lose by waiting this out — especially if he’s already demanding a deal comparably to Bailey’s.

              It’s more that as of now they aren’t offering to pay what he would likely receive on the open market.

              • mjhurdle

                My question was more in reference to him signing after becoming a free agent.
                What he would get on the open market right now is not as relevant, because he is not eligible to be on the open-market.
                In fact, I would think that is the reason they are so far apart. Jeff probably wants an ‘open-market’ contract (which is expected), and the Cubs don’t just want to hand away the 2 years of control for nothing (as they shouldn’t).
                I don’t think that the Cubs would mind paying open-market prices for Shark if he was an open-market pitcher. And I don’t think the fact that they didn’t give him what he would make if he was on the market tomorrow reflects on their FA signing practices.

                • Karl Groucho

                  Yeah, I misunderstood Brocktoon’s point. Can’t really say what they’d do in a hypothetical 2015 offseason.

                • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                  The biggest disconnect is the 2 years of control remaining.

                  Considering how fragile a pitchers arm is, if Jeff wants open market payments, the Cubs aren’t going to risk 3 years of FA pricing any sooner than they have to.

                  Worst case scenario (outside of his elbow bursting into flames) is the Cubs hold him next year, they contend and all they get is a comp pick.

            • Brocktoon

              -Because they’ve never even pursued a pitcher at Samardzija’s age on the open market.
              -Because when you lose a FA to another team, (especially when you are “blown away”) you didn’t pay market value
              -Because Epstein has made comments alluding to the fact that Jackson was a mistake.

              The FO appears to have their idea of what a player is worth and when the player won’t accept that they move on.

              What leads you to believe the Cubs would pay open market value on a guy they can’t come to an agreement with when they have full control over him?

              • mjhurdle

                Something that lends me to believe that the Cubs would pay Shark open-market value is that they have two instances of offering open-market value to pitchers (Jackson and Sanchez) and on reported open-market value (Tanaka).

                This doesn’t mean i KNOW they would do that, but it indicates to me that, if they liked Shark and wanted him, they would be willing to pay for him.

                The fact that Epstien hints that signing Jackson was a mistake is more a reflection of Jackson’s poor performance than simply ‘it was a mistake to spend money’.
                And i think you can offer open-market value and still get blown away if one team goes over market-value. If 4-5 teams were all in the Yankees area, and the Cubs were significantly below, then I would agree that it was not market value.
                But when all the league is in one range, and the Yankees (from all reports) blown all other offers away, i think that is an example of someone paying OVER market value to land an asset they needed, not an example of the rest of the league offering below market value. In that case i would agree. I have a hard time seeing this front office offering more than market value for someone.

                • Brocktoon

                  I think we have wildly different definitions of what market value is.

          • 5412

            Hi,

            I hope that is temporary. Maybe not today, but there should come a time where they are willing to do so. Perhaps when they work it out with roof tops and have some sort of TV deal in place.

            In other words you are right today but hope that is not a permanent thing.

            Samardzija wants to come back, or at least says so. Maybe they have a secret deal to wait until the other stuff shakes out.

            wishful thinking.

            Regards,
            5412

    • Brocktoon

      Mike Olt has been a 0 fWAR player this season, has the lowest LD% in the majors compared to all qualifiers, and has a HR/FB rate that is likely to drop. Him hitting some balls hard against subpar pitching last night doesn’t change his outlook much.

  • bigCEE

    Joc Pederson from the Dodgers would be sweet.

    • Chad

      I think Pederson would be a good get but that would have to be coupled with someone else like a Zach Lee that is a bit further away. You’d like to see some pitching in return, but if the cubs really do plan on spending this winter on pitching then get as many ready to go position players as you can and have a cheap defense behind the costly pitching.

      I still agree with most that the preference would be to extend Shark, but if you can’t make him do it, and you can’ break the bank for him, because as good as he is pitching this year, he is no Scherzer, Lester, or even Shields.

      • Head and Heart

        Without looking again I seem to remember that the potential arms available vastly exceed the bats in the upcoming free agent market. If that is true it makes more sense to deal Shark for a bat and some prospects and trade Hammel for a bat. Then try and sign pitching the off season. Which of course back fires if you don’t land some of those arms. That makes more sense then keeping pitching now since bats aren’t really available in the FA market.

        • Chad

          You can always flip the prospects you get in return for Shark for pitching or an OF etc. if you can’t get it done through FA or trade for an ML ready guy as well.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          The draft arms are years away and will have little effect on the pitching market…in fact the rash of tj injuries should really improve the market for sellers

          • Head and Heart

            I was not talking about the draft. I didn’t mention the draft once in that post.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              Oops…need reading glasses.

        • Northside Neuman

          The Cubs will have plenty of payroll to spend this offseason, especially if they trade Shark and Hammel.

          Soriano – $14
          Hammel – $6
          Shark – $6
          Schierholtz – $5
          Veras – $4
          Fujikawa – $5

          $40 million off the books before salary bumps, three of the 6 roster spots can or have been filled internally and cheaply. Soriano disappears into Chicago baseball lore and we have quite a bit of money to throw at free agency to fill Hammel and Samardjiza rotation spots.

          • 5412

            Hi,

            Take part of the Soriano money and give it to Shark. Like it or not, quality starters cost a lot of money.

            regards,
            5412

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

            2015 starts with 31.6M on guarantees (Rizzo, Castro, Soler, Jackson): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ah4PW47PiAi-dDlFeEJUS3YxRXhpQjJ3VHBkb3czMHc&output=html

            B-R has them with 4 guarantee contracts; 2 options to exercise.
            Kyuji Fujikawa will not get 5.5M. Same with Veras, probably. So that’s 10M+ not to pick up. Plenty of MR help out there.

            Frankly, of the ARB cases, only, Shark, Castillo, Strop, and Wood are locks. Assuming Shark is still here….(10M plus in ARB)

            So you got 57-60M of actual payroll costs on 16 players… in 2015. At minimum, 35M in new payroll in 2015 on 4-5 players PLUS 3-5 promotions from minors are needed: SP, 2 RP, 1-2 Bats.

            Should be interesting…

            • Brocktoon

              I expect Valbuena to be offered arb as I don’t see Baez or Bryant breaking camp with the big league team and somebody will need to play 3B. Best case, for the 3M or so he’d get he’s more than passable as a utility guy.

              I expect Shark to be dealt, leaving us with Wood, Jackson, and… as our rotation.

              That leaves a lot of money, but you still have no OF and you have 2 starting pitchers.

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

                Let’s you know the holes that all the prospects must fill…or else it doesn’t work out too well.

      • ced landrum

        Zach Lee shouldn’t be too far away he is pitching in AAA right now and has been a top 100 prospect for 4 years.

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

        Brett Anderson *
        Josh Beckett
        Chad Billingsley *
        Joe Blanton *
        Johnny Cueto *
        Jorge De La Rosa
        Yovani Gallardo *
        Jason Hammel
        J.A. Happ *
        Dan Haren *
        Roberto Hernandez
        Luke Hochevar
        Hisashi Iwakuma
        Kyle Kendrick
        Hiroki Kuroda
        John Lannan
        Colby Lewis
        Jon Lester
        Justin Masterson
        Brandon McCarthy
        Brandon Morrow *
        Jeff Niemann
        Jake Peavy
        Wandy Rodriguez
        Max Scherzer
        James Shields
        Edinson Volquez

        * Options ; not inclusive, but a few names…

        Seems you can find 2-3 mid-rotation starters every season.

        Say the Cubs could have an average SP rotation; build an ELITE BP from whatever plan is to come; and get a well above average offense. That seems doable, and fast.

        Need a closer than is lights out, like Rivera sandman out…

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I like this thinking…really gives us the quickest route to success under the projected financial constraints (110 – 120 million dollar payroll) while keeping our cost controlled slugging in place. It may be no coincidence that the FO is testing out the extra-large bullpen so we can piece it with average starters and compete in 2015.

        • Zoolander

          A nice list of starting pitchers to consider signing as free agents next off-season. Would you agree that if the Cubs do NOT sign any of the top 5 names on this list this Winter that the team is not going to be a championship caliber team anytime soon?

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

            That’s the two-piece, $two-billion$ dollar question: the business operations side – revenue, ballpark, rooftops, TV deal – are not coming together very cohesively. Do you hear them saying its working out to planning? Last year, it was about clearance and city approvals…now, rooftops and tv deals.

            Meanwhile, baseball operations are being asked to “do more with less resources,” the money allotted, and this is very much tied to their prior year record, and goes to the same things all other MLB teams do: June draft and July IFAs (that are lotto tickets on 16 -18yr olds – since too no 17-21 year old male alive is considered particularly responsible, or responsive to lectures). So, the Cubs have about 15M to spend on very raw, if talented, types.

            To the question: A FA starter under/at 10M per season for 2-3 seasons seems their bank account. They did save 13.65M plus the assumed bid of 20M/year for Tanaka. So they should have 30M+ plus to spend on FA in 2015 without any doubt; maybe a total of $75-100M for 2015-2017 new contracts, if I was to hazard guesses, without all the new revenues….yet to come.

            That’s the long answer, albeit fuzzy one.

        • YourResidentJag

          That’s why I’m interested to see if we can get Straily from the A’s for Hammels.

    • Head and Heart

      DJ Peterson from Seattle would be sweet too. Especially if Paxton comes with him!!

  • aa.

    The most important thing remains Samardzija pitching well. At this point, as long as he does that, I don’t see the Cubs losing in this situation.

  • Jon

    So where do we start with the Rangers, Joey Gallo?

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Alfaro, Odor, Gallo, Luke Jackson all possible names

      • Jon

        yeah, not to be a hater but I thought it was a weak article by Perry. He did nothing to address the actual logistics of how each team could get a deal done. The Mariners? Outside of Walker, they have nothing we should want.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Yeah he didn’t go in depth at all, but sometimes with articles for places like CBS, there’s a word count so hard to hate on him too bad. He pretty much just pointed out what teams need a good starting pitcher rather than looking into which teams might be a good match for the Cubs. I do like James Paxton though, and there are some nice lower level arms. DJ Peterson is solid too. Not the best fit by any means, but they could probably make something work.

          • Head and Heart

            I think Seattle would work just fine. Particularly if the Cubs could get them to “throw in” Hultzen. I’d have no problem waiting on him to come back from his arm surgery. The Cubs seem to be pretty good at helping these kinds of guys come back from injury. Plus Bosio is a hell of a pitching coach.

            • geo

              You can argue that in certain cases , but why hasn’t he worked his magic on Edward jackson?

              • Head and Heart

                Good question. I don’t have an answer. Maybe Jackson isn’t very coachable? Maybe he is but they can’t figure out what to try and work on with him. Maybe Bosio’s approach only work with certain types of pitchers. I have no idea.

          • YourResidentJag

            Is Paxton healthy?

            • Brocktoon

              On the DL now, supposed to throw a mound session soon I believe. If he comes back healthy, I don’t understand why Seattle would trade him.

              • Head and Heart

                Cause they don’t need a lefty that throws 95 miles per hour. With like 5 more year of team control. He’s surplus to their requirements. Okay?

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

          Walker’s prospect value is greater than Samardzija’s. At his best, Shark is a 15WAR player going forward – 3WARx5 years; assuming he actually doesn’t decline per usual post 30 years of age. (Assuming the team extends him.)

          Walker (FA in 2020) if he’s legit – as we think he is- probably 3.5WARx5 seasons plus, and is much, much cheaper. RIsk of injury: Walker, being just injured, and we know that increases his risk going forward (as with Paxton, Hultzen, but their lower ceiling and prospect rankings). So 40% chance Taijuan Walker is fare worse off as a shoulder capsule issue…???? http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/05/12/3191384/walker-paxton-feel-stronger.html

          Even the Mariners FO probably has some inkling to this basic math.

          I think it is hard to project the pitchers – or their injury likelihoods – so while trading Samardiza should get 1 pitching prospect, a solid near-MLB ready guy (AAA or part-time youngster) is a preferable option to me. Need offense…pitching is only a TJ away from disappearing for a season.

          Else, you take 4 or 5 lotto tickets (Garza trade) and plausibly hit something. I think it is time to get a real bat.

          • twinkletoez

            JP
            I think the question here is – is Samardzija a 3 War player or a 5 War player? He seems to think he is the 5 war player and the Cubs want a return worth a 5 war player though he has not performed like a 5 war player. Though he already is already worth 2.4 war this season.

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

              Samardzija has ability to be 4WAR+, most days – but would you risk those extra $$$ on him being just 2.5WAR? If he wants the 5WAR – that’s much closer to Grienke $$ than it is Edwin Jackson $$. The compromise is….what Shark is willing to take? And what are the Cubs willing to make as their final offer?

      • ssckelley

        Can we add Michael Choice to that list?

  • BennyTheJet

    Braves: Lucas Sims, Alex Wood and Cody Martin

    Orioles: Dylan Bundy/Kevin Gausman and Hunter Harvey

    Mariners: Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton

    Blue Jays: Marcus Stroman, and Aaron Sanches

    Giants: Kyle Crick, Edwin Escobar, and Clayton Blackburn

    A’s: Only top prospect would be Addison Russell so idk

    Royals: Kyle Zimmer, Sean Manaea, and Bubba Starling

    Rockies: Jon Gray, and Trevor Story

    These are some of the guys i think we have to aim for in any Samardzija deal!!

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I’d rather have Bubba Watson than Bubba Starling, he is officially a bust in my eye

      • BennyTheJet

        I understand the “bust” label but considering he has only been playing baseball full time for 2 years and is only 21 years old. if he can put it together i don’t see why you wouldn’t want that kind of potential in you organization!

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Baseball Prospectus put a future 30 on his hit tool. A freaking 30!

    • Chad

      I’d put Dickerson on my list for the Rockies and he is a ML ready OF.

      • Coop

        And David Dahl, Eddie Butler

        • Chad

          Definitely Butler

    • Javier Bryant

      I could see Hammel being a fit for the A’s

    • YourResidentJag

      You forgot the Yankees and Sanchez.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I think you ar right abiut the Rangers not wanting to deal with the Cubs again. We picked their pockers once, and I suspect they have a pretty high opinion of the Cubs scouting abilities…same reason I don’t want us trading with the Cards…too much voodoo to risk it.

    • Karl Groucho

      The story that we fleeced the Rangers gets a little too much play. Obviously things didn’t work out for them exactly as planned with either deal, but when you’re a team in the hunt and you have holes to fill, you don’t really care about the kind of fringe prospects they gave up. Edwards is the only one that they were likely hesitant to part with, and it hurts less to move a low-level SP (unless he’s at Strasburg levels) than probably any other type of legitimate prospect.

      • Karl Groucho

        Which isn’t to say that these weren’t fine deals. Just that there’s a reason we’re a good fit for the Rangers. We’re willing to give AAAA talent a shot, and good teams are likely to have a lot of it. These guys pop up in every system, but if you’re a serious contender you can’t waste roster space on them.

      • ssckelley

        I agree, I think the reason why it gets so much attention is because the Rangers failed to make the playoffs last season. It did not help matters that Garza stunk after he was traded. But that is the chance you take when you are in the hunt for the playoffs. Looking back on it they might wish they had Ramirez and Grimm in their bullpen right now but with Adrian Beltre they had no room for Olt. I think you are correct in saying Edwards was probably the one they objected to giving up the most.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I still think they were fleeced (admittedly with performance hindsite to help the argument). There were a good share of Ranger ‘top prospects’ in that haul when they were traded…even at the time it felt like a fleecing to me…and just getting into the playoffs is insufficient reason to make that kind of trade…they should only have made it if they thought they had a really good chance to win it all – a mis-calculation on their part.

          • https://twitter.com/dwoytek dw8

            Getting into the playoffs is, absolutely, enough. If you are making calculations past that point, you are probably doing it wrong.

          • aaronb

            I thought it was a fair deal. Cubs chose quantity over quality. Rangers cleaned up their 40 man roster.

            Olt looked like a bust (might be). Grimm failed as a starter. Edwards is still a big ? At this point.

            Garza for what turns into a couple of bullpen arms and a 4A slugger won’t seem so lopsided if that’s how it turns out.

            • ssckelley

              Or Olt turns into a slugging 3rd baseman, Ramirez turns into a #3 starter, Grimm turns into a closer, and Edwards turns into a #2 starter.

              We can dream!

          • ssckelley

            For us Cub fans, yes, it looked like a fleecing but any haul we got for 2 months of Garza was a fleecing no matter who made the deal with us. Remember the A’s were after Garza as well and that is why they ended up getting more from the Rangers. But honestly so far the Cubs got 2 bullpen pitchers, a prospect that may not be anything more than bullpen, and a busted 3rd base prospect. As someone else mentioned before if the Rangers would have made the World Series the deal does not look lopsided at all.

      • bnile1

        The story of being fleeced is not really about what the Cubs got. the issue is that Garza was not that great for the Rangers(not nearly as good after the trade as before), he didn’t elevated them to post season success or a WS, and subsequently left in free agency and Signed a pretty mediocre contract with the Brewers, suggesting that the Rangers didn’t really want him back. So the issue is not really that they gave up too much” as it is that they “over valued Garza”.

        If Garza had been the winning pitcher in game 7 of the WS, then there would be no discussion that the rangers gave up too much. IMHO

        • Karl Groucho

          Garza put up a 3.82 xFIP in the first half of 2013 and a 3.65 xFIP in the second half.

          But frankly that’s neither here nor there in shaping up this deal. We gave them a just-fine rental — which is to say, not much — and got some decent pieces in return, only one of which the Rangers were really stung to part with. Nothing about this was a fleecing; it was a good match for both sides!

          • DarthHater

            Bah. Garza had a .857 W-L % before the trade, .444 after. QED.

  • BennyTheJet

    Do you think Gary Sanchez, and Michael Pineda would get a deal done?

    • CubsFaninMS

      Are they trading baseball cards with each other?

    • YourResidentJag

      They Yankees have better, younger prospects than Pineda….so no.

  • shlenny

    I’d send Shark and Hammels to TX for Catcher Alfaro and OF Beras, and spend $$ on FA pitching.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      That’s not even close to enough for Shark, let alone for Shark and Hammel

    • Chad

      Are you serious? An A+ catcher and A+ outfielder for those two pitchers? The cubs had better do better than that with just Shark. I like Alfaro, but you better get Odor or Sardinas with him. They just are not close enough to warrant that much attention for Shark, especially not Shark + Hammel.

    • shlenny

      And I extend Wood. Hammel ~ Feldman (maybe) and what did we get for him…nothing so far. Shark is old under control only for another year. Elite catchers come around once in a generation and I like lots of depth at OF in the system, especially when they have 75 arms.

      • Chad

        Feldman netted you Strop and Arrieta, so more than nothing. I have nothing against Alfaro or Beras, but you better also get more than that for just Shark. He’s worth more than 2 A+ players with a high likelihood of flaming out. Also Alfaro is a long ways a way, he’s only been a catcher for a short time and his defense needs A LOT of work. And who has 75 arms? The cubs? They have some arms, but only a few will turn out to be ML pitchers and to what level who knows.

        I would hope the cubs could swing a better haul like Joc Pederson and Zach Lee from the Dodgers. Both AAA, ML ready and highly rated OF and pitching prospect respectively.

  • Gimmiedatcookie

    Ahh the Rangers you say? What do they have for us this year? :)

    • Jon

      Gallo. Elite left handed bad to balance out all our right handed prospects. If he can’t stick at third he could play corner outfield.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        The possible number of home runs and strikeouts in a possible 3-4-5 of Bryant/Gallo/Baez is mind blowing. It would sure be fun to watch.

        • ssckelley

          Especially if Lake is in the #2 spot.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            Rizzo would be there, but that’s still a lot of homers/strikeouts

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

            Just did a sort on PCL leaders:
            1) Javy Baez no.1 in K rate!
            2) Nick Franklin – OPS – 1.141; Joc Pederson 1.1131
            3) Pederson – BABIP .464
            4) Ronald Torreyes – 4% K-rate
            5) Pederson – 6th in BB rate in AAA

            http://www.fangraphs.com/minorleaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=4&qual=y&type=1&season=2014&team=0&players=0&sort=18,d

            • CubChymyst

              If the Cubs got Pederson I’d be pretty happy.

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

                For the Dodgers to matter for us: A healthy OF for them; but have Haren, Beckett, or Maholm go on the shelf for awhile. They are seriously weak at catcher too. No idea on Fed Ex or AJ Ellis…

                Otherwise, the Dodgers probably have other in house options.

          • DarthHater

            Cubs would have to advise the Great Lakes Naval Station on game days, because the resulting wind could affect local weather patterns.

      • CubsFaninMS

        Gallo looks like Chris Carter 2.0. And yes, similar m-o as Olt and Baez. That would be a highly powerful offense if they all stick in the MLB, though.

  • Head and Heart

    Just looking at the list of potential free agent pitchers and outside of the obvious guys like Masterson, Shields, Liriano, etc there are a couple interesting names. The Cubs have a decent track record with guys like Malholm, Hammel, Arrieta (so far anyway) so I wonder what Bosio and his crew could do with someone like Brandon Morrow. The other one that could be an injury reclamation type project would be Josh Johnson.

  • OlderStyle

    Is the impending Shark trade going to be the weather vane for how soon the Cubs will be competing?
    If he’s traded for a bunch of prospects, we can reasonably push the competing window on back to ’18-’19 (in time for tv deal).
    If he is signed to a long term deal that would have more immediate effects on the near future competitiveness of the team. I believe if the Cubs wanted to convince Shark to stay he’d want to know they would put resources into a better club FA-wise.
    Will he be traded for pitching or hitting?
    Ah, an interesting and sad time to be a Cubs fan.

  • ced landrum

    probably just a coincidence but both Jays and Orioles had scouts at ICubs game last weekend.

    • Chad

      Scouting Wada? Perhaps want to include Alcantara or Baez in a deal?

      • ssckelley

        Yeah, Wada would make a nice starter for a team not wanting to spend a lot of money. It would be neat if the Cubs got a decent return out of him.

        • Brocktoon

          But aren’t we a team not wanting to spend a lot of money? I wouldn’t think Wada would draw that great of a return until he’s proven something at the majors, by which point we should be thanking God for a free starter for the next 3 seasons.

          • Brocktoon

            Ultimately we’d miss out on what? A Corey Black/Ivan Pinyero type?

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            Psssshhhh!! Wada you know!! (sorry I had to)

  • No whammys!

    I like the Hammel to the A’s idea but for what? They are not trading Russel and all their other top prospects are in single A. I think the one idea is someone like Ryan Cook if the A’s feel that a solid starter is worth a great bullpen arm which the A’s have plenty of. I am sure the Cubs would throw in something else but you get the point.

    • Chad

      For Hammel I think you can gamble on a couple of younger highly ranked prospects. Not on Shark, the return has to be a bit more certain than that. If you can get a Dillon Overton, or somehow pry away Matthew Olson for Hammel you have done great work. Those are top 10 organizational guys so I think even that would be a stretch but they are further away projects with tons of potential and that is probably your best way to maximize your Hammel return.

      • Edwin

        What if you could get AJ Griffin for Hammel?

        • YourResidentJag

          Dan Straily…he as good as some of the FAs listed above and recently sent to AAA.

        • Chad

          I’d say yes.

          • Edwin

            full disclosure: I just want to have regular access to watching Griffin’s curveball.

            • Diesel

              Griffin is out for the season with tommy john

              • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                That’s the point, it’s the only reason he’d be available and the risk would probably be worth if it if you’re trading Hammel for him.

              • Edwin

                He feels like a Cub already!

    • Karl Groucho

      HAMMEL FOR WHAT

      -Lil Jon

    • Diesel

      Honestly you put an A’s jersey on anyone and they are a star pitcher. They have so many coming up through the ranks that they won’t trade with us.

  • http://www.ehanauer.com clark addison

    Shark is turning into an apex predator. He is a true number one starter, and there aren’t many of those in the majors.

    The Cubs need credibility. Sign him to an extension.

    • Zoolander

      If you’re the GM…how many years and money would it take to sign Shark to a long term deal?

  • jammin502

    I really like our pitching right now. It would be nice to get Baez and Bryant up by next year to see what they + Olt, Rizzo, and Castro and the pitching can do. I think you could trade Hammel and plug Rusin right in there. Hendricks and Wada are other nice candidates.

  • Zoolander

    Samardzija recently told CSNChicago.com that he doesn’t plan to sign one of “these crummy early deals for seven or eight years.”

    Homer Bailey’s six-year, $105MM extension with the Reds has “shift[ed] perceptions in the market” and “ratcheted up expectations” for players and their representatives, recently wrote Buster Olney of ESPN.com.

  • TulaneCubs

    I have to say, I think the Cubs have gotten a little bit unlucky in terms of who is at the top of the standings and who has had injuries (although certainly not the quantity). The Rays (Moore, Cobb), Yankees (CC, Nova), A’s (a bunch of guys), Braves (Medlin, Beachy) and Marlins (Fernandez) are the competitive teams so far that have had injuries… and most of their farm systems suck.

    Then, you have teams like the Angels, Brewers, White Sox, Nationals, Mariners and Tigers who are very low on talent (with the exception of Giolito).

    So that’s 10 teams that are performing well who I think just don’t have the pieces to get something done.

    If the Jays and/or Orioles start to fall back… I’m going to be a little nervous about the Cubs’ suitors for Samardzija.

  • Brocktoon

    I mostly want Hammel gone so people will stop calling him Hammels. I’m not yet to that point about Soler/Solar, but if it continues into his major league career, I might get there.

    • jammin502

      A bonus of trading Samardzija would be not having to look up where the “z” and “j” go in his name any more.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I can see the Dodgers going after Samardzija. Joc Pedersen and Zach Lee in return.

    • YourResidentJag

      Lee’s stock has dipped though.

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

        Give me that Jose Dominguez kid. 100MPH, no control. Project closer….

        • YourResidentJag

          I think we need at least one solid SP prospect, though. With this team, probably not the case.

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

            So hard to pry away “solid” pitching I suspect. Solid bat – Pederson – plus a guy like Domnguez (popped for PED) plus another pitcher…

            Dodgers do have a track record for successful development of MLB talent…

            LHP Julio Urias would be a potential steal..17 at A+ ball.

  • javier B

    Is profar still untouchable with odor up? Maybe a shark + hammel + prospects for profar deal…

    • Patrick W.

      Profar is not good enough to net two SP and a prospect.

  • Senor Cub

    Brett – et al

    When does Shark go from a possible #3 on a good rotation to a legitimate #1? He is pitching really well this year unlike the past couple of years where he was hot and cold.

    If let’s say by mid June he is clearly a #1, wouldn’t it be the wisest for the Cubs to retain him. Obviously we would all agree, it’s easier to build and sell other pitchers to come here if you already have a true “Ace”.

    I read or heard somewhere that they are ~ $20M apart, that’s the premium you would pay anyone else towards the back-end of a contract anyway..so why is this so hard???

    • YourResidentJag

      Age considerations and Theo still no liking where the team is at in the next two years….why are the Cubs going after next year’s #1 pick? That should give some of your answers.

      • YourResidentJag

        *not

    • TulaneCubs

      Shark pitched really well last year to start the year and then started to tail off once June hit.

      For him to be a legitimate #1, he’s going to need to pitch this way for at least a year, possibly 2. Teams aren’t going to buy him as a #1 after only 3 months of strong performance because they’ve seen him pitch well in spurts before, only to follow it up with a whole lot of crap.

      • Brocktoon

        For him to be a legit #1 he needs to put up a sub-2 ERA for 2 seasons? Is it 1968?

        • Karl Groucho

          Got me to look it up…over the past two seasons ~13 pitchers have put up an ERA south of or equal to 3.00 each year. Wisdom seems to be that there are somewhere around ten “#1″ pitchers at a given time. So, in our current climate, it’s probably fair to say that a sub-3.00 ERA qualifies you as a #1, for whatever that categorization is worth.

          • Darth Ivy

            I’m taking a completely subjectional view point here, but that seems like a high standard. In my novice opinion, i’d move the standard down a little.

            If a guy can go 200 IP (or close to it), have an ERA below 3.50, that would put him in #1 in my book

          • Brocktoon

            As I’ve said the arbitrary assigment of guys as #1s and 2s and whatever is utter nonsense, so the categorization means nothing to me. It really blows my mind that the seemingly accepted standard is that there are only 10 #1s in baseball.

        • TulaneCubs

          No, not sub-2 ERA, but based on his FIP he’s been a little lucky. FIP shows that he’s a top 20 pitcher right now, which I’d consider in ace territory.

          The key is maintaining that level of performance over not just 1 full season but multiple seasons. Until he shows a high level of performance over one season, let alone multiple seasons, he’s not an ace.

  • Diehardthefirst

    To paraphrase Clemenza— trade the drek and hold the best– Theo can dangle 3 starters and/or 3 relievers but keep Shark and Wood to build around

  • Webb

    That Castillo + Shark + Pierce Johnson trade to Baltimore idea I had earlier is starting to gain traction. Now that they are 1st in the AL East (some had already written them off in March) with a need at catcher and SP I think there is a very legitimate trade partner there. The core of their offense is in their prime years and does not match the Bundy/Gausman timeline for peak performance. I think the Cubs could get Bundy and Hunter Harvey for those three guys. Maybe they could add a bullpen piece to sweeten the pot but if I’m the O’s I take a long, hard look at how electrified the fan-base was in 2012 and I shoot for that magic again.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Leaving John Baker as the Cubs everyday catcher…

      • Brocktoon

        Nah, we got a 26 year old at AA, he should be able to step right in.

      • BlameHendry

        Yeah that’s enough to make anyone cringe, but in such a lost season, what does it really matter putting up with Baker for half a season? I still dont understand the hype around Beef, I’d love to have a reason to go out and sign a better catcher next offseason. Although I don’t know off the type of my head what catcher will be available…

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          What’s not to understand?? He’s a 27 year old above average hitting catcher who is a borderline elite thrower and blocker, but does need to work on his pitch framing.

    • ssckelley

      The Cubs trading Castillo just is not going to happen.

    • cms0101

      I don’t see a good reason for the Cubs to make this trade.

    • Jon

      fuck that noise, that is an awful deal for the Cubs.

    • JB88

      Only an Orioles’ fan would propose this trade …

      • Jon

        Pierce Johnson is better than Hunter Harvey so I want to know why we are including him in the deal.

        • JB88

          Castillo or Shark alone should net that return. No way are you trading those two AND a top 100ish pitcher for that return.

          • Jon

            Weiters probably is going to have TJS. So if we are going to bend over backwards and help them, I want a helluva lot more.

          • bbmoney

            Disagree. Certainly about the Castillo portion of it….and I like Castillo.

            Hunter Harvey is going to be ranked, barring injury, a lot higher than Pierce Johnson. He’s legit. So, obviously is Bundy….even with the TJS. Both of those guys are legit TOR prospects.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Pierce Johnson is not better than Hunter Harvey, and I don’t even really think it’s all that close.

    • Webb

      My original Trade was Weiters + Gausman + Bundy for Castillo + Shark + Johnson + Sherholtz. I got flack for that being too heavy for the Cubs. Seems like I over-adjusted/should have mentioned Weiters coming back to the Cubs.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Problem is that Wieters might need Tommy John, and if he does, he will miss most of next year, which will be his last year under contract. If this happened, the Cubs would literally get zero control of Wieters

  • BlameHendry

    I start licking my lips every time I think about the possible return we could get for Shark. While I also wouldn’t be opposed to just keeping him and riding out the rest of the team control team, and giving him a real contract when he finally gets to free agency (it’s obvious now we wont be able to extend him at a discount), I’d still rather get some top-line prospects for him and replace him in the offseason with Scherzer instead. That’s assuming the Cubs could convince him to pitch here, even with the highest contract offer, and I’m not too confident in that assumption.

    So idk, I’m really on the fence with this one.

    • Chad

      You will probably be able to get Lester and Shields for the cost of Scherzer and I would rather see the cubs go that route instead.

      • Brocktoon

        I think Lester/Shields are 30M+ Can’t see Scherzer getting that.

        • bbmoney

          Yeah, Lester and Shields probably get 40M+ per year combined.

          But I could see total contract values being close. Lester 6/130 + Shields 4/80 = Scherzer 8/210….or something assuming no injuries to the 3 and Scherzer keeps pitching like he has the past 2 years. That might be light on the number of years for Shields, he’ll probably get 5 or more, but he is a couple years older.

          • Chad

            I was talking about overall contract value, and life of the contract. I’m not sure getting Scherzer for 8-10 years at the dollars he will require is a good idea. I like the 5-6 year contracts for pitchers in their primes as mentioned above. If you can do Lester at 6/120 and Shields at 5/100 that seems like a pretty reasonable haul for me. I would exchange either of those guys for Shark at 5/75 beginning next season.

            I think Scherzer gets 8/200

            • Edwin

              I thought part of the current strategy was not to overspend on aging free agents. Lester will be 31 next season, and Shields will be 33.

              • Brocktoon

                Yeah, I can’t imagine us pursuing Shields.

                • Edwin

                  I’m guessing of the top 4-5 starters available as FA for next season, the Cubs get 1.

                  • Brocktoon

                    Sounds about right. I have no idea who it will be though.

                    Can’t see:

                    Scherzer(won’t go that long or high)
                    Shields (too old)
                    Santana (too old)

                    Maybe:

                    Liriano (not very good this year, he’ll be 31)
                    Masterson (Red Sox ties though he’ll be 31)
                    Lester(Red Sox ties, though he’ll be 31, probably most expensive of these 3)

                    I’d probably put their likelihood in that order, then add in Billingsley/Anderson/Floyd/Johnson for the Maholm/Hammel position

                    I’m really intrigued where the money is going to go this offseason. They won’t be able to get away with the rolling over to next year story 2 years in a row, so they’ll have to spend it on something, but I think the FO is still not willing to bend to make something they deem to be an overpay when the team is likely to be bad again in ’15.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      Maeda is also a very good option out of Japan if he’s posted

                    • Brocktoon

                      After including posting fee, I think he winds up getting more than all but Scherzer and Lester.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      I’d be ok with that, should be a quality mid-rotation kind of guy and he’s only 26

                    • Brocktoon

                      I think I’m more down on him than most.

              • Chad

                If you give them 6 yrs and 4 yrs respectively then they are both 37 when the contract is up. I don’t think that is that bad. I’d rather get Lester and keep Shark, but not my choice or $

                • Zoolander

                  Lester will be looking to make at least $17 million per season. I would say 5 years at $17.5 million, which comes out to $87.50 million total with a team option for a 6th year, along with a $3 million buyout if the 6th year is not picked up.

  • newsguy23

    Lets see, strong arm no health problems very good pitcher. Sure why not trade him. Stupid stupid… Sign the guy and be done with it. Show some commitment for when you are going to go after some big free agent that you want to win.

    • willis

      Good thoughts…but most likely not happening. Too far apart on money, NTC, not ready to contend…it all sets up for a trade. I agree though, he’s an asset you hold onto and build around.

      • Chad

        Unfortunately unless you simply just give in, which is probably not a good precedent to set, both parties have to be a bit flexible which is not happening from either side as far as we know, so until someone makes a few concessions nothing will happen.

        • newsguy23

          That’s pretty sad when pitchers are falling by the wayside daily. I am not saying the Cubs should just bend over and take it but that would suck to lose a really good pitcher.

          • Chad

            Agreed, and I’m sure the cubs would love to keep him but at what cost? Hopefully a trade brings back something that ends up being better than what Shark will be in the next 4-5 years.

            • willis

              Going to be tough to gain assets that will give what he does. But, that really is the only hope to hold onto at this point.

  • http://becomehealthier.com drcub1908

    IF the Cubs did sign Tanaka…would that change the trade of Jeff ? Can someone give me their 2 cents, please…

    • aaronb

      You’d have to assume Shark stays if the Cubs showed that kind of commitment.

  • Ryan79

    The Cubs should trade Shark before the trade deadline. I hate to say it, but for it to make sense to sign Shark to an extension you need surplus value in his contract equal to or greater than the value of the 2-3 top prospects you could net for him in a trade. And Shark isn’t keen (by his own admission) to sign that kind of deal.

    Given the lousy run support Shark has received this year, the Cubs might be able to trade him and reasonably say on his way out “this gives you a chance to win now, test the market in 2015, and we would love to have a crack at bringing you back then.”

    I’d like to see the Cubs net 2-3 elite pitching prospects for Shark and Hammel + pieces as needed (Schierholtz, Barney etc). Stocking up on pitching at the deadline would put them in better stead to take a bat in the 2014/15 drafts if the BPA at their slot isn’t a pitcher.

    This means the Cubs would suck for another couple years, but hey – one can never have too much prospect porn, right? Bigger point is that in a few years the Cubs should be set to compete strongly for a decade, which is what I want to see – rather than spending to try and get in the mix for a year or two now. My two cents.

  • Brocktoon

    “reasonably say on his way out ‘this gives you a chance to win now, test the market in 2015, and we would love to have a crack at bringing you back then.’”

    They literally can’t say that. It’s quite unlikely that we acquire 2 top prospects for Shark, let alone 3 Hammel will likely net something along the lines that Feldman did last year.

    • Brocktoon

      Reply fail

    • Ryan79

      I don’t see why they can’t. Shark has been clear about his desire to be on a winning team sooner rather than later. He’s also been clear that he wants as much as the market will bear in terms of a contract. The Cubs will be in a better position to offer both after 2015 than they are now.

      It seems totally reasonable to expect 2-3 top prospects in total for a combination of Shark + Hammel + pieces, if Shark and Hammel continue to put up the kinds of numbers they have so far this year.

      • Brocktoon

        They can’t because it’s tampering.

        I guess it depends on your definition of top prospects, but Hammel is no better than Feldman was last year who returned Arrieta and Strop, and I can’t recall the last player traded to return 2 top prospects. Teixiera to the Braves I guess?

        • TulaneCubs

          Almost positive it’s not tampering if they have that conversation while he’s still on the Cubs. So you can say it to him right before the trade goes through.

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