Cubs and Blue Jays Continue to Talk Samardzija

The Blue Jays continue their pursuit of Jeff Samardzija and according to a report from Jon Paul Morosi, the Cubs and Jays have discussed a deal that would send Jeff Samardzija to Toronto for RHP Aaron Sanchez, LHP Daniel Norris and CF Dalton Pompey.

Alex Anthopoulos has talked about the acquisition cost being too high for him to land a starting pitcher with multiple years of control left on his contract and according to Morosi’s report, Anthopoulos will not include Sanchez, Norris and Pompey in a deal for Samardzija or any other available starter, including David Price. Morosi reported Anthopoulos “may be willing to trade one or two players from that group, but not all three, at least not yet.”

The Blue Jays have scouted Samardzija “extensively this season” and the Cubs recently sent Tim Wilken to watch the Dunedin Blue Jays, which at the time both LHP Daniel Norris and CF Dalton Pompey were on Dunedin’s roster. Norris has since been promoted to Double-A New Hampshire.

The Blue Jays’ pro scouting director Perry Minasian was at Wrigley Field to watch Jeff Samardzija Monday night according to Morosi.

The Blue Jays were not the only team that sent scouts to watch Jeff Samardzija pitch Monday night. Bruce Levine reported “top talent scouts” from the Orioles, Red Sox and Nationals were in attendance and scouts from the Braves and Giants were reportedly at Wrigley as well.

The Blue Jays and Orioles appear to be the teams that could match-up best with the Cubs in a deal for Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs are thought to be looking for close to Major League ready pitching that project as top of the rotation arms. The Cubs have been connected to Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris for a while.

LHP Daniel Norris was very good in 13 starts with Dunedin this season and posted a 6-0 record in 12 starts with a 1.03 WHIP. In 66 1/3 innings, the 21-year old southpaw struck out 76 batters with 18 walks and 50 hits allowed. And not a single ball left the park. Norris did not fare as well in his Double-A debut and allowed four runs on four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

RHP Aaron Sanchez is considered the Jays’ top pitching prospect, especially with Marcus Stroman in the big leagues and pitching rather well. Sanchez was recently promoted from Double-A New Hampshire to Triple-A Buffalo. The soon-to-be 22-year old was 3-4 in 14 starts at the Double-A level with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Sanchez struggles with his command and walked 40 batters in 66 innings with 57 strikeouts in Double-A. Sanchez has walked eight batters in two Triple-A starts with six strikeouts and 10 hits allowed in nine innings (6.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP).

Dalton Pompey is tearing up the Florida State League and is hitting .312/.392/.460/.852 in 67 games with 11 doubles, five triples and six home runs. Pompey has walked 34 times with 54 strikeouts in 303 plate appearances and has stolen 27 bases. The 21-year old switch hitter is also a Gold Glove outfielder with plus arm.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will not trade Jeff Samardzija, or Jason Hammel, until they receive the right package of players in return. The Cubs are aggressively scouting other teams’ farm systems and parent teams in order to maximize their two most valuable trade chips.

Other Cubs Rumors

According to ESPN.com, the Blue Jays, Pirates, Athletics, Orioles and Marlins could target Jason Hammel as a short-term solution to fill a hole in their rotation.

According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Angels are not in on Jeff Samardzija … but, Morosi did not mention if the Angels are still interested in Jason Hammel or not.

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  • cubtex

    If they can get Sanchez, Norris and Pompey….I would pull the trigger. The issue with Sanchez is not his stuff but his command. He has a hard time repeating his delivery and is prone to the big inning with walks,hbp,and then laying a hittable strike over the plate that does damage. He might never be a frontline starter because of those issues but he does have special stuff. I would take this package and hope Sanchez can get better command working with the Cubs instructors.

    • TrevorPetersma

      Would you do it for just two of them and a different third player? Say Sanchez and Pompey, but we don’t get Norris. I really hope we maximize this trade, but I also dont want to wait too long and leave with less than we once could have had. Of course…that’s why I’m typing on a fan forum and not sitting in a MLB exec office. :)

    • Darrell Birkey

      The point made in this article is they can’t get all three. When they say that a certain group of player has been discussed and the trade hasn’t happened, it’s because one side finds it unacceptable.

      • cubtex

        that is why I said “IF”

    • cc002600

      not that crazy about it. these guys are nice prospects I’m sure, but we need more MLB ready guys than guys in A & AA ball. How long do you want to keep pushing this out ? Guys in A & AA ball are 2-3 years away, minimum.

      • cubtex

        I don’t want to push it out but that is the “plan” The “plan” is still another 2-3 years out.

        • Tony_H

          I sure hope they are planning out at least 2-3 years.

          • cubtex

            at least. not to worry there. believe me…..they are in no hurry!

          • Tony_H

            LOL! I bet they are planning out more than 2-3 years, not like what you are thinking.

          • cubtex

            yep. 2017,2018. 2019. one day they will win the division.

          • Tony_H

            Maybe next year.

          • cubtex

            I hope you are right. They will have to buy about 7 players outside of the organization for that to happen.

          • Tony_H

            3-4 will make them competitive next year, if Bryant and co. are able to contribute.

          • cubtex

            I hope you are right. They will have to buy about 7 players outside of the organization for that to happen.

          • Larry Schwimmer

            I don’t agree with you. I believe that in 2015, we’ll see the CUBS feature a competitive team with some rookies that CUB fans will be excited to see play. There’s good reason to expect that BAEZ and BRYANT will play in 2015. And they may even sign a top tier F.A. After that, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether that 2015 team will be mediocre, good or really good.

            I’ll tell you this: Ricketts & Theo know that CUB fans are not going to sit on their hands in 2015 while another year goes by of putting together a last place team, and spinning off your 2 good players in July for prospects; and positioning for a “low draft pick.” IMHO, 2014 is the last year that is done by the CUBS organization. I really believe they want to put a competitive team in 2015.

          • cubtex

            Believe me. I hope you are right!

          • BigJonLilJon

            And what proof do you have of that? Team Theo has been doing this to us for 3 years now and the fans have put up with it. What makes you think they won’t try it for another year…. Maybe two?

          • Larry Schwimmer

            Come on! How could anyone offer proof. But I think my comment holds up to just good economics and logic. THEO has had 3 years to stock the pond with fish (i.e. prospects) and to trade for more prospects. Meanwhile, attendance has fallen. And, I think THEO and RICKETTS realize that they have enough prospects + free money for a few F.A.s to begin building a competitive teach — which IMHO they will begin doing in 2015. Answer: They don’t need to do it another year. You’ll see: 2015 begins the building of a competitive team.

        • cc002600

          if they are contending by 2016, I’m ok with that (I think:-))….anything beyond that is just embarrassing. and they should be worried, I know that people will for the most part come back when they start winning again, but I’m not sure that everyone will. There’s only so much you can take of these insanely boring games, year after year after year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I can say for sure that the Cubs have lost fans permanently due to losing since 1945. 70 years of waiting just killed off a lot of fans…..literally.

      • calicub

        The problem is, how many teams would be willing to give up a prospect (let alone prospects) that are close to being ready? Most teams would rather bring those guys up than trade them and their farm to get an established player, even one as good as Jeff.

      • calicub

        The problem is, how many teams would be willing to give up a prospect (let alone prospects) that are close to being ready? Most teams would rather bring those guys up than trade them and their farm to get an established player, even one as good as Jeff.

        • Larry Schwimmer

          I don’t agree. The team who trades for Shark knows that they’ll have to give up at least one Triple A prospect. The CUBS are not going to give up a proven major leaguer who can help them for 2 season — and agree to take 2 or 3 Single A or Double AA prospects and think “that’s a great deal.”

          In today’s market, for trades to work: it has to be “win-win.” You have to “give to get.” Shark represents a solid value because he can help a team win a pennant for 2 consecutive seasons. That’s another reason why he’d bring more than Hammel.

          • cc002600

            I agree. Just look at Garza deal. 3 of the 4 are already in the majors. Yes, I know that Olt is not doing great, but Ramirez looks good and Grimm looks to be a decent pitcher as well. I not against getting A & AA players, but we have to get some guys who will help now too. I don’t think I can take another 2 to 3 years of watching meaningless baseball. I’m tired of it. We deserve better.

  • TrevorPetersma

    Bryant again…seriously. Wow. 5 hits. 5 hrs.

  • calicub

    From everything I’ve read it sounds like the Blue Jays are also looking for an everyday second baseman so it could be done by adding in either Luis Valbuena or Darwin Barney.

    The Jays have the offense to support Barney in the number 9 hole and would add another solid defender up the middle.

    • TrevorPetersma

      If adding Barney was the only thing holding this up, it would be a no brainer, right? I mean I just don’t know why it wouldn’t already be done if that is all that it would take for the Jays to move with those guys. It seems like they are just really wringing their hands about giving up all three prospects, regardless of us throwing in a 2b.

      • Tony_H

        I think a lot has to do with it being only June 24th. I think the Cubs have a very good idea of what the interested teams are willing to pay and the other teams know what the Cubs will want.

        But no urgency on either end to deal at this point. But at some point a team will have another injury, a losing streak, etc that puts the pressure on a team to make a deal.

        • TrevorPetersma

          Is there pressure to get Jeff dealt before Price?

          • Tony_H

            I don’t think so. There are more than 2 teams who want Samardzija or Price. So the demand is stronger than the supply.

          • Tony_H

            And the Rays are very unlikely to deal Price to an AL East team.

      • calicub

        Tony said it right, its just too early. Realistically i think Shark is worth those three guys at the deadline to a desperate team, but as we all know teams are coy this far from away from it. Adding a GG second baseman without much value to the Cubs at this point in time to give extra inducement to get that deal done now would benefit both clubs. The Jay’s would get 4-5 extra starts out of Jeff as well as an entire month of the defensive runs saved we’ve come to expect from Darwin and the Cubs would get the prospeccts they desire.

        That being said, I’d prefer signing Shark long term. Give him Homer Bailey money, they can afford it. The FA market this offseason has a lot of impact players that the Cubs could pick up and be competitive. Adding any of Scherzer, Sandoval, Colby Rasmus, Volquez, Lester, Melky Cabrera or even Masterson to pair with Rizzo, Castro, Shark, Castillo, Baez and Bryant would make this team leaps and bounds better.

        • Denver Mike

          The problem with resigning him at that price is that Homer Bailey doesn’t recent deserve Homer Baily money, and while I ccant say for certain I’d be willing to bet if the Reds could do that one over I bet they would. I’ve also seen nothing to convince me Samardzija will be any better than Bailey over a full season either.

        • Larry Schwimmer

          Boy…you seem pretty cavalier about throwing around a $100+ mil. to Shark. That Homer Bailey deal was a dumb and desperate deal. He’s got an ERA of 4.80 and a record of 7 & 5. Shark is too risky of a bet to commit that kind of money. Do you see how many horrible contracts have been signed by GMS who have made bad deals. I give THEO credit after the money he spent in Boston to realize that is a bad strategy. Even the Soriano deal was a wasted of money. Enough with “over-paying” guys. If it was your money, you wouldn’t waste it. Why should Ricketts?

          • calicub

            I would give it to him because his best years are NOT behind him! Shark is a special case because his arm has very light usage for his age due to focusing on football during his development years. (Shark has thrown about 500 fewer innings in affiliated ball than has Bailey) He is no longer throwing like he was in his first 4 years in the league; he has learned to pitch. His best years as a pitcher will be the next 2-3 years.

            Further, this team has little in the way of payroll commitments (see Rizzo, Castro and NO ONE ELSE!) with greater revenue streams coming in (see CBS Radio, ad-revenue, etc.), plus keeping him would keep ticket and jersey sales from plummeting even further.

            Were he to hit FA today, he’d easily find a contract in the 6 year 120MM range. Easily. The fact of the matter is, Shark has far more value to this team than his is given credit for. If the Cubs have any hopes of even appearing competitive next year and beyond, they need to keep him, even at a price only slightly below FA Market Prices.

            To me, it makes too much sense to lock down Jeff for the next 4-5 years instead of hoping that of 3 or 4 prospects received maybe one will reach the level Jeff has and will reach.

          • calicub

            also, don’t forget that Bailey is only a year younger than Shark and has been attempting to figure out pitching to Major League hitters for longer.

            The rate of Shark’s development, caliber of his arsenal and the build of his body all point to him being more deserving of Homer Bailey money than Homer Bailey.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    Offer Olt and / or a player like Voglebach to sweeten the deal. Neither are likely to have a place on the Cubs roster long term.

    Hope Baltimore gets involved.

    • Vivid_Reality

      I think trading Vogelbach now would be selling short. He has been steadily getting better after a rough start in a pitchers league. Still young with huge upside. Trade him when he is closer to being major league ready.

      • Jeffrey Rogers

        I was just using him as an example. There are other names.

      • Jeffrey Rogers

        I was just using him as an example. There are other names.

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

    I like the trade. And I by eventually we get it. Eerily similar to the Garza deal where it seemed the Rangers were it. Blue Jays want it but may take another involved to make it happen.

    I think Sanchez is similar to Arietta but younger. I bet Bosio will straighten him out. Plus Norris isn’t that far away. He could get a call up sometime in 2015. And the young CF could be in tat second wave of young talent with Torres and Jiminez. Those guys will make valuable trade chips to supplement the big league club. They may be far away but they may be valuable sooner if in a year or two we need a complement at the trade deadline. Much like the Cubs want youth now and are willing to give MLb talent, in a few years we may out together a deal around Torres an Payton (if we get him) to bring us back a big leaguer. Think outside the box with these moves. Just because they aren’t all big league ready doesnt mean they can’t have an impact sooner.

    As I said I imagine it will get done. Much like the Garza deal as we creep toward the deadline they will do what it take. Something tells me the Jays already are planning on Shark in their rotation come August. The pressure is on them, not Theo.