Samardzija situation still in limbo, could he be traded this offseason? What would he be worth?

Samardzija situation still in limbo, could he be traded this offseason?  What would he be worth?

After a strong season in 2012, the front office called Jeff Samardija one of their core players.  He's the kind of pitcher they like -- he's athletic with a power, low mileage arm.  He's in his prime years.  He's ultra-competitive.

That competitiveness extends to the negotiating tug-of-war, where it appears the two sides are digging in their heels.   Gordon Wittenmeyer is saying the deal is a long shot at this point.

If they cannot come to a deal, the Cubs can always keep Samardzija and he'd be a relatively low cost pitcher for his production the next two years.  They can then offer him the qualifying offer.  However, considering he's in his prime years and has two years of cost control left, they can also entertain offers for the big right-hander.

It makes the most sense that the Cubs would deal him to a contender because with Samardzija only guaranteed to stick around for 2 years, there may be a short window to win with him.  You don't trade for  a guy assuming he'll re-sign.  When teams trade for Samardzija, they'll be trading for 2 prime years of a healthy #3 type starter at relatively low salary.  That has a lot of value.  If Samardzija remains a Cub and we conservatively estimate that he will be a 3 WAR pitcher again for the next 2 years.  If we calculate each win as $5M, that's about $30M worth of pitcher.  Perhaps more if he improves.

What is that worth on the trade market?  Considering Samardzija will probably make around $5M next year after arbitration and if he follows a similar pattern to Matt Garza, should make about $9M in his last year of arbitration.  That's $14M.  So we're talking about a surprlus value of approximately $16.  If you project Samardzija to increase his value by about 1/2 win per year, that surplus worth could approach $22-23M.

Finances aren't my expertise, so that is a ballpark figure.  The next question is, how does this translate to prospects?

Well, it depends.

Victor Wang did a study in The Hardball Times, but that was back in 2008.  Pirates prospects did an update of those values last year and it appears there has been an increase in the worth of prospects over the past few years.

Alone, Samardzija would be worth a top 25 pitching prospect, perhaps top 15 per the more recent model.  The could also recoup a top 50 or better hitting prospect.  But things never work out quite that cut and dry.  There are many variables at stake.  There would likely be other players involved on both sides, bidding wars could heat up (or not heat up), other pitchers on the market, a team that decides it needs to shift gears into full-out win now mode, etc.

Contending teams such as the Royals have traded a package that included arguably the top prospect in all of baseball (Wil Meyers) for James Shields, who averaged about 1.3 more wins than Samardzija in terms of WAR in the two years prior to being traded.  However, he was also 3 years older.

The Cubs also were able to get a couple of fringe top 100 prospects for 2 months of Garza, so these things can vary.  You would expect that the Cubs could get more for Samardzija than they did for Garza.

We hear a few teams could be interested in Samardzija.  They include Arizona (who inquired about him last year), Toronto, Pittsburgh, Washington and Kansas City.  With that in mind, it's not unreasonable for the Cubs to ask for one of the top pitching prospects, such as Archie Bradley or James Tallion.

Ask yes...but receive?  That is a matter of negotiations and likely a pipe dream.

The Cubs reportedly asked for Bradley and Tyler Skaggs last year in return for Samardzija, but that went nowhere fast.  Getting one of them would be difficult.

It would likely take a team that is willing to roll the dice and go for it.  A team that comes to mind in that instance is the Nationals, who disappointed last year after years of successful rebuilding.  Could they make a win-now deal such as the Royals did last year?  Would they part with Giolito?  Considering he has yet to play full season ball and has had Tommy John surgery, that makes him more likely than someone like Bradley or Skaggs, who are on the brink of becoming rotation mainstays.

Could Kansas City try it again this year?  They certainly have a couple of pitches who are a couple of notches down in Kyle Zimmer and Yordano Ventura.  The Cubs took an interest in Zimmer before the 2012 draft when they drafted Almora and he may be a buy low candidate because his results did not match his peripherals.

The Pirates have very good pitching prospects beyond Tallion such as Tyler Glasnow and Nick Kingham.   Toronto could dangle Aaron Sanchez, who has top notch stuff but enough questions about size and command to knock him down from elite prospect status.



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  • Royals, Nats and Dbacks make the most sense. Three teams on the cusp, need a bit more to contend. Each has prospects still a year or two away that would make sense for the Cubs. And for KC and Arizona at least, Shark's $$ would be appealingly low (Nats don't have $ worries).

    Zimmer, Giolito, Bradley, Skaggs--any of those guys plus a second lower level guy would be a good deal for the Cubs.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I think Giolito and Purke or Soliz would be a very good haul.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    If they offer Giolito straight up, we have to at least consider it. Especially if they feel they've learned something about TJ cases from Vizcaino, McNeil, and the like.

    That's the one I can kind of see happening.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I saw Giolito before his injury. He will be a monster.

  • I'm not sure if I'm more annoyed by the fact that we're looking to trade Samardzija for prospects or that the MLB team is bad enough that I can't say it's unjustified.

  • In reply to Kyle:

    I'm with you Kyle. If we could keep Samardzija at the deal they can live with, I'd prefer that. He's already an in prime #3 starter. Those aren't easy to develop.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    But if you can get a TOR for a #3 SP. It well worth it.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    If that happens, absolutely.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    Nice to know I am not the only one who thinks Samardzjia is a #3. When I said that at the deadline a few people wanted to put a hit on me.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I can't even call him a #3 right now. I would prefer the consistent and reliable Travis Wood as my #3. Shark has TOR "stuff" when he is on. Problem is, he's only "on" in 1/3 of his starts. Then there's a 1/3 where he's terrible and we're down by 5+ runs. Then there's probably a 1/3 somewhere in between... I guess that technically makes him a #3. Just not the kind I'd prefer.

    i'm a Shark fan, and hope he can develop some consistency. that is just as big to us in 2014 as seeing a bounce back in Castro or Rizzo....

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I have been calling him a #3 for a while too and got the same reaction. He is a good #3 but he isn't going more then that. If I had the options of signing him or Wood.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I call him a #3 but with the qualification that his stuff is front line, his command and inconsistency knock him down to a #3. A lot of things go into being a #1 and Samardzija doesn't have that complete package.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Excellent description

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well put, but all it takes is one GM to fall in love w that "stuff" and believe his staff could get that #1 results out of him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    In the very beginning I assumed we would trade Shark or Castro or perhaps both, it would be nice to keep Shark if possible but if he's not going to sign, trade him now. Not only will we get more for 2 years of control, let's not forget what happened to Garza when they waited for bigger haul.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    I think it's beginning to resemble the Garza situation in that the two sides can't seem to get together on an extension and it becomes a race against his dwindling cost control/value.

  • I think Giolito would be hell nice pick up. He maybe 2 years away but he would be worth the wait.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I'd be bouncing off the walls. I heard the Cubs really liked him in that 2012 draft but Almora's emergence and Gio's injury probably eliminated any chance they'd gamble.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If they got him it would be a true #1 in there system.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Yes they're only one.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    That is who I would first call about. His ceiling could be as high as any prospect in baseball.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I love Giolito. But he's two years away if we're lucky! He's 19. I expect the wait for him to be able to carry a rotation to be well north of two years. Hopefully he'd be accompanied by guys who are more ready to contribute. You mentioned Solis earlier. I like him as well. I see the Nats as an excellent candidate to pull the trigger.

    As a side note, I was lucky enough to umpire a game in which both Giolito and Max Fried pitched (it was fall showcase stuff when they were both underclassmen). The 16 year old versions of those guys were nasty. Good view from back there!

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    Zimmer really isn't buy low any more. Things clicked after the All Star break and he had a good to great second half.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Maybe buy medium.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I didn't read that as you saying Zimmer was a buy low. He may not even be a buy medium. The way I read that is that he is a couple of notches below Giloito (monster potential) and some of the other pitchers listed. If Zimmer was a buy low I would think a lot of teams would have been after him.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Well, when we're talking buy low, I don't mean by on the cheap. If a guy like Zimmer would have performed up to his ability, he's not even available. The fact that we're talking about him as obtainable is buy low enough to me.

  • If your speculations are this complicated, an actual deal sounds improbable. I think the fans see the big guy as a long term asset and not a bargaining chip. I see him s a big time closer some day..

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    In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    He has to sign a deal -- the signs are that isn't going to happen. With only two years of control left, and the team looking to acquire talent for a multi-year run, a trade makes a lot of sense. Very similar, in some ways, to how the Tigers are reportedly considering a Scherzer trade this summer.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It does but Scheirholtz and Price are going cost a lot more then Samardijza. But they can get quality for him.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    Oh, I don't think for a second that they're going to get Scherzer or Price for Samardzija -- just pointing out that a team who figures to compete next year is giving up the Cy Young award winner to extend their window. Similarly, the Cubs are going to give up two years of Samardzija to create their window.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    I think it's always complicated :)

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    But he's not a long term asset right now. He's a guy with 2 years left on his contract. And if he's a closer, then it's all the more reason to deal him. Cubs aren't going to pay big for a closer and his value is likely to be less as a closer than now.

  • Thanks, John, for the article. Anything to take our minds away from the interim manager search.

    I lean toward trading Jeff, obviously if they can get high value for him. If they can get a Bradley-type, and a nice LH bat, that could be a great start.

    Btw, I ran into Mike Olt down here in AZ over the weekend, and he is pretty pumped with excitement for spring training. Says he feels the eye issue is clearing up, and he will spend the time in Mesa gearing up for ST. I am rooting for him--great kid with a great attitude.

  • In reply to JollyCharlieGrimm:

    The job should be his to win

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Olt should definitely have every opportunity to win 3B job out of ST. We already know what we have in Valbuena and Murphy... might as well find out about Olt

  • In reply to JollyCharlieGrimm:

    We'll slow down on the manager news. We had most of it figured out a long time ago and I'll probably only report stuff when it's news -- and even then as only a bullet or a section of a piece.

  • It's a hard trade. You have to feel that what you are getting is better than what you are giving up.

    There are not many "potential" top of the rotation arms in the Cubs system and Shark still has plenty of room for improvement.

    Do we really get that much more dealing him now than letting him play things out over the next year and half? If he doesn't work out, it isn't like he costs a whole lot.

    Not to mention, in the event he fails, he throws hard enough to be a reliever or a closer.

    I think you keep him unless you are blown away or it's part of a bigger deal for "literally" surplus value.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    I agree to some extent, but they will get more if they trade him this offseason than they will in 1 1/2 year. I think the Cubs and Samardzija really need to make some progress at this point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I will respectfully disagree. Still enough old school GM's who rely on ERA. And, even those who don't, will be too hesitant to give up the bounty required.

    Do you really think the return will be "that much more significant" than it would be a year from now or even 1 year and a half? If Shark is as good as people think, his numbers should bounce, thus increasing his trade value. (Theo-retically of course) :)

  • Sell high, Shark is about as high now as he will ever be. Don't trust him to improve his control. Having said that, trading away pitching is always scary.

  • He is not worth the big money and 2015 is our target year.
    We must get 1 ML ready top pitching prospect and at least
    1 more top minor league pitcher at the least

  • He is not worth the big money and 2015 is our target year. I would
    trade him for 1 top ML ready prospects and at least 1 more top
    pitching prospect at the least

  • So we are looking to trade Samardzija for a guy who finished the year at the equivalent level of Boise?

    Trading a guy who is coming off a 200 inning, 200 K season for a guy who is at short-season A ball and already has had a TJ surgery?

    I understand that this kid has tools, but I think Washington has to throw in a lot more to make this equal. So many bad things can happen to this kid as he rises up through the system, but we are willing to give away a #3 minimum SP for that.

    I say no way. This kid wouldn't be ready in two years. More like 3 or 4 years and that is assuming he continues to develop, is effective and has no set backs in health.

    I don't mind trading JS, but I want a SP that is ready to join the rotation in 2015 at the latest.

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Lucas Giolito is nearly major-league ready. He is not a 3-4 year project. He would have been the #1 overall pick in 2012, hands down, had he not been hurt.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    4 years no. 3 would be for safety. He could be ready sept 2015. But you are looking at a Verlander clone. My thought is a combination of Giolito and Soliz or Purke.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I certainly don't want to claim to know more than you Kevin as you have likely seen him pitch and I have no idea who this kid is.

    With that said, there appears to be a lot of development needed for him to still make it to the Majors AND be an effective pitcher. A lot can happen between that time. To me, it seems to be a big risk when we are giving up a qualified #3 starter who could still develop into a #1 or #2. That is my point.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I don't see Samardjiza developing into a #2 much less a #1. That was the same argument everyone use to say about Garza and it didn't happen. It almost never happens after 29. If they could get another #3 or #2 plus an other quality player they should do it.

    As for Giolito he is a risk because he hasn't thrown a full season but I have gotten reports that his CB is better then it was in HS and he has already gotten his touch back. All he needs to do is l get his arm strength back.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I love Giolito. If the Cubs got him I'd be doing handstands. I like Purke more than most.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Yes, but I think Giolito can move quickly. Could be two years away.

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    Shark is one of my favorite Cubs, but if a deal can't be done then definitely let's trade him now or by this coming deadline. Giolito+., Zimmer+, Bradley+ all sound appealing.

    Would the FO consider Bundy, or do they need to see rehab progress first?
    I'm not suggesting it, I'm just curious. I don't know if I even WANT Bundy. On one hand his work ethic is supposed to be through the roof, on the other the guy seems like he's trying to throw his arm clear off his body with every pitch.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    oh, and meant to mention Taillion + Glasnow is pretty appealing too.

  • fb_avatar

    If Dylan Bundy was available and with a desperate Oriole franchise who wants to compete next year, who knows.

  • I suppose the arguments here are sound, and it irritates me that Large Mardj and the FO are reportedly far off, but I'd be sad to see him go. He's the kind of guy I'd want on the mound during a playoff game. Hard to give up on that kind of fire.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    Have to agree. That guy is a competitor and he's exactly the kind of guy I'd like to give the ball in a big game situation. He'll show up.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yep. I could see trading this guy being something Cub fans wind up complaining about for a long time! He hasn't had many big game opportunities in his Cub career, but he sure showed up on opening day! Always showed up big at Notre Dame as well.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    I think he needs a change to take that next step. I don't think it happens in Chicago.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I don't know, you could be right. And, it's the move you have to make if he won't sign (though I don't necessarily think it has to be now). But, I personally think he'd be a totally different pitcher if he wasn't trying to win every game by himself. He seems to get into trouble when he gets behind and tries to throw everything by everyone. If he had a better team around him, either in Chicago or somewhere else, I think he could at least be big game #2 type guy...the kind of guy someone really regrets giving up!

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    I don't see him changing his demeanor that fast. If he stays in Chicago he will continue to press.

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    In reply to KGallo:


  • In reply to KGallo:

    This is what scares me about trading him.

    I see the Kenny Holtzman and Burt Hooten trades and resulting success they had with their new teams all over again.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    As a fan, I find the gulf b/n the sides disagree disappointing, but I agree w/ the consensus here that the Cubs have to protect their interests first. Per MLBTR, one of Shark's advisers/agents is his brother. I can't help but wonder if his presence might play more to Shark's emotional side (i.e., pride) and make a deal here more unlikely than it otherwise, althoughI have no doubt where the buck stops (Shark).

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    His dad is his agent. They're good people, from what I understand. Just a disagreement on worth/value and I'll leave it at that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks for the clarification John! I didn't intend on casting aspersions but sometimes a family member's perspective can see things filtered through a more complex filter that might make negotiations a bit more difficult than a pure 3rd party negotiation team might.

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    True. And I think they're very protective of Jeff, which they should be.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I thought his older brother Sam Jr. was his agent.

  • Great analysis as always John and is very timely since I think Shark will be dealt by the 2014 AS break also. When put into the context of WAR value a team will receive with JS relative to his arby numbers he definitely carries great value to the right team needing a solid #3 starter. I also feel the Cubs should do better than the Garza trade but that was an amazing job of extracting maximum value for a two month rental. This is an article I've referenced before but it does a decent job of quantifying the value of top 100 prospects:

    At the time the Garza trade was consummated, Edwards & Olt had approximately $36.48M value according to the charts as average-aged top 76-100 prospects. And that doesn't account for Grimm or Neil Ramirez- who was ranked #77 by BP last year. What a haul. So Skaggs, Giolito, Bradley, Snydergaard should all be considered as a starting point and then anyone else that Theo could get would be icing on the cake. If I were to handicap it I believe the Dbacks & Nats would be the best options since only the Feldman trade has worked out well for the AL teams the last couple years and that might scare off the Bluejays or Royals. Giolito/Solis would work, don't know if we could snag AJ Cole, but maybe the Nats would deal Barrett as a secondary piece. D-bags have a pile of arms for trade- Skaggs and either Barrett/Holmberg would be decent.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I don't like Skaggs, at all. Saw him pitch a few times last season- color me unimpressed. Velocity is ok and he really shows the ball to hitters. Most lefties have solid natural deception - not so much with him.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    That is another good site for those type of values. The Cubs did well with Garza. Have to think they'd have to do much better to trade Samardzija.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    And thanks Paulson.

  • BTW, Kris Bryant with another HR. I'm serious...

    Soler 1-3 with a BB.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Will have minor league stuff later tonight.

  • They need to handle this differently than they handled Garza situation.

    The Garza situation turned out well in terms of the haul but the process was faulty. They took too much performance/injury risk between when they took over & when he was dealt; they came close to receiving nothing. He should've been dealt after '11 season when they knew they were looking at gut rehab.

    In Shark's case if they can't get a deal done now, move him in the offseason. Give the acquiring team two full yrs and the return will reflect that. Otherwise, you're taking a ton of risk in waiting for that "desperate" team at the deadline.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I may be more of a riverboat gambler than you, but I wait until the trade deadline. The biggest risk is injury. The risk in trading him now is he's coming off a poor year. His value is pretty low. If he starts next year like he pitched in 2012, that will increase his value more than the 1/2 year less in control will hurt it. A few teams on the edge of contention, in a bidding war, could net us a good haul.

  • In reply to djriz:

    I think Samardzija had a good year. He had a 3.77FIP which is bad and had good k/BB. He is a above avg #3.

  • Shark isn't worth a prospect with ace potential, let alone one of those guys AND another name.

    Maybe you guys saw a different pitcher then I saw.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    Do I think he gets Bradley not alone. Do I think he gets Tallion I doubt. I think Giolito is do able because he hasnt thrown a full season yet. I think Kingham and Glasnow are possible and like both a lot. I think any of the Royals or Jays players are possible. It just

  • If I'm trading him its not for less than a TOR prospect. Ideally one that is a year away or less from the majors. If not just keep him and see what the market is in July, then next off season. I'd be in no rush to trade him. That said, signing Tanaka makes trading Shark a lot easier

  • In reply to Ike03:

    And it may make a difference if they win, like Wittenmeyer says. if Tanaka comes over, a couple guys bounce back, a couple break through,. and the Cubs add another key player or two, then winning could be the biggest factor in getting Samardzija to change his mind on the NTC. If the Cubs are winning and he's performing, they won't want to trade him.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I don't understand that thinking. Getting Tanaka, assuming he is a s good as we hope he is, would move up the Cubs timeline greatly. If you then turn around and trade Samardzija, you have effectively nullified the gain from the Tanaka signing, and moved the timeline back a couple of years.

  • Finally! My favorite topic!

    Time to trade Samardzija! I would not wait until July. He just threw 200 innings of work that should impress the statheads. I DO think he is definitely worth an ace prospect. He's one of the most attractive arms on the market.

    Only WE know how much he sucks.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    I never understood that line of thinking. How can he be worth a TOR if he sucks? Teams have advanced scouts and advanced statisticians. They know how good he is.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He does suck he just isn't a #1. Hell maybe he gets to a winner and it all clicks but I don't see it happening with the Cubs.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I'm assuming you mean he doesn't suck -- in which case, I agree.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sorry yes. I am wondering if a change of environment would help him?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I think he'd thrive on a good team. It'd be nice if the Cubs can get good quickly and see how he'd do.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Because you can measure a lot of things in a pitcher. I think this is a matter of insider information vs. how he is perceived elsewhere.

    I'll tell you why I think he sucks, in one word: Arrogance. I believe his overconfidence in himself prevents him from bothering to learn how to pitch. He simply doesn't have the head to be an ace over the long haul of a season. He only pitches like an ace when he is locked in. But this is a fan talking who has been suffering through his inconsistency for years now. We know him. We have lost confidence in Samardzija reaching his potential with our team, and many of us don't believe he'll ever achieve greatness with anyone.

    But THEY don't know that!

    Here's a young power arm with low mileage on a great athlete. Here's a good fastball, a good slider and a great split. Here's 200 Ks in 200 innings in his first full season as a starter. Here is a TON of potential to break out right now.

    I think he could be an incredibly hot commodity to the outsider. Easily a solid #3 pitcher, with flashes of TOR stuff. I think that can get us a top pitching prospect, especially in a seller's market, with a weak FA pitching class.

    Yeah, "suck" is a strong word. I'm just fed up. I know he wants a big contract, and I don't want to give it to him.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    Some people would call that arrogance, confidence. And to me, Samardzija has learned a ton about pitching. He went from a thrower to a bad middle reliever to a solid reliever to a good starter. I'd say he's learning all the time.

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    In reply to HackWilson09:

    There are 30 MLB teams who know exactly what Samardzjia is, fortunately or unfortunately, a #3 starter with stuff that plays up.

    Now you have to look at teams and decide three things:

    1. Where does he fit as a difference maker?
    2. What is a fair return for acquiring Samardzjia and a draft pick (assuming he rejects a QO in 2015)?
    3. What do the Cubs realistically expect in return?

    Kevin Gallo is spot on in his fit with Washington. You are exchanging potential for risk with Giolito and Solis is the buffer. And Washington makes the most sense because they are a legitimate WS contender.

    The other teams are a more difficult fit. I don't think Pittsburgh is willing to trade any of their top prospects, same with Baltimore. I think Cincinnati is a fit. They have some good, under-the-radar pitching and hitting prospects. Arizona, possible. If Detroit trades Scherzer, they would definitely be in on Samardzjia becase realistically they have about a two-year window right now. And speaking of Scherzer, it is entirely possible that Washington could get Scherzer for a similar package (Giolito, Solis) and sign him. That would be a bad-ass staff slotting their top 3 pitchers.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I think the best fits are the Nats, Royals and Jays for Samardijza. I think the Pirates and DBacks are going to look for hitting first. I also think Schezer gets resigns he is too important to the tigers to trade but if he does they would look for a mega package. I don't see the Nats, Royals or Jays having the ability to do it.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I keep forgetting about Kansas City and Toronto. In my head, I somehow think those teams do not even exist. Shame on me.

  • I wouldn't look for the Cubs to be trading Samardzija any time soon. He has a huge upside and eventually will get his money probably from the Cubs.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think it is the NTC that is the big problem.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Yes, I don't see him getting one with this FO.

  • A lot of these Shark for a potential ace trade talk makes too much sense from a Cubs perspective and not enough sense for the other teams.

    One example...If I'm the Diamondbacks am I really going to give up a potential top of the rotation guy for two years of Jeff Samardzija? If you don't make a WS series run or at the very least make the playoffs in the next two years with Shark being a big part it's not even worth it. Dodgers look like they'll be the clear favorite in the West next year with everyone else in the west playing for second place and best case scenario looks like that dreaded wild card game. They'll be competing for that spot with the likes of the NL East 2nd place team (Braves/Nats) 2nd/3rd place NL Central teams (Cards/Pirates/Reds) and even some in division competition (Giants). If they were neck and neck with the Dodgers I could mayyyyybe see them doing something crazy, maybe..., but they aren't there. They are probably the 8th best team in the NL.

    Sure he could resign with them and that makes his value a bit more, but one of the chief reasons the Cubs might be shopping him is because they aren't close on a contract, you can't make a Bradley for Shark trade with hope you'll resign him when all signs point to him being difficult to resign with his current team.

    Bradley is their Baez, the guy who they deem untouchable unless someone blows them away, would the Cubs give up Baez for two years of a player whose career WAR is 3.1. No. A lot of the time when trades are mentioned on here you see the Cubs getting a huge steal with the trade not making much sense for the other team. I think Bradley for Shark is a bad trade, I think Bradley plus another name for Shark is not even remotely possible.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    I would liken it to trading Ian Desmond (2 years left on his deal, solid/good player, like Shark) for Javier Baez (top 10 prospect just like Bradley).

    Some people might say, the Cubs aren't contending so they wouldn't make that trade, well the Dbacks aren't contending either, and lets just say the Cubs were a 90 win team, would they even consider that trade?

    No. Let's give up on the Bradley dream.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    I don't think we mentioned any trade scenarios and we pretty much said they wouldn't be getting guys like Bradley, Tallion or Giolito, though Giolito is the most "likely" of the three. Just calculated what kind of prospect a 3 WAR starter with two years cost control would bring, and while it's not that elite level, the value is still for some of the second tier TOR types like Sanchez and possibly Zimmer, Glasnow. All have TOR stuff. There are variables involved, so we aren't trying to create packages, just theoretically how much somoene of Samardzija's value could bring.

    And you can't say never. Shields was about a win better than Shark and got the best prospect in baseball. Not that Shark can get that, but overpays happen all the time in certain circumstances.

  • I know there's a couple different formulas for WAR, which do you use? Shields was 19.3 career entering this season. Shark is currently at 3.1 career for baseball reference.

    Shark's highest for a season was 1.8 last season.
    Shields highest was 5.2, and has five seasons at 1.8 and higher.
    Plus the Big Game James postseason experience. I don't think Shark's value comes close to Shields value.

    Is the WAR closer on another site?

    You might not have mentioned Bradley trade scenarios but there's a couple in the comments, like the first comment for example, and it's always mentioned whenever Shark is mentioned. But post was for those who make the crazy trade scenarios, you're more level-headed.

  • There is zero chance of getting Bradley. He is going to be as good as Shark NEXT year. D'Backs are not going to deal him for anything. Not Shark, not Price, not Stanton. And nothing else they have really interests me. Skaggs is just a guy to me.

    Giolito would be a dream scenario, and the Nats pitching staff could use a durable mid rotation guy to slot in behind Strasburg. Wouldn't hurt to ask, but I think the Nats realize they lucked into another potential Strasburg and aren't going to part with him.

    Taillon is a more conceivable. I think the Pirates would be willing to deal him for a young impact player, but they probably need a bat more than a pitcher, but he would be a potential target in a Shark deal.

    Bundy or Zimmer are probably the most likely centerpieces given their team's needs and their windows of contention. The Royals, like the Pirates probably need a bat more than a pitcher, but I wouldn't rule them out as they could use one of each and there just aren't enough hitters for every team that needs one.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Great post.

    I don't think the Pirates want to trade a young stud to a division rival. With Taillon so close to the big leagues, they might just see what they have with him. It's possible he makes the rotation out of spring training and he's another candidate to be better than Shark next year. Would it be THAT shocking if he was better than Shark next year? I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb, I'll call it a fearless prediction.

    That being said if they're going to ship off one of their top guys might as well go after Scherzer even if it costs a little more. If I was in the Pirates shoes and wanted to get get ballsy I'd take a year of Max as opposed to two middle of the rotation years of Shark. I don't see either happening but Max is the kind of guy that could push you to winning the division. I don't see Shark as that. Solid middle piece though.

  • In reply to Yemi:


    I forgot to mention Sanchez being another reasonable potential target along with Bundy/Zimmer. The Jays could use a durable guy like Samardzija as well.

  • I think the Samardzija situation is pretty much right where it should be at this point. The price of pitching has just gone up so much that he and his camp have correctly surmised that they will be able to get 75M plus on the the open market. The Cubs are probably around 50-55 right now I would guess. Its hard to leave 20 or more million dollars on the table over the course of a career. I totally get it from Jeff's perspective after seeing all this money getting thrown around.

    Its exciting to me that Giolito is in play in the rumor mill. The main reason we're not going to get guys like Bradley or Taillon in a package is because their respective teams would be just as good if they threw the youngsters into the fire rather than giving them up for a 3 guy with upside. By the all star break next year, both of those gentlemen should be able to produce the output of a 3/4 starter in the show. Giolito being 19 and the fact that the Nats need a 3/4 starter to get them through their current window (which is still WIDE open) makes a ton of sense.

    Giolito is the only guy that is realistic that has made me think about it. If I were Mike Rizzo I'd be all over Samardzija. All over him. He'd be their 4th starter. Sick.

    Ultimately though, after a ton of thought I've come to a conclusion. Despite the shortcomings, I love Samardzija. I think the FO should just bite down and get close to what he wants. Five years for 75. Fine. Even a sixth year at another 15-18. Fine. Here's why I think that...
    A) The price of pitching is so freaking high. It's going to get higher too when Kershaw raises the bar.
    B) At the very least he'll be a rock solid 3 or 4 guy for the duration of that deal. Its not the worst thing in the world to pay your 4th starter 2nd starter money. 75 million is barely second starter money these days anyway.
    C) This is my main reason...I love his competitive fire and athleticism. Its fun to play behind guys like him. Its fun to be around them when they're not pitching. I just love the warrior attitude. Not all good pitchers have it.

    So he's not an ace. If he can be our true number three or four at some point in the near future, meaning we'll have two or three guys better than him, we'll be a really good team. He's pretty close to a known commodity by now but he's still really dangerous. He's the perfect number three or four on a team that's ready.

    *My opinion is subject to change. This will likely only happen if the trade were for PITCHERS that make the 2014 and 2015 teams better. I don't think we can get a guy that will be better than Shark over the next two seasons. To me, Giolito, even though I have seen him up close and I'm in love with his upside, is three or four years from being a horse. He may debut before then but he's unlikely to be a force before age 23 or 24. If 2015 is the goal, we should roll the dice with our guy and try our best to find our own Giolito another way.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    This is how I see it. The Cubs should find a way to hang on to Samardzaji short of a NTC. Guys that can be horses are few and will cost beaucoup $$ or prospects.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    The problem is they have #3s in there system in Johnson, McNeil and a few others I just don't want to look up right now. I think his greatest value to the Cubs is a trade chip.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    He has a ton of value. They have prospective number three's. But none of those guys are 200 inning 200 k guys. Yet.

    I'm a known commodity guy in this particular case. I'd be happy with Giolito if they pull the trigger.

  • I think Shark is still learning to pitch. His split finger is becoming his out pitch, so he needs to get his fastball over to be his set-up pitch. He also needs to command the strike zone better. I haven't really seen him be able to get batters out climbing the ladder or changing speeds.

    That being said, I would hate to trade him to any team in the NL, so if he must be traded lets at least get him over to the AL. He is a Chicago guy, so call the White Sox and see what it would take to get Sale in a package, or maybe straight up for Johnson and another prospect.

  • In reply to Cleme:

    For Chris Sale...Shark, Baez, Soler, Pierce Johnson.

    25 on Opening Day. Signed for 6 more seasons at a very friendly price. One of the best pitchers in baseball. Kings Ransom.

  • With a little research I see you got the 3 WAR from fangraphs.

    Baseball Reference has his WAR for the last two seasons at ... 2.8. A 1.4 average.

    ESPN has his WAR for the last two seasons at ... 2.3. A 1.3 average.

    Using your $5 million per win example you'd get $14 million for two seasons using his Baseball Reference WAR. Which is equal to the estimated $14 million he'll get over two seasons.

    You'd get $13 million if you used ESPN's WAR. A $1 million deficit.

    If you averaged all three numbers together, by adding all the WAR's, then dividing by 6 you'd get... 1.82, then you times that by $5 million per season, twice...and add the numbers, the mean for the three numbers is... 18.2. Only a $4 million surplus from the the original $14 million estimate.

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    Regarding the Samardzija trade, I believe there's a greater chance that he is traded at the 2014 trade deadline than during this off season. Unless, of course, they are blown away with an offer. Would we'd have received more in return in the Garza trade at the first of the year (assuming he were healthy) as compared to the trade deadline? Doubtful. You have smart GMs (Dbacks, Cardinals, Pirates) who won't bite with the over-indulgence of a rental player like Garza was. With Samardzija though, he won't be a rental. My guess is you'd have more players for Samardzija, making his value very high. Samardzija has been a durable arm up until now and, at this point, is a low injury risk. Keeping him until the trade deadline also gives them an extra high-velocity arm if we are competitive next year (yes, that is a possibility). If they trade Samardzija during the off season, I believe it means either one of two things: (1) They received a bucketful of high-upside prospects in return or (2) We have a small hint of what appears to be another year branded as a "rebuilding" year.

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    Jeff Samardzjia is due for an Anibal Sanchez type contract with an uptick due to inflation and current market conditions.

    Though his agent is his father, and I am sure he is a nice guy, as businessmen they both know that baseball is flush with money right now. They want their fair share.

    I've talked about this extensively regarding Ellsbury. You cannot use past financial metrics in this market environment, especially this year. There is too much money chasing too few goods, and baseball is going through a demand-pull hyper-inflationary environment that it hasn't seen in over a decade. This will be a trend until 2016 and maybe longer, depending how many teams re-sign their own impending free agents to LT contracts and how much money is doled out in the interim.

    That being said, and accounting for all of that, what is Samardzjia worth? For me, I'd trade him before giving him another penny because I think this year he regresses and gets woefully exposed as a defacto ace from day one. But, in this market, coming off the last two seasons, he is worth just shy of his demands.

    Samardzjia will thrive in a rotation like WAS, BOS, SF, DET, CIN, LA or ATL because he will be a 3/4 with upside potential. He will not thrive where he is slotted as the ace/stopper and may struggle as a #2 (PGH, ARZ, CLE, etc. - which is not to say those teams wouldn't be interested) A wildcard team may be the New York Mets. I know their farm system is pretty bare bones with a few sleepers, but with their current low payroll and the state of Matt Harvey's health they may kick the tires. I doubt if they'd be willing to trade Syndergaard but it's not inconceivable.

    The no trade clause is the line in the sand. The Cubs won't set precedent and give in because then it will be leveraged against them in any future negotiations.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Great post even though I'd like him to get paid. I don't see why he can't be our number three two or three years from now instead of thriving somewhere else.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    The keys to getting the most out of Jeff is to field a better team (mainly offensively) around him get a real #1 pitcher in here so it takes pressure off him and also gives him someone to compete with. (Look at how all the young cardinal pitchers compete and push each other and as an added plus they get to ask questions to two proven ACES in Wainwright and Carpenter. If the geniuses can coax Tanaka to come here. I think along w Jeff, Travis Wood, and Arrieta, we could be in for some interesting times next summer.

    Add in a veteran bat or two and then some mid-season call ups for Baez and/or Bryant and this could become the 2003 Marlins.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    My thoughts exactly, Jim! If he's our number three than we're in great shape! Well said with the Cards. As a young pitcher I'd listen a little more to Carp and Waino than I would to Derek Lilliquist. Its like they have 3 pitching coaches. Plus a bullpen coach, Matheny, and Yadi. Pretty much the ideal environment for nurturing young arms.

    Kevin Youkilis is kind of a sleeper free agent for me. We could have him on the roster instead of Donnie Murphy. Back up first baseman. Veteran, extra bench coach type guy. A "Clubhouse Coach" if you will. It would have to be the right deal but he figures to come at a significantly lower price than the 12 million he earned last year. I'd like to add Youkilis, DeJesus, and Jose Molina.

  • Would anyone be opposed to dealing Shark and a prospect to the Angels for Trumbo and Bourjos? It's reported that both are being shopped for young pitching, and I think that both players would really help the Cubs out.

    Trumbo is one of the game's best right-handed power-hitters. He's not exactly an OBP king, but he's exactly the type of hitter you want hitting behind Rizzo. He has some experience at both corner outfield spots. Maybe he can play left field when Bryant is ready to take over in right.

    Peter Bourjos is also a young talent. He's really only had one year starting in Los Angeles, and he did a great job. He's a hometown kid, and he is tied with Michael Bourn in regards to defensive value added since being promoted to the majors. The Cubs could definitely use a boost defensively in the outfield, and Bourjos can provide the lead-off ability the Cubs have been lacking. He's not a burner on the base-paths, but he has shown that given enough playing time, he could steal 20+. In that year starting he had an OBP of .327 and he had an OBP of .333 in a limited sample this year. He can get on base.

    1. Bourjos (CF)
    2. Castro (SS)
    3. Rizzo (1B)
    4. Trumbo (LF)
    5. Nate the Great (RF)
    6. Welly (C)
    7. The third-base platoon
    8. Barney (unless there's a new sheriff in town)

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Both also have three years of team control remaining

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I wouldn't mind that trade at all if the Cubs had a lot of young pitching in the pipeline, but since they don't the angels are not a good trade partner.

    I would love to see what Trumbo could do after a hot summer at Wrigley. That sicko could hit 50 bombs, and we know Rizzo could use that protection.

    Only way(s) I could see jedstein even considering the trade is if he can get the angels to throw in rhp R.J Alvarez. I am sure we would have to throw in some other pieces, maybe even Vogelbomb ( he would be a good fit for the Angels)
    Jedstein would have to find a way to get Tanaka to replace Jeff's output.

    I am all for it because it 1. gives us a fallback middle of lineup bat in case soler, bryant, baez, or even rizzo don't approach their ceiling.
    2. Also w speedy petey, it gives almora some more time to develop esp since hes so young and been very unlucky w injuries so far.

    I love it when I read that outside the box thinking !

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I'd be opposed to that on the grounds that there's plenty of right handed corner power on the way. A healthy Mike Olt could serve as a Trumbo-lite. I like Bourjos to a certain degree but he can't pitch. They'd HAVE to get a future rotation piece better than Samardzija in any deal for Samardzija. I like the creativity a lot though. I like both of those players too. I'd rather have Bourjos than Schierholtz next year but that won't happen.

  • What about the Tigers? Dombrowski has got be about as desperate to "win now" as anyone. I'm not much with prospect lists but a quick look at the Tigers top 10 (according to has 5 pitchers in it.

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    In reply to JohnCC:

    Yea, but I don't think they will be going after another starter. ( deep pockets illitch is not going to let the best #1 #2 combo in the AL go away, mad max will get his money)

    They will be looking to build up that bullpen, right? They got JV, MAX, Anibal, Fister, Porcello, and they could easily move Smyly to the 5th spot when they rebuild that pig pen.

    The key is, what bullpen arms could we send to the Tigers to get us Casey Crosby, Drew Verhagen, or Matt Hoffman. Personally I would like to get Melvin Mercedes as I see him as a light out closer of the future,( I pray every night Aroyds Vizcaino will make it as a starter) but of course the tigers could just slot him into there pig pen if he shows well in spring training.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I don't even think its a given that Samardzija would be their 5th best starter. Porcello would be his only competition in my eyes. Verlander, Scherzer, Sanchez, and Fister (close) are all likely to outpitch Samardzija in 2014. The Tigers are an unlikely spot to me. I have Cincinnati as a sleeper team that could get in there along with Seattle. Just speculation on my part.

    All that being said, Samardzija's stuff and competitiveness make him a major wild card to outpitch A LOT of guys! Hopefully he's wearing a Cub uniform when that happens.

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    I like the idea of turning a #3 into a young number one in a year or two.
    I feel like there's no chance at Bradley. But if he were offered, I'd obviously take it. Taillon is also a delicate situation. Trading within the division. (But Pittsburgh probably won't be able to keep him after free agency.)
    Giolito is super intriguing. I want Washington to get involved.

    I feel like this is the smartest way to balance out the farm system. We could get a haul back in quality young arms. Then, we absolutely THE best farm system in baseball. And we're still open to dealing short-term assets throughout 2014. 2015, we start winning a little bit.
    We already have a surplus of middle of the rotation caliber arms. With guys like Edwards and Johnson coming along, as well. But, no ace. Samardzija's spot in the rotation can go to Baker. And we trade him, too.
    If we deal Samardzija, win on Tanaka and hire Ausmus- I'll be ecstatic.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    Nice post. You make a great case for a trade. Certainly a chance to put us over the top as the #1 system.

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