Report: Cubs Listening to Offers for Jeff Samardzija

According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija. According to Rosenthal, the asking price for Samardzija is “high” as expected. Rosenthal’s report surfaced not long after Bruce Levine indicated on his show (Talkin’ Baseball) that he would not be surprised if the Cubs were willing to trade Samardzija in the right deal.

Ken Rosenthal reported last month Kevin Towers called the Cubs about Jeff Samardzija and the conversation quickly ended after Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer asked for Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley according to Buster Olney. Ken Rosenthal reported on Saturday he would not be surprised if the Diamondbacks, Red Sox and others would have interest in trading for Samardzija … that is, if the Cubs are indeed listening to offers.

Jeff Samardzija is under team control for two more years and does not become a free agent until after the 2015 season. The Cubs have expressed a desire to sign him to a long-term extension. Samardzija reportedly turned down contract extension during the off-season and said he would like to show more what he can do as a starter before signing a long-term deal. There have been reports in recent weeks that Samardzija would like to have a better idea of where the Cubs are going before signing an extension and that could hold up the Cubs inking him to an extension this winter.

Jeff Samardzija avoided arbitration and signed a $2.64 million contract for the 2013 season that includes a $125,000 performance based incentives package.

After a solid start to the season and a very good May (2-2 in five starts with a 2.31 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP), Samardzija had his annual June swoon (2-1 in six starts with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP) and limped into the break with two bad outings against the Pirates and Angels. Samardzija was very good in Colorado after the break, but Samardzija struggled again in his last start after the offense gave him a six-run lead.

Jeff Samardzija has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter but needs to work on his consistency.

It is not surprising the Cubs are listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija. They should be and they should be listening to offers for any player on their roster and in the system. Just because they are listening it does not mean they have plans to trade the player.

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  • Tony_Hall

    They will listen to offers on any player. If someone gives them an offer they can’t refuse, they will take it.

    • J Daniel

      As I have been posting, Theo traded Nomar. He said “trading Nomar is pressure”. Trading Smarj means nothing to him if he can get a haul.

      This is an interesting one as they have to have a couple top of the rotation guys. Smarj has the ability to be one of those guys I think we all think. His arm has much less wear and tear on it than most pitchers his age I would assume. So this, to me, is a riskier trade than any others they have made so far. All of the others were no brainers and expected. This one could bite them in the ass! But we do not have any idea on how extension talks have gone, if he is a guy that “gets it” or not, or if he even is #1 or #2 quality. My hunch is #3 or #4 is what they believe.

      As you state if the deal is right they have no fear.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yeah, well,…Theo knew Nomar was on PEDs and was having hip problems because of taking steroids, circa Bo Jackson. Not all that much pressure, imo.

        • J Daniel

          Agree, somewhat like trading Sammy. Cubs took a different approach and started a smear campaign which is not really cool.

          And if the Cubs didn’t know he was juiced I guess they got fleeced.

          • Dorasaga

            Com’on. Sosa is innocent until proved guilty. The Cubs marketing needed to sell the idea that he’s a selfish brat with personal problems, like, wasn’t nice to his team. The Cubs P.R. deviced such imgery on all players they didn’t want. You know what I think? B.S. Sosa hasn’t been anyone different since DAY ONE he wore a Cubbie uniform. He with that HR-record-breaker saved baseball out of that big strike and fan disinterest. He with his ever good working ethic (not just that time when he left the field without noticing, late in his career) pumped the team to compete. There wouldn’t be 2003 and the magical run without Sosa. I don’t like him personally, but I know why. I was misguided by the Cubs P.R. machine, and I admit it. The “feeling” of bad taste doesn’t go away. But the true is, Sammy Sosa deserves credit for all he had done, and all he was. He should be considered in the Hall of Fame. And you know what? Twenty years from now, when people eat the bones, to paraphrase Bill James, and look at his record year in and year out, they won’t care about those B.S. The truth, Sosa was the top and the best among the top and the best, and he should be respected.

          • J Daniel

            I agree! Said they started a smear to make hi look bad.

        • paulcatanese

          I don’t know about him on PEDs, but one thing for sure,
          Nomar was done and on the way down, and Mr. Epstein had to have known that.

          • Dorasaga

            Paul, my reply above is what I believe. Sammy Sosa was not wrong. He has always been who he was. The problem was with the Cubs, and an organizational lie to misguide us fans.

          • paulcatanese

            I was talking about Nomar and how he just fell apart after joining the Cubs.
            You are correct about Sosa, I always felt that he was a player that you had to just watch play and forget about everything else. I can’t deny he did not do an excellent job for the Cubs.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I think Shark is the next trade piece for the CUBS. If you look at the market for starting pitching: Shark is at or near the top of the list: C. Lee J. Peavy Shark are the top 3 right now. Also look at his age 28 and the mileage on his arm in comparison puts him over the others or even with them. Then add on he is controllable for the team it may put him at the top of the market. Also Theo McHoyer have been searching for a young future ace pitcher. We all heard that KT (The Gunslinger) of Arizona is interested. He walked away earlier when we asked for Skaggs and Bradly. I am sure they are still interested in him. I think this might be a ploy to up the price for Shark. Also Bradly will be a tough pull away from Arizona. so upping the cost for Shark is a good thing.
      I think with all that is involved. Shark will be traded either this year, the off-season, or this same time next year. Theo McHoyer wont lower their price for Shark, they can’t. They will bring in a young ace for the staff.

      That’s my 2 cents!

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Upon reading the title for this column, all I could think of was “Yay!”
    I hope it comes to pass, and then we can get better starters to complement Travis Wood, for the long-term.

    • triple

      Ha! I knew you’d be psyched about this. I don’t mind that they’re listening for offers. I really doubt Sharkmarsha will be moved, but if they get the return they want for him, it probably is the right move.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        yeah…probably just a tease, but a guy can dream, right?!

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          If they can get two top prospects, prferably oitchers I would stringly considerthe deal. I din’t trust Shark and bekieve he would benedit in pitching far away from Notre Dame territory.

  • BosephHeyden

    I would expect Samardzija to get over this headcase stuff he’s been doing either if he gets traded or if he makes it through this year. He still strikes me as one of the few guys that truly wants to be a Cub, but this season has obviously gotten to him with the trades that have happened thus far. If he gets moved, then he doesn’t have to worry about any more trades affecting the team, but I get the feeling a six month vacation would have the same results, and keep a pitcher on the roster.

    • J Daniel

      A vacation would most certainly help. Players can’t see the long term as they are used to being in the moment. Has to be frustrating for sure but this is a huge big picture rebuild.

  • J Daniel

    In support of a trade, as we have debated on here numerous times, is the “sell high” theory. Maybe he is at that point? The price of pitching is really high and Smarj has great value in that he is still cheap and controllable for several more years. As we read from Suzy’s post sometimes deals are mandated from above the GM. Maybe there is an owner of a team in the race and wants to win NOW regardless of the cost in prospects.

    Hey, we are all getting older and have not seen a winner, right Paul? I would hope that hopefully someday very soon the Cubs are in the hunt and TR tells Theo I don’t care what it costs us, go get whatever we need to win it. And even then it still might not work but it is risk reward.

    The Cubs are not near the reward and if they can get a 2-3 top prospect haul then they will pull the trigger. This could really speed this process up.

    • cubtex

      You are right. Will Shark help them make the playoffs in 2014? 2015? If they can trade him now for 2 younger starting pitchers I would do that. This team will be bad in 2014 and 2015. They will not sign any high profile free agents and they wil work the younger players in the lineup. Trade him now while you have value. I don’t believe Shark is or will ever be close to an ace anyway.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Come on, Cubtex! Shark is every bit as good as Chris Volstad!

        LOL

        His stuff is good enough to be an Ace. It’s his control. And he might just have that career year someday.

        • cubtex

          He’s not a kid. They don’t have any 23 year or 24 year old pitchers you can build a rotation around. I would deal him.

          • J Daniel

            The only fear is that pitchers a lot of times take awhile to bloom. He is still a young pitcher.

      • Suzy S

        Au Contraire, Cubtex.
        I believe the Cubs will try to start amassing their “playoff run” players beginning this off season. Translation:
        Sign or trade for a high profile SP this off season.
        Last year when then signed EJAX, the mantra was “you can’t build a rotation in one season”. So I do believe we’ll see at least one high profile signing this off season…either via trade or FA.

        • TheWrongGuy

          Sorry to dis-agree Suzy but high profile FA signings are a thing of the past. With the new CBA destroying FA for teams less free agents are available as teams now sign their best players early so as not to lose them to FA. But a trade is possible.

          • Suzy S

            I can go along with the FA theory…but I do believe the Cubs will go after a #1 or #2 pitcher this off season….Preferably by FA…but probably a trade scenario.

          • cubtex

            Have you seen the FA list? No one unless they sign Garza back and you know that isn’t happening. A trade scenario for a #1 or #2. Hmmmm. David Price? They would have to give up the farm and I don’t think that would be smart at this time. I don’t share your optimism on that happening. I hope you are right.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I don’t see the CUBS going after a trade for an established ace (David Price), but trading for a future/young potential ace (Archie Bradley/Michael Wacha).

          • cubtex

            agreed

        • cubtex

          I think they signed EJAX because they knew they were trading Garza and they saw the FA list for SP for this year.

          • J Daniel

            And if he is pitching real well next year he will be moved.

          • cubtex

            I hope so. I’m not a fan.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Wow. That’s like saying they saw the house was on fire, so they bought some gasoline.

          • cubtex

            hahahaha. good one Rip

  • cubtex

    Trade him too. Might as well. This team won’t be ready to compete for several more years.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Meanwhile….Chris Archer has thrown 2 shutouts in his last 3 starts……

    • GaryLeeT

      Saw that too when I checked in on Soriano. 1 earned run allowed in his last 4 starts. I am glad trades work out for the other team too. Helps to build trust for future.

    • cubtex

      So that begs the question of What if? Would the Cubs be better today IF they never traded for Garza and Rizzo? You would have a rotation of Shark,Cashner,Archer,Wood and Jackson.

      • Ripsnorter1

        That’s a better rotation if the Rizzo/Garza trades had not happened. No doubt about it.

        Rizzo…if he does not improve–and he may improve–is a one way player. Cashner has an arm if he can stay healthy.

        Archer: I hated to give him up at the time, but still, we got 3 years out of Garza, well, wait a minute,…about 2 years out of Garza (60 total starts), since he was hurt so much.

        If Rizzo does not pick it up…he’s paid a lot of money to be a one way player.

        • cubtex

          I agree on the Garza deal( you might not have known I felt that way) but I just thought I would throw that out there. You can compete with pitching in the majors.

          The ages of those 5 are Shark 28,Cashner 26,Arcer 24, Wood 26 and EJax 29. Could have been a solid rotation for several years.

          • SuzyS

            EJax probably would not have been signed.

          • cubtex

            you could be right. It is just something to get a little debate going :) I would have done the Garza deal again. I don’t think Rizzo will be a special player but there are still questions with Cashner as well so that trade is still a ? Check back in 2 years for that deal.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        but no offense on the corners in your system. Now you have, in theory, Olt and Rizzo. We won’t know the score on many trades for a few years still.
        Just my opinion, but I am more likely to trade pitching prospects than hitters. Pitchers seem much more hit-n-miss, and hitters to me are always more valuable as they are in the lineup everyday, and a great offense can overcompensate for crappy pitching. But great pitching with no offense seems to lose more often than not. The Cubs had good starting pitching this year…but a lack of offense and crappy relievers led to a lot of losses.

        • cubtex

          See SF on that. You can win a lot of games with pitching. How do you think that moneyball team of the A’s won? That is what was so misleading in that theory. They had a Cy Young winner in Zito, Hudson and Mulder and a great bullpen. I believe their team ERA was the best in the league that year. That is what wins games.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            I checked…SF finished #3 in batting avg, #4 in OBP, and #5 in ERA. (out of 16 NL teams) Seems pretty balanced, but hardly deficient on the hitting side compared to their pitching. I get your point…of course you can win with great pitching, especially in the playoffs…look at the White Sox in 2005 when they pitched their minds out. No matter which way you slice it, the Cubs have a lot of holes. They need at least 2 OF’s (assuming Lake sticks), a 2B, a 3B, a competent bullpen, a closer for next year, and 3-4 starters (of which 2 need to be #1 or #2 quality arms). Other than those holes, they are in great shape!

          • daverj

            Probably 3 outfielders … unless his contact rate improves, I can’t envision Lake sticking in the majors long term as anything more than a utility guy.

          • Dorasaga

            So I checked on B-R. Yes, but No, they weren’t in reality. The 2002 A’s ERA+ was behind Boston and Anaheim. The Coliseum was a pro-pitching park, and quite extreme back then. It made mediocre flyball pitchers look good, and good-overall pitching looks great. Factor that in, you saw light.

            Same with SF. The Giants have a great pitching park. I wouldn’t be surprised that their Home-Road split is quite diverse.

          • Dorasaga

            Just want to make sure, I’m doublechecking with FIP on fangraphs. It wasn’t park adjusted; Fiedling-Inedpendent Pitching only weighs HR, K, and walks. That was quite fair for the A’s, who were behind the Yankees (top on FIP in baseball) and just like B-R, behind Boston.

          • paulcatanese

            Coliseum? You mean the outdoor prison they call a ballpark?
            Has to be the worse looking place I have ever seen a game played in.
            The one factor that was not included is foul ball territory, as evidenced by the Cubs last visit there. Defense are able to reach almost twice as many foul balls as anywhere else. That’s got to help a pitcher’s stats. First and third basemen start their career’s their at least 3-4 inches taller than when they leave. They lose at least that in inches in the legs from running down foul balls:))

          • Dorasaga

            I agree on the aesthetic aspect here, and the way the unorthodox concrete design stretched one’s legs. To the credit of the A’s management, they had good beer in Coliseum; assortment from around America.

        • daverj

          Not sure I agree with the statement about pitching … there are many examples of World Series winners led by pitching.

          That said, I would still make the Rizzo/Cashner deal as I think pitching prospects bust more than hitting prospects (often due to injuries and Cashner has been injury prone thus far).

  • daverj

    I don’t see a trade partner for the Cubs for Shark that has the potential for a deal that would work for both teams. The Cubs are going to want at least an elite pitching prospect back and another very good one.

    I see the options among contenders as:

    1 – Wacha and Martinez from the Cards – I highly doubt the teams want to make a blockbuster like that in the division.

    2 – Bradley (or maybe Skaggs) and Delgado from AZ – AZ won’t deal Bradley. And I’m not sure either team would do a Skaggs and Delgado for Shark deal. Though I see that type of deal as the most likely of the unlikely scenarios.

    3 – Tallion and Glasnow from Pitt – Pirates won’t deal Tallion.

    Any other possibilities I’m missing?

    • cubtex

      How about an Allen Webster and Anthony Ranaudo from the Red Sox?

      • daverj

        I would think the Red Sox would do that deal, but would the Cubs find that to be enough? Maybe, but I’m not sure.

        We know they like Webster from the Dempster trade rumors last year. I think both those pitchers have the upside of a #3. My guess is that at this point, the Cubs would want a potential Ace in return at this point … which is why I think there won’t be a deal.

        • Suzy S

          agreed.

        • cubtex

          Agreed. I didn’t say that would be enough but a very good start. Webster,Ranaudo, Blake Swihart and maybe 1 other top 15 prospect. I would love to get Swihart. I think he will be a great mlb catcher.

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