The Cubs are listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija while talking to him and his agents about a long-term, team friendly contract. And while six teams have been connected to Samardzija, there will be other teams in the mix, if there are not already.
Two reports from Bruce Levine have confirmed the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks are talking to the Cubs about what it would take to acquire Jeff Samardzija. The Nationals, Orioles, Pirates and Rockies are also thought to be in the mix.
According to a report from Levine on Saturday night, the Blue Jays are “putting together a package of young players” for Samardzija. And a report from Levine on Sunday morning stated the Cubs “have also had talks with Arizona on Samardzija.” As previously reported, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will not give Samardzija away, if they decide to trade him. Levine indicated the “cost will be high” to land Samardzija and likely cost three to four top young players.
So far, there are six teams that are believed to be talking to the Cubs’ front office about Jeff Samardzija … the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Orioles, Pirates and Rockies. Toronto and Arizona have reportedly been trying to acquire Samardzija since last July. The Cubs’ asking price was rather high then, and it should be even higher after he surpassed the 200-inning, 200-strikeout plateau this past season.
Blue Jays’ GM, Alex Anthropolous joined Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden during ‘The Front Office’ on Sunday morning (MLB Network Radio). Anthropolous would not comment on Levine’s report about Toronto’s interest in Samardzija. And let’s make this clear, Anthropolous did not deny or confirm his interest in Samardzija, but stressed he has not made any offers.
Anthropolous did say the Blue Jays are exploring all options, both free agents and possible trades, to add a starting pitcher. Matt Garza is among the free agents Anthropolous has checked in with this winter. Anthropolous would like to add one or two top of the rotation starters this winter. Anthropolous said he has not made any offers to another team for a starter, but he is inquiring on what it would take (parameters), in terms of prospects, to acquire a pitcher. Anthropolous admitted he is “talking to one club about a small trade” that may get wrapped up in the coming week.
The Blue Jays’ GM hinted the conversations he is having could increase before Thanksgiving with a chance to have a deal or two done before the holiday. But if he is unable to work out a trade next week, those conversations will likely be put on hold until the Winter Meetings. Anthropolous added that if he has interest in a pitcher on another team he will ask to find out the cost. The Blue Jays are also talking to free agents to gauge what it would take to sign them in case they need to fill a hole by trading players on his roster.
Anthropolous pointed out during a very candid interview, he is not close on anything (trade or free agent signings) but he is exploring every possible way to improve his team.
Jim Bowden thinks RHP Aaron Sanchez and RHP Marcus Stroman has likely been discussed between the Cubs and Blue Jays in a possible deal for Samardzija. And Bowden feels that any deal for Samardzija would have to start with RHP Aaron Sanchez.
Stay Tuned for updates on the Samardzija Rumors …