After a brief hiatus, I am back. End of the semester shenanigans got me caught up.
The winter meetings came and went and Samardzija is still a Cub. This surprises me and confuses me. With all the talk of the shark being traded away, I expected him to be traded at the winter meetings, but he wasn't. I'm confused as to why he is even being dangled. I understand and respect Theo's logic about not having a player thats is untouchable because that limits your ability to trade. There is an asking price for everyone (except Michael Jordan), but the question is whether that price will be meet. Industry sources say that the Cubs have a tall asking price for Samardzija. This validates the belief that the organization belives that he is someone that the team can build around. I do not understand why there is so much talk that he may be traded. It seems as though he will absolutely be traded before the 2014 season.
For what the Cubs are asking for him, it is exciting to see the farm system get better. The Cubs already have a phenomenal farm system and trading Samardzija would only make the system better. Here's the catch. Next season is 2014. The Cubs are supposed to compete for the division in 2015 and then for the World Series in 2016. If you trade your ace in 2014, how can you expect to contend for the division in 2015? Magic (i.e. Javier Baez) will not come and rescue this team in one season, that's unrealistic.
Its not that the Cubs do not like Samardzija, they love him. His arm is still young, hes a competitor, leader, and a phenomenal pitcher. The issue is money. How are the Cubs, a major market team, having trouble signing its own player? They should have deep pockets and ready to pay up. I realize that the TV deal and Wrigley renovation has not come to fruition yet, but it will. Make the investment. Scott Boras is right, and it makes me cringe to say that, but the Cubs are acting as a mid-market team. If the Cubs want to win, they need to be ready to pay for a player when it needs to happen. I firmly believe that finding a free agent, shoving him a lot of money, and have him play is not building a team of sustained success. See the 2008 and 2009 Cubs.
If the Cubs trade Samardzija, I will be excited for about an hour as I look up the haul they received for him. After that , I will be concerned about this rebuilding plan and how management views 2015 as a target year to win. I'll still say the Cubs will be ready to win in 2015, but I start to believe in it less and less as the weeks go by.
How many years has it been again?
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