It’s a bit of a silly exercise, given that virtually every team in baseball would want Jeff Samardzija for at least the next two seasons, but there’s another team to add to the list.
Bruce Levine reports that the Yankees (and Braves, though we heard about the Braves last week) are now among the teams interested in trading for the Cubs’ big righty. That makes it the Yankees, Braves, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Angels and Orioles, at a minimum, having reported interest, but I suspect you’d also find the Royals, Mariners, Dodgers, Indians, Rockies, and a host of others interested if you could get them hooked up to a lie detector.
The Yankees don’t have the most attractive farm system for a trading partner, given that their upper levels are no longer home to many top pitching prospects. Gary Sanchez is an interesting catching prospect, one who would probably catch the Cubs’ eye (if they thought he could stick behind the plate), and there are a ton of interesting talents at the lower levels. On the big league roster, Ivan Nova is interesting, but he’s not going anywhere. David Phelps is modestly interesting, and Brett Gardner is thoroughly on the block. Being that he’s a free agent after this year, however, I don’t see a whole lot of value in including him in a Samardizja deal unless it was to spin off for other pieces.
That is all to say that, I’m sure a reasonable package could be assembled, but I’m not sure it’s the best fit. Interestingly, if the Yankees added Samardzija, how would their pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka be affected? I could actually see the answer swinging both ways, given that the Yankees could try to add both pitchers (Samardzija’s low salary helping their cause), or could be satisfied to have Samardzija in the fold (and use the salary savings in the infield).
Expect much more on the Samardzija front this week (which is why I wanted to make sure to get my extension discussion in early.)