Cubs seek top pitching prospect for Samardzija

Cubs seek top pitching prospect for Samardzija

Ken Rosenthal opened a can of worms yesterday.

Apparently there was a reason for it. Rosenthal simply reported the Cubs were listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija. The reaction from most was that it was just an exercise and that a deal was highly unlikely.

I thought maybe the Cubs were done with the high profile deals and would be focused on lesser moves like Kevin Gregg, David DeJesus, Nate Schierholtz, etc.

Then we heard otherwise. I was told there were indeed some teeth to the Shark chatter. The Cubs were already fielding phone calls from the Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Red Sox, among others.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are in no hurry to deal any of their remaining chips. However, they are in a position to let others come and get guys like Samardzija or James Russell. The asking price has been reported as astronomical for Samardzija, though it may be just a starting point in talks. What we are told is the Cubs will part with their now ace for a can’t miss pitching prospect.

From what we hear there are two teams that have serious enough interest to get a deal done, Arizona and Pittsburgh. There were reports that the Cubs had previously asked Arizona for both of their top pitching prospects Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley, but were refuted.

That may have been a pie in the sky return for certain, but we do hear the Cubs would certainly require that any package center around Bradley. When it comes to Pittsburgh we have talked about their deep system before, but any talks will start and end with Jameson Tailon, I’m told.

So why would the Cubs deal a 28-year-old pitcher (with a young arm) they developed into top of the rotation caliber? It centers on the contract issue it seems. The Cubs are trying to lock up their young (see Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro) to club friendly deals. Apparently, the Cubs have tried to get Samardzija and his camp to the table and at this point I’m told they don’t even want to talk.

Samardzija is controlled through the 2015 season and has two remaining years of arbitration eligibility. I very much like Samardzija and his stuff. However, if his camp is not interested in doing what is best for this front office, all bets are off.

I'm told that the Cubs and Samardzija's relationship is fine and respectful. Epstein and Hoyer would prefer to keep him a Cub for a long time, and it may just be Shark isn't complying like the front office would prefer. This may be just a case of two sides that won't give in easily and it will bear watching. Ultimatlely it could be a ploy to drive team Shark back to the table.

Until the deadline passes, we can speculate if Epstoyer has really decided that they may be better off moving on.

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    I was really thinking that AZ might be a good fit for this situation. If there was going to be a deal Bradley would most certainly be coming back. I would think possibly a solid catching prospect or outfielder as well.

    Someone like Bradley and Stryker Trahan might be a good starting point for talks to begin if this Shark situation gets ugly...

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Bradley IS the starting pont with the Snakes. If Towers wants Spellcheck bad enough, I tell him I want Bradley and at least one other in return. Otherwise, no dice.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    I think Bradley/Skaggs has to be the starting point. Not that I would give that up if I was Towers, but I wouldn't consider anything less if I'm Theo.

  • So the Cubs are probably asking for something like...

    DBacks: Skaggs and Bradley or Bradley, Eaton, Holmberg, Chafin

    Pirates: Taillon, Glasnow & Kingham/Heredia

    And those teams are probably offering more like:

    DBacks: Skaggs, Holmberg, Chafin

    Pirates: Glasnow & Kingham

    Would love if they could find a fit with Pittsburgh. Hoping they go all in and don't go down the road that the Rays are on. They've got quite a farm system to support an already good major league team.

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    AZ also has a whole lot of SS worth a look in their system.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Im not sure SS would be a position the Cubs would want to go after in trade

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    In reply to nkniacc13:

    SS are generally the most athletic players. They can usually be converted to any position on the field.

  • Sounds like a smart move on the Cubs part, either get him to sign an extension now or trade him while his value is sky high.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    I could see them mention this get it out there and if they aren't totally blown away then waiting till the offseason to move him

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    My thoughts exactly, considering Braves loss they may want to see if someone wants to over pay. Could be they are testing the water for off season trade.

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    My first thought when I heard that they may be considering a Samardzija move is that Team Theo was told the continuing bickering with the rooftops means that new revenue won't hit as early as expected.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I doubt that has much to do with it. I think it's more about payroll efficiency. I think this front office has decided that they'll extend guys, but only on terms that likely mean they're getting a guy for below market value. If they don't think they can get Shark for a below market value deal, then they'll look to deal him, get prospects and spend that money elsewhere.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    If you trade Shark, his production has to be made up somehow. Given that there is no one even close to him in the minors right now, that means going out and signing or trading someone -- and that person will not come at below market value.

    The theory is great, and works well for guys like Castro and Rizzo, but at some point you have to pay up for the best talent. It would have to be a staggeringly high deal for it be not worth it. Think of it this way: how much would you pay to keep Javier Baez in your minor league system?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Correct, but the question is, how best can you spend that money?

    Sure, with the money you wanted to give to Shark, you're not going to get a guy as good as Shark. But you also have top prospects too.

    The equation is:

    Is Shark at the money he wants for a deal>>>> what you can do in FA with that money + top prospects in a deal for Shark?

    If the answer to that question is no, then you look to trade Shark. Based on how Shark is handling those extension talks, it's looking more and more like the answer to that question is no.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Huge assumption. Shark has close to a guaranteed floor over the next two years. With a ceiling light years beyond that floor.

    You're getting a prospect in return -- ask the Orioles how great those top pitching prospects are -- and money saved on the contract. Which can then be used to lure free agents -- but exactly which free agents are you going to get in the marketplace? Guys like Shark just aren't hitting the market any more. So you're going to replace him with a lesser arm, like Garza -- who the Cubs have already moved once instead of extending.

    So you're trading a guarantee for a whole lot of maybe. Expectations of future performance -- based not just on scouting, but on development of similar prospects -- are critical here.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    But the Cubs probably aren't focused on the next 2 years. They're focused on what's best for the long term health of this team. And you're not getting A prospect in return. You're likely getting a bevy of prospects, some of which may be able to step in immediately.

    Again, you don't need to buy a guy that's comparable to Shark in free agency. You just need to use that money so that what you get with it + the expected future value of the top prospects is >>>> Shark.

    Basically, you're trading a guarantee (Shark) for a slightly lower guarantee (the players you buy with the money you'd give him) and a crap top of upside in the prospects you acquire. Worst case scenario is none of the prospects pan out and you have a player(s) a notch below Shark you've acquired in free agency. Best case scenario is you have a player(s) a notch below Shark you've acquired in free agency and prospects that developed into all-star caliber players.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    They're not focused on the long term. I think that's a common misinterpretation. They're always thinking short term as well -- what they've said is that any move they make will err on the side of the long term all things being equal. But Shark gives them both short and long-term value. To exchange both for just long term value is a loss unless that unknown, potential long term value is significant and provides significant surplus value to compensate for the loss of known value in the short term and potential long term value that you get with Shark.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Maybe I didn't word it right, but I don't think we're on different pages here.

    If they're going to trade Shark, a player that has significant short term value, for a package of players that have longer term value, that longer term value must be significant.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Yes, agreed. Long term value with no current short term value carries a lot of added risk. So you need a lot to compensate for that. What complicates this for the Cubs is that I think they expect to compete next year and certainly by 2015, so that short term value has more value to them than it would, say, the Astros. Because of that, they're not eager to give up any short term value that is signed beyond this year -- and that even includes short term guys like Nate Schierholtz, who is only controlled through next season. They're asking a lot for Shierholtz and Samardzija (and Russell, etc.) because those guys have current use at a time when they are beginning to shift more emphasis to that short and mid-term. They don't want to trade these guys. They're not looking to trade them. Somebody is going to have to twist their arm to make it happen.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I think you're being very glib with the probability of coming close to Shark's value. I'm a prospect guy, too, but guys that can throw 2 98-MPH fastballs past Paul Goldschmidt are extremely few and far between.

    Moreover, the team can have 25 guys on it at any one time. If we make a Shark-for-4 guys deal, we're only better off if all 4 of those guys provide a return above the guy they're replacing above what Shark provides above his replacement. Again, given the growing depth of the system, I find that extremely unlikely, at best.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I would say that a lot of it comes down to what you expect Shark is looking for in terms of an extension. I think he's looking for an Anibal Sanchez type contract as a starting point. If that's the case, I think the player you can get for that money on the FA market + prospects you'd get for Shark will outweigh Shark. And, frankly, I'm on the total opposite end of the spectrum in that I find that very likely the total value of the FA + prospects would be >>> Shark (again, assuming a Sanchez type contract as the starting point).

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They're just listening and they only want to do this if they get blown away. They're always going to want to extend players at good value but so far Samardzija hasn't indicated he wants to do that. It's just due dillegence as far as I'm concerned. They should listen, because if a team is desperate and values his cost control and front line stuff enough, maybe they'll make it worth the Cubs while -- but I wouldn't count on it.

    If the Cubs were at all worried about Samardzija, they wouldn't be asking for the moon. They're astronomical asking price gives every indication that they are not looking to trade him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Whew!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I really hope you're right.

    As devil's advocate, I'd say they could also be asking for an astronomical return to make the Diamondbacks feel lucky if they "only" give up Bradley and some lesser prospects.

    As I've said elsewhere, I hope you're right here. Because trading Samardzija seems, to me, like essentially downplaying competitiveness in 2014 and 2015. As much as I'm 100% on board the rebuild, I'm not sure I'm THAT on board the rebuild.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'd be shocked if it was anything else. I think from a fan's standpoint we get excited about these kinds of big trades but the reality is that the front office doesn't want to trade core players. They've gone out of their way to say so in the past. So this is just about due dillegence but the expectations that a deal gets done are very low.

    They will want at least one other top prospect to go with Bradley. Bradley and lesser prospects won't even be considered.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I disagree with your last paragraph. The Cubs asking price was said to be extremely high for a guy like Garza that they were clearly willing to deal.

    I just think this FO approaches trades by setting a very high price and waiting for teams to cave. So I think it's difficult to tell how they feel about a player based on just the asking price.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Well...let me put it this way, I'm not speculating on this and at any rate I think I know this front office's approach pretty well. The asking price for Garza was never "astronomical". It was high, but it was reasonable because it didn't involve can't miss guys. The asking prices for Shark and Castro, for example, have been so ridiculously high that it's pretty much ended conversations on the spot.

    They've also said outright in public that they don't want to trade their core players and will only do so if they can get at least 2 players of similar value in return. They're approach is that they are going to try and field a competitive team and assets with known MLB long term value are better than those with unknown/uncertain. So they don't look to make these kinds of trades, they only listen and have to get blown away to even consider it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    At this point, the Cubs will have to sign Shark for a great deal of money or trade him. If not they will just lose him in free agency. Shark is only gonna continue to get better. The longer they wait, the more he is gonna cost them in money.

  • No serious interest from BAL?

    I'd think Gausman would be a great starting point in a package.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    After Gausman they don't have much unless they want to dangle Bundy along with him.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    would you have a problem with that? I know I would love to get both. But what would the Cubs have to throw in to get both?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    If Baltimore comes calling, he'd have to be the headliner as far as I'm concerned.

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    Cubs have every right to ask for the sky in any Shark deal. If available, he would be the best young arm to hit the trade market since Matt Latos. And we all know the haul he brought back. Something similar would be a good deal. You must get at LEAST 2-3 of a teams top 10 prospects with the #1 guy included. Samardzija has a ton of value so he wont get traded unless a team pays up and im not too sure they will.

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    I don't see it happening, but Pittsburgh is in a dogfight in this nasty NL Central. Maybe Smardz and a hitter for a package around Taillon would put the Pirates over the top. It is looking more and more like the two losers in the division will be caught in a one game, win or go home situation. Tough to have all your hard work come down to that.

  • In reply to Ray A:

    Wonder if they could just clean Pittsburgh's pitching prospects out.

    Shark, Schierholtz and Gregg for Taillon, Glasnow, Kingham and Heredia.

  • Tallion, Palanco , Glaskow and call it a day Pirates.

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    That's selling really low.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    low ? Tallion and Polanco are top 15 prospects and Glaskow is rising to top 50 status. That would be a great haul for Shark and I like Shark .

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Blanco is overrated, IMO. He's not bad but top 15 is too much.

    Glasnow is not top 100 yet and he's very very far away.

    You either need to add at least one good AA or AAA arm, or at least two high-ceiling arms from the lower leagues.

    This isn't a typical trade. In fact, trades like this are VERY rare.
    Shark's pure stuff is as good as the league's elite, he's cheap, youngg, healthy and comes with years if experience.

    People talked about how the Cubs held all the cards in the Garza deal, but everyone knew they had to make SOME deal.

    But in this case they really are in a 100% advantageous position. They don't have to do anything at all and are very happy with Shark.
    The onus is on other teams to make an offer the Cubs can't pass up.
    Two AA players and one low-A guy are not anywhere close to a sure thing, regardless of ceiling.

  • I would not be a happy camper if they traded Samardzija.

  • In reading between the lines it seems Shark is beginning to waffle a bit on his desire to sign an extension. When confronted with the latest talk of a trade involving him, Samardzija said he wanted to get in a full season as a starter to give a better indication of his value for negotiations.

  • He is our last great trading chip. Since he is controlled for 2 years
    we should get at least 1 great top 3 prospect. A great/good
    piching must be in the deal. I know this would be a very hard
    move to make, but we must still think of our long term goal.

  • I really hope they don't trade Samardzija. This is a pretty good, young rotation that should be around when the hitting studs start filtering up to the bigs. Pitching prospects, even the best pitching prospects, are just extraordinarily risky propositions. Better to hold onto the excellent player you aleady have in this case.

  • I like the talent in the Pirates system. They have some already mentioned arms that would really look good In Cubbie blue. We could use an outfielder next year, is Polanco going to be ready by then?

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    polanco is in AA right now so I would say start of 2015

  • An epic trade of Samardzija would be the crown jewel of the rebuild. It could trim payroll over the next 6-7 seasons significantly while adding two potential future all-stars.

    Samardzija is overrated. The only thing he is consistent with is overconfidence. He doen't have the mindset of an ace. Trade him for two potential aces, and the future looks very, very strong.

    It's okay. It's gonna be okay. We may still contend next year anyway, and Samardzija may seesaw his way to a 4.00 era for some other ream. It's gonna be okay.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    Nobody is saying the Cubs shouldn't trade Samardzija, just that any return would have to be a substantial overpay by another team.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    Hard to comment on mindsets but it seems like he has a winning mentality to me. Coupled with nasty stuff...the ERA needs to go south. I will give you that.

  • The front office is staffed by fools if they don't at least listen to offers for Samardzija.

    But since the front office is also not (I suspect) staffed by fools,.... they won't sell low by any measure.

    All just talk at the moment.

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    It sounds to me like the problem isn't so much about revenue than it is about timing.

    Theo wants to lock him up while they can get a pseudo team-friendly deal and Shark knows he's getting better so he's betting on himself to have a season that nets him some Cy Young votes in the next couple seasons.

    I am really curious to see what qualifies as "elite" or "can't-miss" pitching to Theo&co.

    Even though I don't think of Boston's pitching prospects as elite, and are too far away to be considered can't-miss, IMO. I still really like them for a deal like this and this deal makes much more sense for them than Garza does.

    But I wouldn't cry about AZ or Pitt either, so long as we more or less clean out their pitching prospects. (And get Davidson from AZ).

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Agreed. Can't miss is Bradley or Taillon, from what we're hearing. I think Gausman would qualify. It needs to be a top level prospect who is close to MLB ready.

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    Maybe a deal somehow to get Price would work. If you're going to pay ace money you should try to get a top ace. The Rays can't afford Price but maybe they could afford the shark.

  • In reply to Scott Wega:

    that aint happening until after the season

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    In reply to Scott Wega:

    To trade Samardzjia for Price would be a lateral move and maybe a step backward. Price will get more as an arb-eligible player than Samardzjia I would think and would command more as a free-agent in 2016 or probably want more to restructure his deal. Just my opinion. I'm sure at least half of Cubs Nation will tell me that the Shark is better than David Price though. Still, if the money is not that crazy-different, it's not too far-fetched of an idea.

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    Personally, I love what Shark is saying by not signing an extension. He is, essentially saying, "I'm much better than I've shown so far". And I believe him.
    He certainly has his flaws, but I think he has the potential to not only be a true #1, but a special one. The fact that he won't talk about an extension tells me that he truly intends to outperform what he's done so far, which has been pretty good the last year and a half. And, I don't think anyone would dispute his stuff is better than his numbers, and with his competitive fire, I would love to see him pitch some playoff games in a Cub uniform.
    That being said, the FO has to listen. I would be very disappointed if it was essentially a swap for one top pitching prospect, though. I would need to see a new standard set to trade him. The Cubs are not incapable of signing him at or above market value if they have to, they have no reason to cave for anything less than an astronomical price!

  • I really like Samardjiza but I feel we should trade him if he doesn't agree to an extension this coming off-season.

    I think a 5 year/62.5 million (12.5 million a year) deal is fair for both sides. Performance bonuses in the contract too, for all-star appearances/cy young award finishes.

    What kind of contract would you guys offer Shark? More/Less?

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    In reply to GoCubsGo:

    That a fair deal! I would think at that price he would be signed all ready though.

  • In reply to GoCubsGo:

    That's unrealistic. He'll want 90-100 mil in this market. And I wouldn't pay it. He's not going to settle for the hometown discount, and he's criticized the rebuild openly. Not worth it.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    Wanting $90-$100million is also unrealistic.

    Not a single team would consider giving him that.

  • In reply to GoCubsGo:

    Yes they would. He will approach the neighborhood of 90-100 if he hits the open market (health intact, of course). Maybe 85. Maybe 105. Certainly in that neighborhood.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    He's going to have to dramatically improve on his numbers over the next two years to get $100 million.

    Can you name me a pitcher similar to his current stats who got $100 million?

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    In reply to GoCubsGo:

    So, you would pay Shark $1.5 million/year less than Edwin Jackson?

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    I hate how everything is compared to Edwin Jackson's contract.

    When people were throwing numbers around for a potential Garza extension, it always came back to "oh he's only going to make that much more than Jackson?" They are separate entities, treat it that way.

    Tell me then, how much would you pay Samardjiza?

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    In reply to GoCubsGo:

    If I were working in the front office, I would try to get him cheap ($12-14mil/yr). If I were Samardzija I wouldn't sign any extension until I had established myself as a legit TOR starter. He hasn't even started a full season yet. If he pitches at the level he has the last year and a half he could command $15/yr when he hits FA. If he reaches his ceiling, or close to it over the next 2 years, he could easily be worth $20+mil/yr.
    Don't forget he signed a $10 million deal in 07, he's not hurting for money while he awaits FA.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    If he pitches at the same level from now until he hits free agency he doesn't get $20 million a year. Who's going to "easily" throw $20 million a year for someone with a near 4.00 ERA as a starter?

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    In reply to GoCubsGo:

    I said at his current level, probably $15 mil/yr. at his ceiling, or close to it, $20+mil/yr. you can read it again if you need to.
    I think it speaks to his confidence and competitiveness that he won't talk extension. He knows his stuff is far better than the numbers he's put up, and is betting on his own improvement.
    Not to annoy you with another Jackson comp, but it speaks to market value, his ERA is higher (if that's your determining factor for salary) and the price for FA starting pitching certainly doesn't figure to go down over the next 2 years.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    My mistake, I read it wrong.

    It's good that he has confidence but I want to see results soon. I'm a big Shark fan and definitely see the potential but I'm waiting for the 200K/sub 3 ERA season, which I think he's capable of.

    That confidence might let him go to the open market and let everyone bid for him. I don't see how him being confident helps the Cubs, which in the end is the ultimate goal.

    I determine market value by age, ERA, K/9IP, BB/IP, IP, recent performance, WAR, among other things.

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    In reply to GoCubsGo:

    Of course, as a Cubs fan, I would love to see him sign a "team-friendly deal". If I were a 28 year old man, however, there is no way I would potentially leave $30 million on the table.
    It's a different situation than it was with Castro or Rizzo, primarily because of his age. This is likely Shark's only shot at a truly mammoth contract, where those guys will be about 30 when they get out of their current deals, and were only giving up 2-3 years of FA money.
    BTW k/9IP is over 9 as a starter, BB/9 is barely 3, he had 180 k's when they shut him down last year...to me it's a matter of when, not if he has a season like you mention. Not to mention the pressure will be less, IMO, when he has a better offense supporting him.

  • In reply to GoCubsGo:

    The fact that he has already made 17 plus million not counting his bonus has a bearing on him not wanting to settle for a team friendly deal as well. He's not your typical pre-free agency 29 year old. He's made at least 2MM in each season since his clock started. Market value depends largely on the other pitchers available as well. Anibal and EJax really benefited from the lack of a deep market this off season and Samardzija would likely fall into that category with health and a good 2014. It only takes one team to give a guy 100 million. Somebody's gonna step up and Garza will probably flirt with 100 simply due to the dearth of FA SP's.

  • If Samardzija gets dealt, and the payoff is huge, it will further point out the brilliance of this FO, by the way they will have made their starters available one at a time in order of value, maximizing the value of each deal by not creating competition with themselves.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    Good point, only way they have to get the stud pitching prospects they need is trade Shark or Castro.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    I would never underestimate the intelligence, strategic planning ability, or ability to identify & invent creative tactics aimed at exploiting market inefficiencies by this F.O.

  • I suspect its a combination of things with Shark. He may want to move on because of the many trades that have occurred and the teammates who are now elsewhere. It also appears to be a matter of timing, I agree. If Shark doesn't want to discuss offers by the FO at this time than that there could well be a serious dimension to this. I would not be at all surprised if he's traded. If he is, we'll know in a few days.

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    Having said all of that, I could legitimately see Pittsburgh making a serious offer. They have a chance to be exceptional. Two and a half years of Shark at the top if their rotation would be a substantial boost for a them. They would essentially trade years to (and prospects) to bypass Taillon's development.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Mike, Dale Sveum talks about Shark in this month's VineLine.

    "He basically just passed his first full season of starting, so he's still learning how to pitch, how to pitch when he doesn't have his split, how to get back in counts without his fastball or when his two-seamer isn't working, and how to use all of his pitches to slow batters up."

    You have to believe Shark and his people know all this. Additionally, they know the FO wants to lock up players at a 'discount.' To me, this speaks to Shark using his 'control' to develop his craft and increase his value. Whether he and the FO can come to an agreement might ultimately determine whether he stays or goes.

    Barring a trade that blows everybody away!

  • One thing about dealing with PIT is that there is a ton of risk in a deal like that for both sides. Shark or Taillon could both be perennial Cy Young contenders or injury casualties.

    I think the aversion to intra-division deals is overblown but a deal of this magnitude changes the calculus a bit, IMO. You also have to take into account that at least 18times a yr the deal is being re-analyzed, when you play each other. That's a lot of scrutiny.

    BOS makes so much sense but I agree with John & others that you need at least one guy with a #1 ceiling in the deal. I really like Gausman but not sure what else they have to round out a deal.

  • I don't think Pittsburgh is a serious player in all of this. People act like they're in win now mode.

    They've be losers for so long, finishing above .500 would be a successful season for them. They're in a great position to make the playoffs, barring a collapse.

    They have a great farm system that is now starting to reach the upper levels, there's no reason to trade their blue-chippers unless they weigh 2+ years of Shark (they have no idea if he resigns, and he's not showing any interest in it with the Cubs so I wouldn't go in optimistic) against several years of top prospects. That's a trade you make if you have a rabid fan base or have an old team trying to contend one last time. Plus trading top prospects to a division rival doesn't bode well for them.

    This isn't NY where they need to make a bold move to win now, there fans have been patient forever, the playoff berth this season will keep them happy.

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    In reply to GoCubsGo:

    The issue is, they have a pretty good core now. But, Pedro Alvarez is on his way out in 3 1/2 seasons. 'Cutch is there for a while, but he's entering his most productive period. Liriano is a FA after this season, and unlikely to be back.

    It seems to me stacking up to give themselves the best chance to win they can through McCutchen/Alvarez's most productive seasons may be a better option than waiting for Taillon to develop and hit his top form -- just in time for Alvarez to leave.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They make the playoffs with Samardjiza. They make it without him.

    He doesn't push them over the top.

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    In reply to GoCubsGo:

    (a) You don't know that.
    (b) The goal is not to make the playoffs, but to win a World Series sometime in the next three seasons. Samardzija gives you a significantly better chance of winning the one or two key games in October than another pitcher.

  • I think they'd be foolish not to listen. I also think that's all they're doing and that the media & fans have made this more than it really is. The Cubs would have to be blown away to actually pull the trigger on a deal. Whoever has these prospects that would "Blow away" the Cubs FO, isn't likely to part with them.

    Having said all that, Epstoyer is probably relishing the fact that the idea of being traded is making Shark squirm a bit and more likely to negotiate a longer term extension in the off season. If Shark doesn't extend this winter, and we fall out of contention by the deadline again next year. Then they may actively shop him, but only if they are convinced they can't extend him.

    Bottom line, I don't expect Shark to go anywhere this year or next....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    This is very how much how I see it as well. Saying they'll listen isn't saying anything different than they've said on anyone else. They'll listen on everyone. That's what they should do, but willingness to listen and willingness to make a deal shouldn't be confused with one another.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    T his may just be another rumor started by CubsTalk... but I hear "Great Minds think a like"

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    What rumor?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    me too !!!!

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I don't think Samardzjia would squirm or fold just because he may be trade bait. Why would he? He doesn't care where he plays as long as he gets paid. He has essentially indicated that by not wanting to negotiate an extension.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    If he ended up in a smaller market team and they couldn't or wouldn't meet his financial demands, then he will likely have draft pick compensation attached to him. If last years FA showed us anything, it's that having a pick will limit your suitors and your eventual dollars.

    Maybe squirm was a poor choice of words, but to think there's not some risk involved for Shark would be a mistake. To think most teams would be in a position to offer him more than us after 2014 doesn't seem logical either.

    He never said or indicated anything other than he doesn't want to negotiate an extension when he doesn't feel like he's an Ace yet. He wants to maximize his value too. He has never once said anything about "not caring where he plays". That's pure speculation on your part. We are his home town team. We are the team that drafted him. Maybe those sentiments don't mean anything to him. But most players would like to be the exception to the rule and spend their whole career with one team. Shark has also publicly said that he wants to be part of the team that finally wins a WS here.

    So to think he doesn't care seems foolish to me because he does have some emotional & financial investment both involved.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I disagree. There is no risk to Samardzjia in being traded no matter where he goes.

    He could just as easily have draft pick compensation attached to him if he stays with the Cubs and doesn't sign. If he is traded to a small market team what is the difference when he becomes a free agent? He can negotiate with all 30 teams at that point. In fact, being traded to a contending team and helping them possibly win a World Series would only increase his value.

    I also never said that Samardzjia said he doesn't care where he plays. That isn't speculation either. It is a fact with free agency, and right now that is the directional course with which he has pointed his future by not wanting to negotiate. Of course that may change, but trade rumors aren't going to be the cause. You said yourself he wants to "prove he is an ace" (paraphrasing). He can do that on any mound in either league.

    You were the one who said being mentioned in trade talks might make him fold (paraphrasing again - you said "squirm"). I just don't agree with that sentiment at all, regardless of what word you use to define that emotion.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    "He doesn't care where he plays as long as he gets paid. He has essentially indicated that by not wanting to negotiate an extension." I don't understand that sentiment at all. I realize people look at athletes differently, but would you leave potentially $30-40 million on the table just because you like the company you work for? He's never said he won't talk extension with the Cubs at all, he just feels he has more to prove first.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    You're paraphrasing my word "squirm" (which means discomfort) into "fold". (which would imply surrender). Huge difference.

    And there is a Risk. He won't make as much $$$ if he doesn't have draft pick attached to him. Since you have never spoken with him or his agent, you have no idea except to misquote him and his speculate on his intentions.

    You said "He doesn't care where he plays as long as he gets paid." Then you deny that he ever said it or that it's speculation on your part. So either your mistaken, or you have some inside information you're not sharing.....

    Since you are going to take everything out of context and misquote me, I refuse to split these ridiculous hairs with you. Peace...

  • I can't help but wonder if all the talk about what teams are willing to give for Peavy might have influenced the decision to put Shark out there.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    Well Peavy is apparently about to be moved

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    Per Bruce Levine, I see. Bowden said he's ruled out everyone but the A's -- but I don't know. We'll see if it's confirmed by anyone else.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Is Bowden getting this from Levine's article? If so, I think this is a problem of poor reading comprehension on Bowden's part. Levine basically says it's almost certain Peavy will be moved, but it doesn't seem to indicate a deal is close as of right now.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I read Levine's article too. "The team is going on the road; Peavy is packing his bags just in case he gets traded."
    Nothing more than that. You're right, Tulane -- reading comprehension may be lacking here.

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    Per Bruce Levine, I see. Bowden said he's ruled out everyone but the A's -- but I don't know. We'll see if it's confirmed by anyone else.

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    Even better if he's off the table.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    The Cubs didn't put Shark out there. Teams have been calling them and they've been listening.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Understand that John, I meant it's better for the Cubs if Peavy is off the table. Then maybe the Cubs get some teams stud pitching prospects or they get Shark back to the table and make a deal. Win-Win for the Cubs either way, a little old fashioned hard ball by the Cubbies...

  • One of the advantages of a good solid farm system, especially as top prospects hit AA and AAA, is that the FO can pit the MLB players against the prospects. In other words, talking about trading Shark is a way of reminding him that the FO has other options. It is also a way of pricing him by seeing what other FO's are willing to discuss in a trade. I feel that we Cub fans are over-valuing Shark in that he is not a lights-out ace at this point and that becomes more and more remote given his age and experience. But one way to find out is to discuss trading him.

  • In reply to cubster:

    Cubster, sorry, but that's just silly. Go read Sveum's thoughts on Shark I quoted from Vine Line.
    He's a long way from being a 'finished' project. He has a lot of what you'd like in a TOR dude. Just not a lot of experience as a starter.

  • On a related note, what is the present likelihood of Schierholz being moved?

    What type of value are we expecting? I'd think that extra yr of cost control is pretty attractive to the mid & lower mkt teams.

  • Since he is controlled for 2 years and a good salary he should get
    many teams after him. The question is will they trade 1 or 2 of
    their top 5 prospects for him

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Yes. It's a heavy price and a team will have to be extremely motivated to meet it.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Yes. It's a heavy price and a team will have to be extremely motivated to meet it.

  • I would love to have any package headlined by Taillon, Gausman, or Bradley. I have seen Gausman and Bradley several times--saw Bradley walk a few last night! Those two just look like major leaguers. Gausman always stood out when I saw LSU play.

    I hope they get a great package for Shark. I am all for tearing it all down and adding guys approved by this FO. The main thing is it would add some younger top arms and they would not be needed for a year or so. This FO can make up Sharks production for a year with a FA reclamation project.

  • I know both "short term" and "long term" goals both have to be
    considered when planning for the future, but if you get a chance
    to pick up great/good can't miss prospect(s)you should really
    think about it very hard.

  • I was at the cubs/ Arizona game on Tuesday and there was a Arizona scout behind me. I overheard him talking about Bradely and i jokingly chimed in and said "We'll take him". He without hesitation replied yeah well take Samardja. We talked a little more thru out the game,and he must of brought Jeffs name three more times.

  • Towers is certainly aggressive when he identifies a player he'd like to acquire or get rid of.

    I have a hard time seeing them get rid of Bradley in a deal, even for Shark. Skaggs wouldn't cut it as the headliner, IMO.

  • fb_avatar

    Why do you suppose the Cubs spent so much that they will incur financial penalties plus not be able to sign anybody next year for more than $500k? Is there still hope they can make a trade for more money?

  • In reply to Jim Pedigo:

    They liked this international free agent class and probably didn't think much of next years.

  • In reply to GoCubsGo:

    I agree, if this years group is better then go for it and just pay what
    you have to. The way pitchers are being paid if will take at least
    4 yrs and $50-60 million to sign Jeff. Do we want to do this?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to emartinezjr:

    I think any team in the league would jump at the chance to sign Samardzija to that deal!

  • In reply to Jim Pedigo:

    They liked this class plus didn't seem as thrilled about next years and the penalties are expected to be more sever next year

  • Daytona Cubs---- C J Edwards has struck out the first 6 batters
    he has faced today.

  • In reply to ELAN:

    Baez with a 2 run HR today as well.

  • Daytona Cubs--- C J Edwards has struck out the first 7 batters he
    has faced today.

  • In reply to ELAN:

    5 IP, 1 hit being of the infield variety, 1 BB, and 8 Ks. Len also just said that in his 5 IP he didn't allow a ball to get out of the infield... Nice start to his Cubs career.

  • Baez with a homer for Tennessee. In other news, the Sun rose in the east this morning.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Eldrad:

    En Fuego.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Eldrad:

    And then struck out his next AB.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He should stop doing that.

  • CJ Edwards dominates in his first Cubs MiLB start.
    https://twitter.com/daytonacubs/status/361613785020104706

  • A package similar to the James Shield deal would be really nice. Their is probably someone crazy enough to give that up.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    The difference in this deal is the Cubs have to get a pitcher as the top player coming back.

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    Not necessarily--top talent is top talent. You can always swap top talent at one position for another at a later date. For giggles, what if the Twins had a sudden aneurysm and offered Buxton for Ninja? You'd jump at that and worry about needing a replacement pitcher at a later date. Maybe you package Buxton and Baez for Price. Silly examples sure, but it doesn't NEED to be a pitcher for Ninja.

  • The problem with these kinds of rumoristic articles is....well, see above.

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