Regardless of the outcome – truly, because I still don’t know how I wanted things to play out – I had a great time at The Game yesterday. Michigan showed up, and I was satisfied with their performance overall. But now it’s time to move on from Brady Hoke and his staff, and time to start the process of getting excited about a new regime again.
It’s what my teams do, apparently.
- According to multiple reports, the Chicago White Sox are among the teams interested in swinging a trade for former Cubs pitcher, current A’s pitcher, Jeff Samardzija. Indeed, some are talking about the match-up like it’s inevitable, with perhaps shortstop Alexei Ramirez headed to Oakland in this kind of deal. Given the way the White Sox tend to try and linger at the periphery of competitiveness in recent years – last year was obviously a very down season – and given some of their moves already this offseason (adding Adam LaRoche and Zach Duke), I could easily see them pushing hard for Samardzija. The Sox would be getting just one year of Samardzija, though, because he’ll undoubtedly test free agency after 2015, even if he’s then with the “hometown” White Sox. For the sheer pageantry of having Samardzija back in town – on the other side of town – I’m really pulling for the White Sox to get a deal done. Samardzija’s interviews post-trade would be priceless. And then the storylines as he approaches free agency? Just too much fun.
- Speaking of Samardzija’s impending free agency, is it just me, or has sentiment seemed to shift on whether he should be a top target for the Cubs after this season? There was a time – just shy of, and just after, his trade to the A’s – when everyone seemed to be saying and writing that Samardzija could be the rare free agent who returns to the team that traded him, given the Cubs’ competitive timeline and Samardzija’s theoretical affection for Chicago and the team that drafted and developed him. But now, when discussing the Cubs’ pitching future, we almost never hear Samardzija mentioned as a key or preferred target. I wonder why that is. My best guess is that, once we actually entered the offseason, we got a better look at just how much impact pitching was available this and next offseason. Samardzija remains an interesting arm, but he’s now just one of many, many, many guys who fit that category. That separately makes you wonder if, when the rubber meets the road, he’ll be able to get the nine-figure contract he may have thought he could get when he declined to sign an extension with the Cubs.
- Jed Hoyer was on The Score with Bruce Levine and Mike Esposito yesterday (the CCO has a recap), and he discussed the Cubs’ versatility and how that plays to Joe Maddon’s managerial strengths. And we all start dreaming on Arismendy Alcantara as the next Ben Zobrist in 3, 2, …
- A Hot Stove check-in with all the teams in the NL Central.
- Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter went undercover at the team store.
- If you want a super nerdy deep dive today (who doesn’t?), The Hardball Times has a piece on the problems with Major League Equivalencies (the attempt to translate minor league numbers to big league numbers), and lays out a blueprint for fixing some of the problems.