There has been some noise lately that the Toronto Blue Jays could be shifting gears.
The Jays may prefer to now talk Jason Hammel with the Cubs rather than Jeff Samardzija. At first blush, I figured this was just posturing by the Jays front office to bring the price down on Samardzija. However, industry people tell me the talk is real.
I still believe the Cubs could get a Samardzija deal done with the Jays.
Yet, if you take into account just how high a return the Cubs are seeking, coupled with doubt the Jays probably harbor in extending Shark, you could see why they may prefer the cheaper option.
That is, if Hammel is that much cheaper.
One NL source I heard from echoes concerns regarding the apparently high asking price for Samardzija. He tells me the industry likely still views Samardzija as a rental (even with control for next year) due to his perceived intent on hitting the free agent market.
What are the Cubs seeking in return for Hammel? How about either of pitchers Aaron Sanchez or Daniel Norris coupled with outfielder Dalton Pompey?
Sounds pricey. It was, however, suspected the Cubs were possibly asking for all 3 prospects in return for Samardzija. There is quite a strong demand for Hammel, so a return of Norris/Pompey may not be out of the question.
But another industry source said he would be shocked to see the Jays part with Norris for anything other than Shark.
The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo has heard Hammel's value is trending up.
One major league source said, “You could argue that Hammel is the most sought-after player, positional or pitcher, in the trade market right now.”
In a tight AL East race, the team that makes the best move at the deadline may win that thing.
With the Rays likely having zero interest in keeping David Price within the division, the Cubs could hold the key to the AL East crown with two major cards.
Let the bidding continue.
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