Jeff Samardzija to Pirates? Cubs Have Listened to Trade Offers

Jeff Samardzija Pirates

The Cubs have not been able to extend Jeff Samardzija, despite their efforts. (Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

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.

Analysis:

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.

James Santelli

Author: James Santelli

James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person. Google

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  • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

    If the Cubs are listening on Samardzija, I wonder if they’d discuss Castro? I’m sure the folks writing headlines for this and other websites would prefer Starlin.

    • meatygettingsaucy

      Not sure I want a 23 year old, over hyped hot head who plays poor defense and doesn’t hit for any power.

      • SteveW

        Agree. And according to people around the Cubs, he has a terrible attitude.

  • buster09

    For a Lambo,Pimental and a B pitcher or inf. maybe. But any of the top prospects ? Just say NO !

    • Kevin_Young

      That’s all you’d give for Samardzija?? The Heredia/Bell region certainly seems reasonable to me

  • buster09

    Why would they want Castro ? So we can sit and watch him wait for balls come to him ? Or just to spend Nutting’s money ? Overpaid,overrated. Ask Dale Sveum what he truly thinks of him !

  • rsborelli

    This guy is a blossoming bonafide stud. I don’t see the Pirates giving up the prospects required to get him. Unless they can steal him, given the concerns over extension?

  • smurph

    Being in Chicago I get to see the Cubbies a little bit. Samardjia’s velocity has dropped off quite a bit as the season has progressed, and I believe the same thing happened last season. I believe he could be a very effective RP/closer. Maybe he just doesn’t have the arm to throw 180 innings and maintain 97-98 MPH.

  • https://profiles.google.com/117072260031604417798 PikeBishop65

    Well at least we wouldn’t have to face the bastard, who seems to just toss his glove on the mound and we lose.

    • BostonsCommon

      +1

  • csnumber23

    I’m guessing the Cubs will demand Taillon and more. While I would love to see him in Black & Gold I think the price will be too high.