The Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel trade rumors are starting to heat up. According to a report from the Sun-Times, “the Cubs already have had trade talks with multiple teams regarding Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.”
The Mariners are interested in Jason Hammel. Ken Rosenthal confirmed Seattle’s interest in Hammel. And while Wittenmyer’s source “expects Hammel to end up in Seattle,” Rosenthal reported the talks between the Cubs and the Mariners for Hammel have yet to progress.
The Sun-Times report backs up what Buster Olney reported Friday about Jeff Samardzija. Olney has talked to teams that are interested in Samardzija and the conversations for Samardzija are beginning to gain traction. Talent evaluators Olney has spoken with love Samardzija’s presence and feel he is someone that could lead a pitching staff.
According to Ken Rosenthal, scouts from the Orioles, Blue Jays and Red Sox attended Jeff Samardzija’s most recent start. Rosenthal cautioned not to draw too much into it because those scouts could have been watching a variety of players.
Ken Rosenthal labeled Samardzija “as a possible difference maker in the AL East” and said he could make a lot of sense for the Red Sox. Samardzija has one more year of control left before he becomes a free agent and Boston’s rotation for next season is wide-open.
Buster Olney mentioned the Giants as another team to keep an eye on for Samardzija. George Ofman also reported the Giants have interest in Samardzija soon after the report from the Sun-Times surfaced Saturday.
The timing of the reports from the Sun-Times, Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney fall within the timeline that Jed Hoyer discussed on the Kap & Haugh Show (87.7 The Game) this week of when discussions with other teams would begin about possible trades.
Jed Hoyer was asked when he thought his phone would start ringing and when trades would start being made.
“I think the draft is a time where teams like to debrief and talk through everything after the draft, a lot of time that can be used as an excuse to have those conversations,” Hoyer said. “We are 60-plus games into the season. We are still in the early stages of people getting to that point. I think as we move into July and get kinda closer to the All-Star break, people will be a little more serious. I would say those conversations start now, as teams kind of debrief after the draft and kind of come up from air after the draft. This is sort of the beginning of those conversations.”
“I think once those conversations really start, certainly when you get into July,” Hoyer explained. “Everyone focuses on the last week of July where you know you are going to be exceptionally busy, that’s every year, but once you sort of get into that month, you never know when a team will decide now is the time I want to act quickly. So, I would say really during the course of that month. You might get a day, like around the All-Star break, some teams sort of takeoff, but there is usually not a lot of chatter around that time of year. But for the most part that whole month is fairly active.”
Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel will garner the most attention. The two pitchers are the Cubs biggest trade chips this summer. The Cubs could end up with a bigger return for Hammel than was expected. And it will be up to the coaching staff and John Baker to help Samardzija get back on track after his last three outings.
The Cubs have other players that could draw interest such as Luis Valbuena, Darwin Barney and Nate Schierholtz. Comcast SportsNet reported Saturday afternoon Schierholtz could still help a contending team despite his struggles this season. Emilio Bonifacio was part of the group of position players that could have been traded until he landed on the disabled list. Relievers Wesley Wright and James Russell could also draw interest over the next six weeks.