I've been trying to find some rumors for you guys on lesser pieces like James Russell and Edwin Jackson. However, Jeff Samardzija continues to capture the bulk of the ink (or bytes in the new computerized world) in Cubs trade rumors John Morosi had a major article this morning on the Cubs-Blue Jays trade talks on Samardzija. We're apparently at a point where the interest is there but neither side is willing to budge to get a deal done.
The Blue Jays had scouts at Samardzija's start last night and saw a mixed game. While he fought through less than perfect stuff, Morosi points out that Samardzijagot away with several fastballs over the heart of the plate and there is concern that, with a better offensive lineup than Cincinnati's, the one run may have been more like 5.
The reports that the Cubs were scouting AA LHP Daniel Norris appear to have teeth as the Cubs are demanding Norris, AAA RHP Aaron Sanchez, and high A CF Dalton Pompey. Pompey is the new name here. He is a 2010 16th round pick who is having a breakout season for the FSL's Dunedin Blue Jays. The switch hitter is putting up .312/.392/.460 slash, a career best in all three categories. In addition, he is 27 for 29 in stolen base attempts. It is noteworthy that he's doing this in an extreme pitcher's league like the FSL. These three players would be an excellent return for Samardzija.
The problem that's arising is that, while the Cubs won't come down from that price, the Blue Jays refuse to include all three in a deal for any one player, including the Rays' David Price. The latter may be significant as the Rays are reportedly ready to trade Price now for the right deal. However, with the Rays' desire to move Price out of the AL East, it would seem that the Blue Jays would have to significantly beat any offer for the former Cy Young winner.
One of the teams that the Blue Jays may have to beat is the Cardinals, who, as we reported yesterday, have been connected to Price. They also have a minor league system more than capable of beating almost anyone if they decided to do so. (Oscar Taveras, alone, would be tough for the Blue Jays to top.) However, it appears they may be exploring options. Robert Murray at Sports Rumor Alert reports that the Cardinals were scouting Samardzija at last night's game. Murray points out that, much like the Rays with the Blue Jays, the Cubs would require an overwhelming return to trade Samardzija within division. An industry source confirms that the Cardinals were at the game last night though he cannot say for certain who they were scouting. For the moment, I'd consider the Cardinals' interest to simply be due diligence.
Finally, Murray also reports that the Royals were at the game last night. In news that will make many folks here happy, Murray is saying that RHP Kyle Zimmer would need to be part of any Samardzija trade.
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