By Eric Katz
This has been an ongoing topic since before spring training. Will the Cubs trade pitcher Jeff Samardzija or sign him to a long term deal?
Well the Cubs tried to get him to agree to an extension but he declined. As of now he is currently on the trading block.
This season he is 0-4 but he has a 1.62 earned run average despite not having any wins.
As of May 22nd his 1.62 earned run average is a national league best. In the ten games he has started this season eight of his starts have been no decisions. This is partially because the Cubs never seem to give him any run support when he starts.
Also, the Cubs haven’t been able to finish some of the games he starts. If he only had a good offense and a good bullpen to finish his games his win total would be in double digits.
The best thing for the Cubs to do is to trade Samardzija. Trying to get him to agree to a deal is pointless at this point.
The Cubs have kind of hinted that he wasn’t in their future plans. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he is growing frustrated about pitching good games and not getting wins.
He is on the wrong club for the ace like talent he has. Here are some potential teams that could be a good fit for his talents.
•New York Yankees- They have been the subject to trade rumors for a little while now and trading for him makes sense. C.C. Sabathia (knee) is out until July, Michael Pineda (shoulder), and Ivan Nova (elbow sugery) is out for the season.
Although Chase Whitley, David Phelps, and occasional starter Vidal Nuno seem to be holding down the fort they can’t last all year.
Having Samardzija will give the Yankees another talented arm right by Mashiaro Tanaka. Although the Yankees farm system isn’t the best they do have a couple of pitchers to offer. Those pitchers would be Slade Heathcott or Tyler Austin.
Those pitchers are said to be very close to being major league ready and have no future with the Yankees. The Cubs are always looking for prospects and having two that are almost ready to come up makes sense.
•Arizona Diamondbacks- The Diamondbacks are desperate for pitching. There rotation earned run average is a whopping 7.16. Not only is their pitching awful this season but it is also injured.
They lost their ace Patrick Corbin (Tommy John Surgery) for the season and Daniel Hudson is still out (Tommy John Surgery in June 2013). The Diamondbacks also moved their opening day rotation pitchers Trevor Cahill and Randall Delgado have been moved to the bullpen.
Although Archie Bradley looks promising and they added veteran Randy Wolff it wouldn’t hurt to add Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have some prospects to give and that is what the Cubs are looking for.
•Texas Rangers- This club has been bitten by the injury bug. They didn’t plan on having Tanner Scheppers be the ace or Nick Martinez, Robbie Ross, and Colby Lewis be in there rotation. But because Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, and Matt Harrison began the year on the DL they had no choice.
Darvish has returned and Harrison is coming back at the end of the month. Holland though isn’t coming back until the middle of the summer. The Rangers are also known for making big trade deadline splashes. They have a loaded minor league system and the Cubs have made deals with them in the past.
The Cubs have had a little success with the Rangers farm products. Don’t be surprised if the Cubs decide to go after some more top prospects from the Rangers.
After all the Rangers have one of the top farm systems in baseball and that is what Cubs are using to rebuild. Samardzija would be a good fit because of his ace like talent and that would make the Rangers pitching tougher. Having him and Yu Darvish would be a tough duo to get runs off of.
•Tampa Bay Rays- Like the Rangers the Rays are also have lots of banged up starting pitchers. Matt Moore (UCL tear), Alex Cobb (stained oblique), and Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) aren’t coming off the disabled list anytime soon.
Only Alex Cobb has hope of possibly coming back in June. They still have David Price and Chris Archer but they still need help. Running out Cesar Ramos every fifth day isn’t what the Rays have in mind. Also, Erik Bedard isn’t your typical number three starter. Having Samardzija come in would be a needed boost to their starting rotation.