Trade Rumors: Rosenthal and Nightengale Weigh in on Samardzija

Another day, another set of Jeff Samardzija rumors.  This is going to be a crazy month and a half.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports jumped into the Jeff Samardzija rumor mill today.

Nightengale says that the Giants are showing strong interest in Samardzija, with the Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Red Sox, and Blue Jays also in the picture.

The Giants make a lot of sense as a trade partner.  The Giants have an elite arm, right hander Kyle Crick, atop their farm system and have shown a willingness to move prospects to add pieces for a playoff run.  Krick has big fastball which touches 98 MPH and mixes in a plus slider.  The downside is that Krick’s results haven’t matched his premium stuff in AA (3.88 FIP) but at only 21 years old the Cubs may jump at the upside.  They have other intriguing arms such as LHP Edwin Escobar (3.86 FIP for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies) and RHP Joan Gregorio (3.69 FIP for high A San Jose).  Escobar profiles as a middle of the rotation innings eater but he is close to major league ready.  Gregorio, 6’7″ 180 lbs, makes CJ Edwards look fat but has swing and miss stuff.

Ken Rosenthal has the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Red Sox watching Samardzija’s last start.  He also mentions the Jason Hammel to the Mariners rumor from yesterday.  He says while the Mariners are, indeed, interested, negotiations haven’t gone any further than that.

WSCR’s Bruce Levine, however, attempts to dump cold water on both sets of rumors: “Where is all the sourcing coming from on Samardzija The reports are real , the interest questionable . @BNightengale @Ken_Rosenthal”  Levine seems to be saying that the media reports are inaccurate with respect to the other teams’ true level of interest.  Not sure I entirely believe Levine but no question that this time of year has reports with far more smoke than fire.

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  • I haven't watched Giants minor league games, only read prospect reports, so my point may easily be dispelled by those who have seen the kids play but....I wouldn't do any trade with the Giants that did not include Crick (who amazingly has 29 BB in 44 innings, but still an ERA under 4.0). Crick is a potential star and I am not as sold on any other Giant prospect.

  • In reply to springs:

    I agree, Crick is appealing, but I prefer packages other teams could offer. As a non-scout (who does stay at Holiday Inn Expresses frequently) I also rely on the national guys for my info. I know Parks had a recent free article on Crick that pegged him as a late inning reliever based on what he saw ( The control issues are worrisome, though that seems to be a lot of guys that, and if it does click, Crick's stuff appears TOR quality.

  • Levine just sounds bitter. He has lost credit ability since leaving ESPN.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I agree, and I feel like a lot of his reporting has just been contradictory to a lot of the consensus recently. That, in and of itself isn't wrong, but his attitude comes across as bitter. For example, he made some comments on the radio over the weekend when some of these national reports surfaced that seemed to allude to the fact that he had this months ago.

    Hopefully it's just a temporary thing, I used to enjoy is work. He is just losing me of late.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    He's a complete moron. It's embarrassing that the Score can't find a reporter that actually knows something.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Ok that was uncalled for.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I have found it harder to listen to him on The Score. He hasn't gone full Steve Stone, but he's getting close to that level of bitterness and homerism

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    Giants have a few solid pieces in their farm -- but other than Krick and maybe Susac, they don't seem to have a lot of outstanding talent...not a lot of 60+ grade talent. When the names we've seen thrown around are Bundy, Harvey, Stroman, Sanchez, etc...the Giants system definitely seems like a step down.

    Am I wrong for feeling that way?

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    In reply to Chris Lattier:

    No, but I wonder if our expectations as to the return for Samardzija might be too high.

    While he appears to be a more attractive piece than Garza was last year, teams just don't give up potential TOR starters in deals like this anymore.

    I can see the Cubs getting a couple pitching prospects along the lines of C.J. Edwards and a couple position guys in some team's Top 15, but it's tough to envision them getting an Aaron Sanchez-level hurler.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Teams won't give up a potential TOR pitcher for an actual one??? I am not suggesting you concur, just baffled by the logic, or rather lack thereof. Were I Theo, I would hold
    Out for at least that, and would prefer MLBer straight up, OF or pitcher.

  • What kind of return could the Cubs expect for Hammel? They got a high ceiling prospect with an injury for Maholm, they got Arrieta and Strop for Feldman, they got a good pitching prospect, formely highly rated 3b prospect, and 2 nice bullpen arms for Garza. Really hope when they move Hammel they get a near MLB ready batter like what the Sox got when they traded for Garcia and Eaton.

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    In reply to Ike03:

    That Peavy trade (Garcia) is still what I see as the best baseline for Hammel or maybe a prospect that has soured a little at the majors like Franklin for Seattle. As in all of the trades like this it all will go back to what McLeod sees as fixable instead of what the media sees as value. Last year when the Feldman trade happened everyone said it was blah value with a couple of upside guys with warts now every one says what a great trade for Team Theo that was. Lets just trust that the brain trust will get great value for a middle of the rotation type guy that is having a huge year.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Your first four words indicate that everyone is ignoring the possibility of a 3 way.

    Also, the Red Sox don't have any reason (i.e. being in 4th place) to deal this year, regardless of whether they want to deal with their former help.

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    In reply to Richard Hood:

    There has been talk that Garcia was traded for reasons beyond the ball field. Davey Martinezesque

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Maholm had an extra year of control. He wasn't just a 2 month rental ala Feldman, Dempster & Garza.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Good point, I forgot about that.

  • Crick is impressive. I watched him a couple of times in Fall League broadcasts. That being said, it'd need to be Crick + +.

    Does the best of plausible scenarios still involve Bundy headlining a deal with the O's?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I think Bundy is very plausible from what I am hearing.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    KG, I haven't been around much lately but glad to see you back.

    Bundy + would seem to be a pretty desirable haul for the Shark.

    Do you have good intel on the tenor of preliminary chats?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Now that draft is over I can be a little more open.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    KG,off topic, is there any hope of salvaging Dom Brown?

    He might be an interesting bargain buy at the deadline if they think Mueller can help him.

    It looks like he could stand to lower his hands a bit and see if that helps shorten the swing some. Raw power is still there in bunches.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    He is a 20 to 25 HR guy but I think I'll is struggles are all on him.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Ill say this, If Ruben Amaro Jr isnt fired he just may Dangle Brown for some overpaid 30+ yr old veteran. lol

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Not at liberty to say.

  • In reply to KGallo:


    Just something that stood out to me , watching the series over the weekend.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Kevin...even though we all recognize and respect that you can't comment on some things, I think I speak for a lot of us in saying that we're all glad you're back. Your intel is invaluable and with John, Mike, et. al....this is the ultimate Cubs site to read. I'm here 5x a day...minimum.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to copinblue:

    Our marketing team will be contacting you with a 700 question survey on what we can do to increase that to 6x a day.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    Thank you. I am hoping I get to a point where all I can really do is read the site.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    ah geez. couldn't you just make up a new name? I suggest GKallo.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    If the Cubs got Bundy and nothing else for Samardzija I would be ecstatic. I think it's doubtful, but fun to think it could happen.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    From what I have heard Bundy and Buck don't get along very well. So it's possible.

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    If the Hammel to Seattle rumor is true, I wonder if the Cubs would include an OF since the Mariners are so weak at that position. Nate or Lake + Hammel = ?

  • In reply to Glen Krisch:

    Ryan Sweeney just came off the DL, of course, to go back on the DL in a couple of days. Either Lake is the future, or otherwise the Cubs don't have any outfielders worth another team's time.

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm sure the plan this season was that one or more of Schierholtz, Ruggiano, Sweeney and even Bonifacio would have a good season and become valuable trade chips at the deadline. Clearly none of that is going to happen and now we've got squat (i.e., squadoosh) and this has to be considered a setback for the rebuilding plan, albeit not a major one. Bad luck I'd say for all of them to go bust at the same time.

  • In reply to Glen Krisch:

    Paxton would be a great return for Hammel. Not sure if that is actually reasonable, but it may be possible with a vet thrown in.

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    In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    That's what I was thinking. They need a bat, and Cubs outfielders aren't setting the world on fire, but there is a surplus and might be a good throw-in.

  • Not sure I like Crick that much, he can't throw strikes, despite his great stuff... I do like what the Orioles could offer... Or the Mariners if they were to offer Taijuan Walker.

  • seriously Doubt Mariners deal Walker. Hultzen + maybe an option for Hammel IMO

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    The Cubs won't take Hultzen as the centerpiece of a deal, even for Hammel. Tommy John is one thing to take a risk on for a big talent, i.e. Vizcaino, but shoulder surgery is an entirely different matter all together. The statistics after TJ have shown (especially in the last 10 years) that pitchers can make a full recovery and regain their initial velocity (or very near to)....Shoulder surgery on the other hand has proven consistently to sap velocity from a pitcher after surgery, and full recovery is much more unlikely. The last words a pitcher ever wants to hear are: Torn. Rotator. Cuff. Many times it's career ending. Hultzen had to surgically repair his left labrum, capsule and a tear to his rotator cuff...Unfortunately, if he comes back it will most likely be as a "finesse" lefty that relies on control and "craftiness", and it will be a very long road back for him in any case.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I tend to come down with you on this, though I have no inside information one way or another.

    Another guy to keep an eye on in the Mariners system is Austin Wilson. He slipped to 49 in last year's draft, but has looked good for the Mariners so far. (Admittedly, he's in high A ball which is not particularly advanced for a 22-year old college guy.)

  • OT, but sad, sad news about Tony Gwynn. He always destroyed the Cubs, but what a talent. RIP and my thoughts go out to the Gwynn family.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    If you gotta chew on something, stick to gum or sunflower seeds.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    He was a fun guy to watch, just loved game.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Agreed Pura Vida. He was a classy player - who (annoyingly) just always seemed to have his best games when opposing the Cubs.

    I wish his family, friends, and fans peace at his passing.

  • Hultzen's shoulder is toast and Walker hasn't been the model of health either lately.....

  • Mariners rush their top prospects way too fast.. sad really

  • Is Crick, Susac, Blach, Williamson decent enough haul for Samardzija?

  • Did u end up seeing what the mets got for Davis it was pretty impressive i thought

  • James Paxton is on the 60-day DL with shoulder injury.

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    In reply to ucandoit:

    It's a shoulder injury but not all shoulder injuries are created equal. He went on the 15 day DL with a lat strain and was then shut down with shoulder inflammation. The 60 day DL appears to be an acknowledgement that he will be out for 60 days by the time he is game ready rather than a reflection of the seriousness of the injury. Significantly, I haven't heard anyone suggest shoulder surgery will be necessary.

    Having said that, shoulder injuries are always scary but, if he were 100%, he would never be available. (Very similar to Vizcaino two years ago.)

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    The team that surprises me is the Red Sox. They are loaded with prospects that would fit nicely on the Cubs but I just figured we would never see a trade between the two teams because of Larry Lucchino's bitterness towards Theo.

  • I actually don't think the Giants are a great match prospect wise (unless we are looking to flip those prospects for a quality veteran later on). I also don't see the Giants over-paying just to upgrade the 5th arm on their already strong rotation. This may be a leaked rumor by them to avoid the perception they are targeting just one pitcher (Hammel) who would cost less. But even if they are really interested in Shark, I'm not big on the arms they have to offer. I say this knowing under the Giants farm system head Dick Tidrow, they've been an amazing organization for drafting and developing pitching, but even though Krick is currently their best arm, he underwhelms. A max thrower who has always been high walk, high strikeouts. That profiles for guaranteed surgery in the future, but no guarantee of learning to pitch. If Krick hasn't progressed on that front after 3.5 years in the Giants great pitching development regime, it seems quite a gamble he will with us. Sounds shades of Trevor Bauer.

    However, if for some reason, the Giants are interested in shedding some major league salary, I'd certainly love to use our payroll surplus on Hunter Pence's remaining 4.5 years at $18.5M per for the next four. It's a lot of money for the Giants to invest for a No. 2 hitter, and Pence is 31 so the decline is coming. So you never know. That said, I wouldn't do Shark for Pence straight up, as Shark is on the rise and Pence will know no doubt decline. But throw in a couple quality pitching prospects, even A-ball level, and I'd be interested. We'd get one of the several veterans this team desperately needs. Not sure I do this if I am the Giants. So like I said at the start, not sure the Giants are a good match.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    The Giants pitching staff is more name than production right now. Bumgarner has continued to pitch well and Hudson has been terrific (but his FIP is over a run higher than his ERA so he probably won't keep it up), but beyond those two Lincecum and Vogelsong are pitching like 5th starters and Matt Cain has been a replacement level pitcher going on over a year now.

    Meanwhile, their offense has become one of the best in the NL. They are no longer led by their starting staff. Samardzija would be a great get for them.

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    In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Jeff is probably and hopefully the biggest trade asset this FO will ever have. I really doubt theo is going to take any salary on unless he is fleecing the other teams farm system. I could see it if the Giants kick in most of the money like they had to do w soriano but I doubt they would be that silly.

    Although I really like the idea of getting some veteran leadership in the club house. I just hope the big bat they get hits left handed.

    Perhaps Hammel could net us that left handed hitting outfielder.

    My preference is for Paxton + for Hammel and

    And then trade Jeff to Baltimore for Bundy + 2 more of there top 10

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    We would also get to read about Underpants much more often.

  • If the Cubs trade Samardzija to the Giants, they're going to need a butt load of prospects to make it work. Crick's control issues have continued, so it's looking more and more likely he's a reliever. I doubt the Cubs are going to place much value on him. Because of the lack of top end prospects the Giants have, either pitching or hitting, I think the Cubs are going to require a ridiculous amount of prospects in a trade with the Giants. I'm talking Crick, Escobar, Susac, Mejia, Blackburn and Chase Johnson. Hell, maybe even more than that. They'll basically want to eviscerate the pitchers in the Giants top 10.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    That being said, I think the Giants might be a good fit for what the Cubs want for Hammel. Giants could give 2-3 of their good pitching prospects and get Hammel. Doubt premier guys are going to be in play for a guy like Hammel and the Giants have good depth of secondary guys that project as mid-rotation types.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Great point, I think for the giants to have a chance at Jeff, they are going to need to get a third team involved.

    Anyone think the Rockies are going to be buyers? They have some intriguing arms at all levels.

  • Everyone who loves baseball must be deeply saddened by the passing of Tony Gwynn. If hitting an MLB baseball is the hardest thing to do in all of sports, he is the greatest athlete of the last 60 years. Best Career Average (.338) since 1950. He hit safely in 75.3 percent of the games he played. Amazing! Not a slugger, but in terms of simply putting the ball in play and arriving to first safely, no one in the modern era did it better. Rest In Peace, Mr. Gwynn.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I see that that Bob Welch passed a week ago. I didn't hear too much about it when it happened, even here in LA.

  • Once Crick learns how to pitch he will be deadly. If Bosio can teach Crick how to pitch like he taught Shark how to pitch then there would be something special.

  • I like the Giant prospects too. For Samardzija . I like the names of Kyle Crick, Ty Blach, Josh Osich. seems a lot but what the hell throw it up see if it flys. for Hammel I try for Ty Blach & Josh Osich and if needed I'd add a player to either deal from our roster Lake, Olt, Valbuena, Bonifacio and ask for a low A league player with upside to be added

  • In reply to Andrew444:

    I don't think that's anywhere near enough for Samardzija. Cubs are going to want much more than that.

  • Can we please just leave the Yankees out of any trade rumors for Shark? They have no one of any value for this particular deal. The best the Yankees have to offer should put them in the Hammel discussion.

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