Jeff Samardizja: Does he stay or does he go?

As you probably heard over the weekend, it’s rumored that the Toronto Blue Jays are “putting together a package” of young players to entice the Cubs to trade starter Jeff Samardzija. Over at The Loxas Factor, Tom Loxas says a deal could be close. My information is less optimistic.

image-chicago-cubs-jeff-samardzija-wrigley-field-2012-win2I was told by a reliable source over the weekend that the chances the Blue Jays would be able to put together a package that would pry Samardzija away from the Cubs is “pretty remote.” Chances are that the Blue Jays aren’t going to want to give up young arms like Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez in exchange for a second / third starter with two years left on his contract. To get Samardzija, it would certainly take one of those prospects, if not both. I’ve been told, and Toronto GM Alez Anthopoulos confirmed yesterday, that there is currently no deal on the table for Samardzija.

The real problem for the Cubs is Samardzija’s inflated opinion of his value. In order to move Samardzija, the Cubs are going to have to find a team that not only is willing to give up young arms in return, but is also willing 1) to rent Samardzija for 2014 & 2015, or 2) is willing to extend him and pay him like the ace he perceives himself to be. An awful lot of things have to go right in order to the Cubs to find a good trading partner for Samardzija. That’s not to say the stars won’t align in such a way that makes everyone happy, but I don’t think the stars aligning is as close as we’ve been led to believe.

For what it’s worth, I get the sense that Samardzija really doesn’t want to leave Chicago, and I don’t think  the Cubs really want to move him, either. Let’s see who blinks first: Samardzija or the Cubs front office.

The Twitterverse had a good time last night pitting my sources (who say a deal is NOT close) against Tom’s sources (who say a deal could be close). Let me just take a moment to say that I have great respect for Tom and his reporting. Also? This isn’t a contest.  Tom and I are friends, and we’ve both been lucky enough to get scoops from time to time. Sources aren’t always right. We’re all out here doing the best we can. Keep in mind that most of us bloggers also have “real” jobs that take up most of our time. When another blogger scoops everyone, I’m happy for him or her. We’re all on the same side here, let’s keep that in mind.


23 thoughts on “Jeff Samardizja: Does he stay or does he go?

  1. Tommy says:

    May I propose a sort of Hunger Games like competition between the Cubs bloggers??? Julie vs. Tom vs. John vs. Brett

    1. juliedicaro says:

      I have been meaning to show off my mad archery skills. . . Let’s do it.

  2. Dwer says:

    it all seems vaguely ridiculous to me, the amounts of money that get slung around for these people…

    1. juliedicaro says:

      Well . . yeah. It IS ridiculous. And what they ask for is nuts, too. Do you really need $35 million? Is $30 million not enough? Oh. you have to have $35 million because that guy got $34 and you want people to acknowledge you’re better? Okay.

      1. Dusty Baylor says:

        Also, Samardizja, please note that you’re be 29…your ERA for the last 3 months of last year was approximately 5.40, and his career 4.32 ERA and 1.321 WHIP as a starter are not worth the kind of money being discussed.

        1. juliedicaro says:

          He doesn’t believe you.

  3. juliedicaro says:

    I’ve talked to a couple other people, off the record, who have heard the same things as I did, so I’m confident there’s no trade in the offing as of right now. Of course, things can always change quickly.

  4. juliedicaro says:

    It’s snooooooowing. And I’m inside in front of a fire. About to go make chicken and wild rice soup.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I’m hiding in my basement.

      1. juliedicaro says:

        And missing all the fun, I see.

  5. J says:

    This smells like the business side is fabricating stories to cover for the lack of dollars given to baseball ops to spend on the MLB team.

    1. Just curious if the Cubs front office had an open check book who out there would you want them to sign and for how much money as well as length of contract ?

      1. NotAgain says:

        Bank it for spending in 2015! LOL

      2. J says:

        This year I’d be in on the closer market, probably targeting Balfour on a 4 year deal at whatever it takes. There’s also at least one rotation upgrade that will be available. At some point the Cubs will need to upgrade the rotation, so I’d at least pick up one piece to the future rotation this offseason. I’d target Tanaka on a 5 year deal. I’d also target a corner outfielder at 3 years.

        As the Fielder deal shows, there are impact players available out there if you’re willing to take on their contract. At some point I’d like to see the Cubs field a team of MLB pros rather than selling us the next generation of Corey Patterson, Mark Prior, and Kevin Orie. As I see it, the Ricketts are averse to labor costs and intend to be that way for the foreseeable future.

        1. That’s not a bad off season J. I would be happy with Balfour but not on a 4 yr deal at any cost. My gut says they win the Tanaka bidding. Both of these are moves that could potentially happen. Not sure what outfielder is out there that would sign a 3y contract with the Cubs. Beltran ? No he wants to go to a winner, Els/Choo ? Not signing for less than a five or six year contract. Maybe Granderson or Gutierrez but not sure the former would be worth the investment and the latter would be platooning.

          Ricketts averse to labor costs ? Can you tell me how much money the Cubs ownership ate on the contracts of Zambrano, Soriano, and Silva dumps ? Or can you tell me how much money the Ricketts signed off on with the front office international spending this summer exceeding their spending pool and paying the 100% tax on such spending ? Then tell the Ricketts are averse to labor costs,

          1. J says:

            Yes on Ricketts averse to labor costs. Z, Soriano, and Silva were all sunk costs that came with buying the team. The fact that the Ricketts signed off on exceeding the very shallow international pool money ($4.5 mil) tells me all I need to know. They’d rather get young players with “big money for someone from Latin America under the age of 25″ money than actually pay established professionals market value. Paying 100% tax on what amounts to Scott Baker this past year doesn’t scream “Big Spenders on Labor Costs” to me especially when spread across 6-7 players.

  6. juliedicaro says:

    Pirates DFAed Garrett Jones.

  7. EJLo says:

    I really hope Samardzija stays. I do like your sources better than Tom’s because yours give me hope and his make me feel depressed and anxious. Jeff is my favorite athlete and I love him here in Chicago. If he leaves the Cubs I’d have to turn against my lifelong love for the team because I think Jeff deserves a world series. If it was Jeff vs the Cubs, I choose him. (don’t hate)

  8. dabirdguy says:

    I hope he stays.
    He can be the pitcher he showed during the first half if the intensity is there.
    I think they all gave up when the front office made the trading deadline deals. It is hard to maintain the highest level focus when it really doesn’t matter.
    Wyhen he wanted to be a starter he showed then he could. If he wants to be staff Ace, he has the tools. All he needs to do is be pressed to show it.

    1. J says:

      I don’t buy it for a second. Jeff has known he’s on the clock for an extension. Jeff wants the big money, yet he hasn’t shown that he’s worth it. If he can’t handle the pressure of knowing the front office is watching, how is he supposed to deal with the pressure of media that does more than go “awww shucks, those Cubbies lost again”?

      Unless NewSveum has a voice like velvet valium, I think Jeff’s anxiety about becoming the pitcher he thinks he is will eventually crush him. Hence the desire to make him someone else’s problem while they overpay for his last years before free agency.

      1. dabirdguy says:

        The problem is not anxiety. It is motivation. Why go 100% and chance hurting yourself for NOTHING. The only thing that matters in Wrigley right now is losing for draft picks.

        Watch what he does in his walk year, and/or when he pitches for a contender and every game counts.

        1. J says:

          He is a MLB pitcher. If every game doesn’t count, perhaps he could give back some of that cash he’s made. I don’t really want any pitchers on the team who only pitch well when there’ something extra in it for them. I want pitchers who go out there and give it their all- single A exhibition game or game 7 of huge World Series.

          If Jeff wants to be a placeholder who kicks it up a notch in his walk year, I say give him a chance to get another team overpaying for “unrealized potential.”

          And come on man- did you really just give a pro ball player a pass on being a Cheetos eatin’ slacker?

          1. dabirdguy says:

            What I am telling you is that NO ONE gives 100% unless there is a reason.
            Do you give 100% every hour of every day at your job?
            Of course not.
            Playing on these Cubbie trams there is no reason to go the extra mile once you’re shown what you CAN do.
            I don’t condone it, but I do understand it.
            Smatj is the ace of the staff right now. What’s left to prove?

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