It seems a bit early to start handicapping the Jeff Samardzija sweepstakes.
Yesterday I pondered if Samardzija could be influencing the Cubs brass with his recent performance. Could Samardzija's stellar start to the season bring everyone back to the table?
No chance, I'm told.
Actually, I was told by one source there was something like a 2% chance a deal could still happen between the two sides. So there is that. Another says Camp Samardzija and the Cubs aren't even talking anymore. It's pretty much fait accompli.
The Cubs are preparing for the phones to start ringing in the coming months for their own version of "Sharkfest". There will be the usual suspects you've heard before such as Toronto, Arizona, the New York Yankees, and possibly even Pittsburgh.
Some doubt the Yankees would have what it takes prospect-package-wise, yet there is interest of course. They have a need for more pitching and the money to lock Samardzija up long-term.
The one team that could make a move sooner than later would be Arizona. GM Kevin Towers is on the hot seat from what I hear. He may need to pull a Shark out of hat to save his job. I’m not entirely sold that Samardzija is job-saver material, yet Arizona may have enough offensively to compete and get back in the race, or that's what at least one talent evaluator tells me.
It’s the pitching that has led to Arizona's awful start, they believe. So why not just bring up stud pitching prospect Archie Bradley? Some think Towers is afraid to put that much pressure on the kid, for fear that he may falter. That scenario could be the nail in the coffin for Towers, a source says.
Towers instead may just be desperate enough to try a “Hail Mary” for a former wide receiver turned pitcher.
See what I did there?
Towers could even move his 1st round pick Braden Shipley, a top pitching prospect, come July in a deal. I’m not sure Arizona will be in the race long enough to be players in earnest, but keep your eye on them nonetheless. Desperate times could call for desperate measures.
The Cubs front office is likely waiting for that type of call.
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