Report: Orioles Interested in Samardzija, Cubs Interested in Orioles Young Pitchers

According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Orioles are very interested in trading for Jeff Samardzija and Baltimore has the young pitchers the Cubs would require in a deal for Samardzija.

Levine reported Wednesday morning the Orioles “appear to be the leading team of interest in the Jeff Samardzija sweepstakes” and his sources confirmed the Cubs are interested in several of the Orioles’ pitching prospects.

RHP Dylan Bundy, RHP Kevin Gausman, RHP Hunter Harvey and LHP Eduardo Rodriguez “top the list of young arms the Cubs are scouting” in the Orioles system according to Levine.

Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Eduardo Rodriguez and Hunter Harvey were ranked by Baseball America as the top four prospects in the Orioles system prior to the season. Bundy is still recovering from Tommy John surgery last June. The Baltimore Sun reported last week that Bundy pitched in an extended Spring Training game and is progressing well from Tommy John.

Kevin Gausman is pitching at the Triple-A level (Norfolk in the International League) and is 1-2 in eight starts with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. In 37 1/3 innings, Gausman has allowed 33 hits with 15 walks and 35 strikeouts. Gausman appeared in only one game for the Orioles this season and did not fare too well against the Tigers on May 14 (five runs, six hits, two walks, two strikeouts in four innings).

The Cubs were rumored to be interested in LHP Eduardo Rodriguez last year. Rodriguez throws his fastball in the 92-93 mph range and can hit 95 mph with his fastball. Rodriguez can locate to both sides of the plate and his slider is his best secondary pitch. Rodriguez projects to be a No. 3 starter in the big leagues. The 21-year old is 1-2 at the Double-A level this season with a 5.57 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP (21 hits, seven walks and 14 strikeouts in 21 innings).

Hunter Harvey was the Orioles first round pick last June and projects as a middle of the rotation starter in the big leagues by most, but Baseball America thinks he has top of the rotation potential. Baseball Prospectus rated Harvey as the 58th best prospect in the game prior to the season. The 19-year old is pitching in full season Low-A Ball in the South Atlantic League and in nine starts he’s allowed 29 hits with 18 walks and 57 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. Harvey’s fastball sits in the 93-94 mph and he has smooth mechanics but needs to work on his changeup. Hunter is the son of former big league closer Bryan Harvey.

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  • TrevorPetersma

    What are the key dates to look for in trading Jeff? Any reason to think they won’t take it right up to the wire or could we see a trade happen soon with all the competing interests?

    • John L.

      Since Harvey was a 2013 draft pick he cannot be traded until after the 2014 draft, so I say anytime after 2014 draft is fair game for a trade for Jeff. I believe the 2014 draft is either June 4th or 5th.

      • TrevorPetersma

        Very helpful, thank you John.

      • BigJonLilJon

        Or they could do it earlier and use “player to be named later” tag and add him as that player after the draft. Either way… I wonder how much this is posturing in order to drive up the price for other teams for a bidding war by the Cubs?

      • Neil

        John, it is actually one year after he signed his contract. Harvey signed on June 25. As Jon pointed out below, Harvey could be a PTBNL with the deal completed after June 25.

    • Neil

      Trevor, as John pointed out Harvey cannot be traded right away because he was drafted last year. A player cannot be traded until a year after he signs his contract. The transaction page on has him signing on June 25. Harvey could be the PTBNL agreed on by both teams and make the deal official after June 25.

      If the Orioles and Blue Jays are pushing for Samardzija, a trade could be done before July. If you have a chance, read the article I posted with Anthopoulos’ quotes. There is an advantage to have an extra four to six weeks. With that said, I don’t think anything will happen until after the dust settles from the draft and the front offices start focusing on the big league team again.

  • cc002600

    This is great. Just what we need. More 21 year old prospect pitchers in A & AA. Boy, I just can’t wait for 2019 when we contend.

    • Jeffrey Rogers

      From all accounts the guy does not want to sign an extension. Would rather just keep him for another year and let him walk or trade him at his highest value.

      • cc002600

        no, but I would rather see them get young MLB pitchers or close to ready MLB pitchers. Or how about this crazy, nutty idea – Sign him and add another pitcher through free agency and actually try to contend next year or 2016, like every other team in baseball not named the Astros attempts to do.

        Whoa, I know that just sounds crazy, but I’m thinking that there won’t be any fans left by the time they actually contend in 2019. Just sayin’

        How long do you want to keep pushing this rebuild out ?

        • Tony_H

          Bundy and Gausman are close to being ready and both have pitched some in MLB.

          • triple

            Tony, I don’t know much about those guys, as I don’t really ever follow other teams prospects. Is there anything about these guys that lead you to believe any of them will be TOR starters? Just from a quick peek at Bundy and Gausman, I’m not sure either has much potential to fill out that way. Bundy will have to be handled with care, so gotta figure he’s a couple years away. And Gausman is only averaging 4 2/3 IP per start in AAA and definitely needs to cut down those walks.

            Also, on a separate note on the matter, if Theo sees too much risk in drafting a first round pitcher, then I see an even higher risk in trading an established TOR pitcher for a first round pick like Hunter Harvey, even though he sounds like he’s got some skills.

            I just think that Ricketts/Theo are gonna need to pony up and sign Samardzija. No matter the return, I just don’t see us winning that trade.

          • Tony_H

            On BP

            Orioles #1Gausman – Future potential is as a #2, with a realistic role of a 2/3, considered low risk and ready for the majors.

            Orioles #2 Bundy – Future potential is as a #1, with a realistic role of #3, Moderate risk, due to Tommy John.

            I am not into trying to figure out trades. I have a hard enough time trying to make them work in fantasy baseball, so I get how hard real trades must be to put together.

            Near zero chance Samardzija signs, as HE WANTS to be a free agent.

          • K_Gripp

            Even with a tommy john under his belt I’m not sure the O’ s would consider parting with Bundy. I’m sure the surgery made him more expendable but before the surgery he was untouchable.

            If we were able to get Bundy, Harvey, and another low level arm I would be through the roof.

        • Jeffrey Rogers

          I figured it would take at least 5 seasons.

          BTW, this trade has not happened so need to rip the FO yet.

          Did you know that Julio Teheran was as Cub until Dumpster nixed the trade? He was young too but got to the MLB team fast. Young does not always mean they are 3 years out. We ended up with a lot less than Teheran when Dempster decided to go to Texas.

          I think they should try to resign him too but he does not want to do it.

          • Tony_H

            I believe it was Randall Delgado who we would have received in that deal.

          • cc002600

            The original Dempster trade was for Delgado.
            And I am not ripping the FO. I think Theo and Jed have done a very good job, especially with their hands being tied with less dollars to work with each year.

            I’m just tired of this mentality that we need to trade every player with value to get more 20 year old prospects, so we can pat ourselves on the back every winter because we have more guys on the top 100 prospect lists than anyone else. That’s all well and good, and I’m just as excited as everyone to see it, but it doesn’t guarantee you anything. This is year 3 of Theo / Jed and year 5 of the Ricketts. Sorry, but its time to put the metal to the floor. Rebuilding forever is nuts, ESPECIALLY in a large market.

            Just look at teams like the Marlins, Brewers, Rockies – how is it that teams like that who were AWFUL last year can contend this year, and the cubs can’t ?

            And its almost for certain that a pitcher in A ball is not going to bear any fruit for at least 3 years. Its rare when pitchers develop faster than that.

          • Jeffrey Rogers

            Delgado – correct my mistake.

    • Theboardrider

      Gausman is at AAA and has pitched a big league game.

  • paCubsFan23

    I like Gausman and Harvey. I could live with that.

  • Theboardrider

    Could just be a good way to help the price get driven up. Pry Sanchez loose from the Jays.

  • SirGladiator

    Bundy is a future Superstar, he’s shown tremendous potential for being the best pitcher in the game. And once he comes back from TJ he will be even better than ever! This is a great idea, Bundy and any of the other three for Jeff, we’ll have 2 great pitchers ready to go for Opening Day next year, when we win our first of many Division Titles!

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