Trade rumors keep percolating as Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammell both appear to be on their way out of Chicago. For Hammel, teams that have talked with the Cubs believe he will be moved in the next two weeks. For Samardzija, a "Top 4" of Giants, Blue Jays, Royals, and Yankees seems to be emerging.
- The Royals continued strong play has made them a popular destination in Jeff Samardzija rumors. One name that is popping up in trade rumors is 25-year old lefty Danny Duffy. A third round pick in the 2007 draft, Duffy emerged as one of the Royals top prospects before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012. (Hipster Tommy John surgery: he had it before it was cool.) Duffy has a mid 90s fastball which he complements with a plus curve and a changeup. This year, his strikeouts numbers are down but so are his walk totals. If you're looking to get someone similar to Jake Arrieta in a Jeff Samardzija trade, Duffy is a good guy to hope for.
- While the Royals appear a possible destination for Samardzija, two early favorites, the Braves and the Rockies, are not. Braves' beat reporter David O'Brien says that the team is already over-budget already and are not looking to add to their rotation, which they view as a strength. Meanwhile, the Denver Post's Patrick Saunders reports that the Rockies have not decided whether they will be buyers or sellers at the deadline. Whatever they end up doing, however, they are not interested in either one of the Cub pitchers. This is pure speculation, but given Jake Arrieta's extreme ground ball splits this year, could the Rockies be the team willing to part with two impact players to acquire him?
- This is not exactly a trade rumors but it is important for the Cubs, nonetheless. Padres GM Josh Byrnes was fired on Sunday. Among the names the San Diego Union-Tribune has on the shortlist to replace him is Cubs' SVP of Scouting and Player Development, Jason McLeod. While it's a little scary to hear, there has been speculation for a while that McLeod will become a GM sooner rather than later. We should probably just get used to this.
- One team that suddenly finds itself in the market for pitching are our old buddies in St. Louis. However, don't expect the Cardinals to jump into the Jeff Samardzija sweepstakes just yet. Aside from being unlikely to give top prospects to a division rival, word from Tampa Bay is that they've been scouting Rays' ace David Price. They could still end up doing the Cubs a favor, though. If they beat the best offers of the Blue Jays and Giants on Price, they will leave those clubs with no options other than the Cubs.
- Jason Hammel spoke with Jesse Rogers regarding his future. Hammel gives the standard reply that he might come back if he was traded. The difference, however, is that he actually sounds like he means it: "I would assume they are pretty happy with my body of work so far and if a trade happens it happens but I guarantee, say I was to go to another team, I love it here. I guarantee you they wouldn't be opposed to bringing me back next year."
Filed under: Rumors/Speculation