Bob Nightengale checked in Sunday morning with what he is hearing on the Jeff Samardzija front. Nightengale reported the Giants “are showing strong interest” in Samardzija. Nightengale also listed the Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Blue Jays and Red Sox as teams “also in the picture” for Samardzija.
The Giants are not a new entry into the Samardzija rumor mill. Rumblings during the winter and early in the season linked Samardzija to the Giants. And San Francisco was mentioned as possibility by Buster Olney and George Ofman in the last two days.
Bruce Levine discussed the Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel rumors with Barry Rozner during Sunday morning’s Hit and Run Show (670 The Score). Levine said the teams mentioned in reports Saturday by the Sun-Times and Ken Rosenthal were not not new, those teams have had varying degrees of interest for a while. The Braves and Diamondbacks had interest during the off-season and the Orioles and Blue Jays might have found internal options for the holes in their respective rotations. The Cubs like Kevin Gausman (Orioles) and Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays) in possible deals for Samardzija and both of the young pitchers are performing rather well, right now.
But according to a report from the Toronto Sun, Blue Jays senior advisor Mel Didier and pro-cross checker Dean Decillis were at Wrigley Field to watch Jeff Samardzija pitch against the Marlins on June 7.
Bruce Levine also reported teams might not be willing to give up two young arms for Samardzija, which is the minimum a package of prospects is expected to start with for Samardzija, but it all it would take is “one desperate team” to give the Cubs what the front office is expecting in return for him. The Cubs asking price for Samardzija is believed to be four prospects, with at least two top pitching prospects headlining the deal.
Bruce Levine is not aware of any new interest in Samardzija. The rumor about the Mariners talking to the Cubs about Jason Hammel is new and accurate.
It could be easier to list the teams that might not be interested in trading for Jeff Samardzija than the ones that have had or are having conversations with the Cubs about Samardzija. A quick look at each division shows at one point and time over the last six months all but 11 teams have been connected to Samardzija through mainstream media reports.
- AL East: Blue Jays, Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox
- AL Central: Royals, White Sox
- AL West: Angels, Mariners, Athletics, Rangers
- NL East: Braves, Nationals, Marlins
- NL Central: Pirates
- NL West: Giants, Dodgers, Rockies, Diamondbacks
Bob Elliott discussed the options for the Blue Jays to add a hard thrower to their rotation. Toronto is looking for an addition to the starting staff according to the report from the Toronto Sun. And According to Elliott, Jeff Samardzija remains on Alex Anthopoulos’ list.
Tim Wilken watched LHP Daniel Norris pitch Thursday in his start for High-A Dunedin. Norris is one of the Jays’ young pitching prospects that have been connected to the Cubs in the past. Baseball America ranked Daniel Norris as the sixth best prospect in the Jays’ system prior to the season. Norris is 6-0 in 13 starts with a 1.22 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP this year. In 66 1/3 innings, the 21-year old southpaw has allowed 50 hits with 18 walks and 76 strikeouts. Dunedin played the D-Cubs that night. And while it could have been a coincidence that Wilken was there, Bob Elliott said Tim Wilken along with scouts from the Rays could have just been grabbing a hot dog and watching a game … or there to look at the Jays’ minor leaguers.
Bob Elliott confirmed the Blue Jays interest in Jason Hammel and while he is not seen as the impact starting pitcher that Samardzija is, Alex Anthopoulos is looking at Hammel as an option for the Jays rotation.