If the reports and rumors are any indication it should be an interesting week for the Chicago Cubs. The non-waiver trade deadline is Wednesday and the Cubs have several players that are garnering attention … plus there’s always a deal or two that happens that no one saw coming.
The Cubs are looking to turn short-term pieces into long term assets as the front office continues to execute their plan of building the organization from the groundout up by compiling as much talent as possible.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have already made six deals this month and have turned four short-term pieces along with Steve Clevenger and Ronald Torreyes into a position player, seven pitchers and international bonus money.
The Cubs are thought to be listening to offers for Kevin Gregg with the deadline just around the corner. Epstein and Hoyer might have waited a little too long on dealing Gregg with the way he’s pitched of late, his return figures to be a mid-level pitching prospect at best. Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus could also be moved but both players are under club control for next season. And some feel their veteran leadership might be more valuable than what the Cubs could receive back in a trade.
Dioner Navarro could also be moved. The player that could net them the biggest return is James Russell. Russell is in his first year of arbitration and does not become a free agent until after the 2015 season … a cost-effective, lefty reliever with two more seasons of club control figures to have a hefty price tag.
Silly Rumors, Samardzija is a Cub
Ken Rosenthal reported on Saturday afternoon that the Cubs were listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija, which created more than just a few waves on the Internet. Rosenthal and Buster Olney reported last month that Kevin Towers reached out to the Cubs about Samardzija’s availability and when Towers was told Samardzija would cost Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley, the conversation quickly ended.
Rosenthal reiterated on Saturday that the price would be “high” for any team looking to acquire Samardzija.
According to a report from Patrick Mooney, “one amused player walking through the clubhouse looked at Samardzija and said: He gone! Trade rumors, they never lie.”
Patrick Mooney reported that a team official tried to calculate would Samardzija would be worth last year at the Winter Meetings and could not come up with an answer. Most see Samardzija as a top of the rotation starter, maybe not a No. 1, but a No. 2. Samardzija would like to remain with the Cubs and understands now the importance of a no-trade clause. Something he had under Jim Hendry that was voided when Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer declined his club option for the 2012 season.
The Cubs are expected to approach Samardzija about signing a long-term extension again in the off-season.
The Cubs are expected to announce the signing of OF Eloy Jimenez at a press conference in the Dominican Republic on Thursday. The Cubs reportedly agreed to terms on a $2.8 million signing bonus with Jimenez that includes a $250,000 college scholarship.