The Chicago Cubs have listened to teams about trading starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, according to Peter Gammons on MLB Network.
“They weren’t getting what they thought they were getting,” said Gammons, who added that the Cubs tried to sign Samardzija to an extension.
There is a chance the Pirates could be talking with the Cubs about Samardzija, according to the Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Rogers. Clint Hurdle and the Bucs have place “a higher value than any other organization would put on him,” Rogers said on MLB Network. He also said the pitcher will not listen to discussions about a contract extension that could keep him in Chicago past the 2015 season.
“The Cubs feel like they have some pitching depth,” Rogers said. “And to keep a Jeff Samardzija, who has turned down talks about salary, extensions… It might take an Anibal Sanchez offer. They haven’t been able to quite figure out what that cost is.”
The trade price for Anibal Sanchez (and Omar Infante) last summer was pitcher Jacob Turner, catcher Rob Brantly, pitcher Brian Flynn and a competitive balance draft pick to the Miami Marlins. Gammons said the Cubs would want more for Samardzija than they got from the Texas Rangers for Matt Garza, which was a package of third baseman Mike Olt, pitchers C.J. Edwards and Justin Grimm plus a player or two to be named later.
“They will certainly explore all options,” Rogers said.
Samardzija, 28 years old, has made a seamless jump from the bullpen to the Cubs’ rotation. He is pitching like a bona fide No. 2 starter.
Since becoming a stating pitcher at the start of last season, Samardzija owns a 3.78 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 9.2 strikeouts and 3.1 walks per nine innings. His 3.41 xFIP over that span is 12th among 52 National League starters.
Look at the starters Samardzija has been comparable to over the last two seasons.
- Samardzija: 3.57 FIP, 3.41 xFIP, 3.48 SIERA
- Mat Latos: 3.52 FIP, 3.59 xFIP, 3.62 SIERA
- Homer Bailey: 3.54 FIP, 3.56 xFIP, 3.55 SIERA
- Gio Gonzalez: 3.05 FIP, 3.39 xFIP, 3.54 SIERA
If Latos or Gonzalez were available on the market, you can bet there would be massive interest. Samardzija would cost a ransom in prospects, but what the Pirates would be getting is a true No. 2 starter to slide in with A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano.
Most importantly, his nickname is “Shark.” How could he fit the Bucs’ pitching staff any better?
UPDATE 3:20 PM: Here is Samardzija’s trade value. Also, Dave Kaplan said the Cubs asking price is huge, and they’re not looking to give guys away.
Scout I just talked to says that the Cubs price on Samardzija was huge. Weren't willing to give guys away just to make deals.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) July 31, 2013