Cubs Reportedly Scouted Hunter Harvey and Orioles Low-A Affiliate

In response to the report Bruce Levine posted on Wednesday morning that the Orioles are interested in trading for Jeff Samardzija and the O’s have pitching prospects it would take to acquire him, the Baltimore Sun reported “one of the Cubs’ top evaluators” scouted Low-A Delmarva last weekend.

According to the report from Dan Connolly, the Cubs scout that watched the Orioles’ Low-A affiliate saw a few games, “including one started by right-hander Hunter Harvey.” Harvey was one of the four pitchers Levine named in his report along with Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Eduardo Rodriguez. Connolly pointed out the Cubs evaluator that watched a few games, “is not a guy who normally is assigned to the low-level minors” but it could have been “just routine coverage.”

Dan Connolly reported Baltimore was interested in Jeff Samardzija during the off-season and the Orioles interest has not changed.

Dan Connolly agreed with Bruce Levine that the Orioles “might want to make a preemptive strike” and trade for Jeff Samardzija before the market heats up. Connolly brought up two trades that Dan Duquette has made the last two seasons before the deadline, and one involved the Cubs. The Orioles traded for Jim Thome from Philadelphia on June 30, 2012 and the Orioles shipped Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Cubs last July 2 for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger.

Dan Connolly asked Orioles’ GM, Dan Duquette, about Samardzija and he gave the standard response that it would be inappropriate for him to comment about another team’s player. Buck Showalter was asked about Jeff Samardzija and if he has had any conversations with Dan Duquette about him. Showalter said Samardzija’s name has not come up once in a conversation with Duquette.

Duquette did say that he’s not looking at a specific date and does not have a deadline in which to add players to his roster, but he “talks to teams all of the time.” Connolly doesn’t see the Orioles waiting to the end of July to make a deal if Duquette “can add an important piece now.”

The Orioles’ GM talked with the beat writers about the importance of the O’s developing their young pitchers. Duquette pointed out their “young pitching is maturing.”

Dan Connolly and the other Orioles’ beat writers provided updates on the pitchers that were named in Bruce Levine’s report.

Dylan Bundy is recovering from last June’s Tommy John surgery. Bundy has not thrown in a minor league game. He is scheduled to throw three innings or 45 pitches on Thursday in an extended Spring Training game. Bundy completed two innings his last time out.

Eduardo Rodriguez has been sidelined with a knee injury and has just returned to Double-A Bowie.

Hunter Harvey is healthy and is off to a good start in full season Low-A ball. Harvery was drafted last June and did not sign with the Orioles until June 25 according to the transaction page on Orioles.com. If Harvey was to be included in a deal for Samardzija he could not be officially traded until June 25 (one year after signing professional contract). The two teams could reach an agreement that Harvey would be a PTBNL in a deal in order to complete a trade before the end of June.

The Orioles not only view Kevin Gausman as a part of their future but also as part of their present. According to Dan Connolly, the Orioles think Gausman can help them win this year.

The Cubs are looking for at least two top pitching prospects in return for Jeff Samardzija … and there is two teams in the American League East that could give the front office exactly what they are looking for.

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  • Craig York

    I’m going to check out Harvey this Friday night. He’s pitching against the lakewood blueclaws here in jersey. I go to blueclaws games all the time, so I might as well check the kid out.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      If you see Harvey, please let us know.

      • Craig York

        He’s scheduled to pitch and I’ll be there. I’ll let you guys know how he looks!

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Thank you so much. I look forward to it.

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  • John_CC

    Thanks Neil for the coverage. I like only needed one place to find all the info disseminated succinctly. And its good to hear some rumors that at least sound like solid leads.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You’re more than welcome. And thank you.

      Oh, and so everyone knows, Bryant went yard again tonight and had hits in each of his first four at bats.

      • SuzyS

        Seems to me that Bryant should be promoted pretty soon. He does need toprove much at his current level.

        • SuzyS

          “doesn’t”…my bad.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Just his defense, he’s hitting just about everything near him.

      • bpot92

        I know they want him to have some struggles to grow as a player but he just keeps getting better and better. Do you believe he will get promoted to AAA and force their hand? A whole year at A A seems like a waste. His bat seems ready for AAA and he can still work on his defense there. Is there any benefit of keeping him down a level?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          He’s forcing their hand already. I would not be surprised if he’s bumped up after the draft. Offensively, he would benefit from a promotion. Defense needs work, he’s getting better from what I’ve seen.

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

    Bundy, Gausmann and Harvey would be a pretty great trade for both teams. They get a TOR to go compete. We get two pitchers close to MLB ready that within a few years could both be TOR. With Harvey a future moot potential TOR but a year or two away. He’s at low A now but could easily be at AA next season and ready to come up end of 2016. Joining the other two who would be a year in and anchoring our staff.

    • bpot92

      I don’t think we could get all three. If we could the cubs should say yes before the orioles change their mind. I would settle for two plus a low a high upside player right now with the return possibly going up in early july. I would love a Bundy Gausman, Hunter for Jeff straight up but I feel like that’s a huge overpay that the orioles wouldn’t do. Instead it may be two of those plus 2 others that are either farther away or have more risk .

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

    Neil, Tom or anyone with knowledge. To get some perspective on the expectations for these young pitchers. How do they compare at this stage to the top young hurlers for the Cards? Miller, Wacha? What was being said about them at this point? Were those guys all viewed as future number 1′s? They both look like it now. Just curious because Gausmann is said to be a future number 2/3 and Bundy potentially a 1 if healthy. Since the FO is emulating the Cards building plan so much, their young guys seem like a good comp. I sure hope we get at least one guy that is viewed as a future number 1 for Shark. I’d think for a proven TOR guy with his favorable contract and team control, it seems fair that we get a top-notch future TOR, a solid 2/3 with potential to be even better, and a lower level guy with all the potential in the world but tougher to project at that level.

    • bpot92

      If I remember correctly, and I could be wrong, I believe that each a was a 2-3, especially since many teams passed on him and Miller was more highly rated as a solid 2 or 10 possibly. Obviously different scouts rated them differently though.

      • daverj

        Miller was considered a future Ace and one of the Top 2 pitching prospects (along with Teheran) in MLB a few years ago.

        • bpot92

          Yeah i knew he was highly rated but off the top of my head I didnt want to say ace as some scouts obviously differ on opinions. Both Wacha and Miller look like TOR pitchers in the future

          • daverj

            And don’t forget Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal who were top prospects and have stuff as good or better than Miller and Wacha. Martinez is in the pen this season but will likely be in the rotation next year (in the minors he was considered one of the Top 15 prospects in all of MLB). Rosenthal has been closing for the Cards, but long term will likely be starter. He has 4 plus pitches and was a starter in the minors.

    • Tony_H

      Board – Samardzija is not a proven TOR pitcher. He is having a good season, but has no history before this season of pitching to this level. Garza had a run that looked like a TOR pitcher last year as well. That is what most solid 2/3 pitchers do, have good runs, but they don’t usually last all year. Until Samardzija completes at least one season where he looks like a TOR pitcher, let alone 2 seasons, will many people call him a real TOR pitcher.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Comparing prospects is very tricky, so what you are asking is hard to do. Shelby Miller was seen as a better pitching prospect than Michael Wacha and was considered a future No. 1. Wacha was seen as a two or a three. Bundy projects as a true No. 1 if he can bounce back from the TJ surgery. The problem with Gausman has been his command. If he can throw strikes, he’s a two or a three.

      I would rather them land pitchers closer to the majors for Samardzija than another A-ball pitcher, and a very young one at that. Harvey has a lot of upside and just as much risk.

      • J Daniel

        Agree, Neil. Need a couple that are near ready and are near TOR guys. This is a CAN’T miss deal for them.

    • daverj

      Most don’t consider Shark a proven TOR. I think your expectation for a return in trade for Shark are too high. That said, I hope you are right and I am wrong.

  • daverj

    From a review of comments on websites from Orioles fans, they seem to think that including either Bundy or Gausman would be a non-starter. Their idea of a fair trade seems to be Rodriguez or Harvey plus a mid-level prospect and a low level prospect. There is no way that the Cubs go for that. I suspect the Orioles might deal Rodriguez and Harvey plus a couple mid-level guys, but I doubt Bundy would be on the table and I can’t any scenario in which Gausman is included. If that is the Orioles best offer, then I suspect this will go to down to the trade deadline before the Cubs make a decision.

    • J Daniel

      There is no hurry, wait it out, someone will blink.