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.”
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.