The Cubs are looking for pitching.
That is why it may still surprise most that Jeff Samardzija will be made available this winter. The factor to consider here is the Cubs want young, controlled pitching. Samardzija is still under the Cubs control for a couple more years. Yet, the Cubs want to lock their younger talent up even longer a la Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo.
I told you back at the July trading deadline the Cubs were taking calls on their de facto ace. The price was sky high at the time. The Cubs still wanted to work on securing “Shark” in a long-term deal.
The two sides apparently have gotten further apart, and I hear the Samardzija trade market is heating up already. The Blue Jays, Royals, DBacks, Pirates, and Nationals have all expressed their interest. One possibility could have the Cubs packaging a prospect with Shark to get another team’s coveted young pitcher. Think of an Archie Bradley type from Arizona as a possibility.
Speaking of young, controlled pitching, I’m told the Cubs plan on placing a call across town to Rick Hahn. They want to see if the White Sox are entertaining any thoughts of dealing Chris Sale. I would file this in the never going to happen drawer but, you cant blame them for making the call.
The Sox want to build around their young pitching. They would also likely list the Cubs as the last team they would make such a daring move with. Sale is signed through 2019 with a final year of $13.5 mil. That is the type of control the Cubs are looking for.
I’m told any deal involving Sale would have to include names like Javy Baez and Jorge Soler to start. It is possible the Cubs could get more in the way of ammunition from a Samardzija deal. When it comes to a pitcher like Sale you have to wonder if he is destined for TJS with his violent delivery. However, one scout told me his arm action is surprisingly clean for his arm slot.
Again, obtaining a Sale type is pie in the sky. However, it does give you an idea of what the Cubs are trying to accomplish this offseason.