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Blue Jays among teams scouting Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija

May 25, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT

samardzija getty Getty Images

From Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes column in the Boston Globe …

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Cubs — Samardzija, who is 0-4 with a 1.46 ERA, is being watched more than any pitcher by major league scouts. Among those watching are the Blue Jays, who are more convinced than ever they can win the AL East if they obtain a top starter. While they struck out on Samardzija before, one major league scout said they haven’t given up trying to repackage but are still insistent on not giving up Drew Hutchison. Whether it be Samardzija or someone else, the Jays have all hands on deck, including special adviser Fred McGriff.

Toronto is currently in first place in the American League East standings with a record of 28-22 and will carry a two-game division lead into Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the visiting Oakland A’s. But it’s offense that has been carrying the 2014 Blue Jays — their staff ERA of 4.22 ranks 25th in the major leagues and their 1.42 staff WHIP ranks 28th.

Samardzija is making $5.345 million in his second year of arbitration. He can hit free agency after 2015.

  1. groupofsevenrules - May 25, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    No point in the Cubs continuing to pay that kind of money (event though it’s a bargain by current standards) to a guy who can’t take them anywhere because they can’t take him anywhere either. I think that he would find the cracked meat….heh, sorry, I mean the smoked meat…sandwiches in Toronto an adequate substitute for the stuffed pizza in Chicago. Go ahead, Theo. Pull the trigger on this one. I got friends in TO who would be truly beholden to ye.

    • masher1965 - May 25, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      The money is not a problem, personally , I see no reason WHY the Cubs are in a hurry to trade Smardzijia . The Cubs have another year of arbitration , so unless the Cubs can get a huge haul, why trade him?

      • mazblast - May 26, 2014 at 12:07 AM

        Because Theo may be able to get a LOT more for him now, with over a year and a half to free agency, than he can later.

  2. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 25, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Ahhh just give in and give Theo his Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman.

    • proudlycanadian - May 25, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Both of them? No effen way.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        Come on, don’t you want to be spared the constant JSam rumors from now till the trading deadline?

      • proudlycanadian - May 25, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        I want to be spared the comments from the Boston hack, Nick Buffoono.

      • cubfan531 - May 25, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        What if we include Dan Vogelbach?

      • proudlycanadian - May 25, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        Now you are talking. Are the Cubs willing to take Rickey Romero?

      • cubfan531 - May 25, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        We get Stroman and Sanchez? Take on about $2.5 million a year from Romero’s contract and we might just have a deal.

      • proudlycanadian - May 25, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        So far this season, Toronto’s starting pitchers have won 24 games. That is the best in the AL. You are deluded if you think that the Jays need him enough to overpay. The Jays will not give up their top 2 prospects for a pitcher who wants to become a free agent. Smarty pants is not worth giving away the farm.

  3. thetoolsofignorance - May 25, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Do the Blue Jays have the pieces in trade to pull this off? I do not know their farm system at all but if this happens, then we can say that they really have upgraded that rotation. Samardzija’s peripheral numbers are very good to excellent so outside of Wrigley his success could continue. it would be nice to see what he could do with a lead in the game and solidifying blue jay pitching would really take advantage of the troubles of the other AL East teams

    The problem for Toronto is that Dodger management might be all over Samardzija. Our rotation could certainly use the help since catching the Giants is going to be hard work. Beckett is giving me dropsy and both he and Haren seem like ticking time bombs to me. Replacing Beckett or Haren before they can make things worse seems to me to be a good idea. The more I think of Samardzija in Dodger blue the better I like this idea.

    Of course this is all wishing and hoping on my part. Of the two teams, the Cubs most likely want to deal with the Blue Jays and I don’t know as The Dodgers have much in trade at the moment.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 25, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Both the Jays and Dodgers have prospects that could get a deal done if they were willing to let them go. Any two of Joc Pederson, Julio Urias and Zach Lee would probably get it done for the Dodgers.

      • thetoolsofignorance - May 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        Very true, but depleting the Dodger farm isn’t a terrific idea I think. Its noticeable that neither Beckett or Haren have bad numbers and justifying that trade to replace them might be a tough sell. I know TINSTAAPP, so losing Urias or Lee might not be so bad, and the return for JS might be a pennant so I’m very torn on this.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 25, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        Ya I don’t know if they should, but I know that they could…if they wanted.

    • paperlions - May 25, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Yes, they easily have the pieces to make this trade.

      You get JS for a year and a half, but he has already said that he is going to the highest bidder in FA.

    • 4cornersfan - May 25, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      As a Yankee fan I resent the way the Dodgers think that they have the right to sign or trade for any free agent or player on the market.

      • thetoolsofignorance - May 25, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        Believe it or not but it bothers me too. I’m chronic for cheering on the underdog and thats hard to do when your home team is essentially The Yankees West.

      • gibbyfan - May 25, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        I have to respect JS for coming right out and saying that for him it’s all about the highest bidder. I’m pretty sure most other players feel and do the same but are a lot less forthcoming about it…….what I often ponder is given that on some level we all know that , what drives us to be fans in the first place ?
        .I don’t know if the Yanks have the pieces to make a deal but if so that looming free agancy won’t matter a bit…………

      • indaburg - May 25, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        4cornersfan, this is sarcasm, right? I’m just checking.

      • thetoolsofignorance - May 25, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        yes, its sarcasm. I just chose to treat it as a serious statement since it fits well with my antipathy for spend to win

    • canadiansportsfan77 - May 25, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      The Jays have the pieces to make a deal, but there problem is they’re depth at AA and AAA is not really there, and them trading Sanchez and Stroman gives them no real immediate prospects to help the team in this year or the next.

      The Jays have good depth at the high A level but ever since the Miami and NYM deal, they depleted their AA and AAA prospect pool.

      Jays best bet for acquring a pitcher not named the Shark might be to make a MLB for MLB talent deal from their depth pool of hitters.

  4. trunord - May 25, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Montreal is know for smoked meat. We are all about the peameal beacon. Shout out to St. Lawrence Market

    • Old Gator - May 25, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Yes, and thanks indeed to the Parti Quebecois for scaring all the deli owners who knew how to make into migrating to Toronto. Montreal may well still be known for smoked meat but I suspect that outside of Quebec, they’re better known for poutine.

  5. proudlycanadian - May 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    This story comes from the same Boston hack, Nick Buffono who 2 weeks ago had the Jays trading Buehrle at the trade deadline.

    • indaburg - May 25, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      You do have to admit, if it happens, it upgrades your rotation immediately. I’m praying this rumor is false. I’ve watched Samardzija closely for two years (he’s on my fantasy team) and his stuff is wicked.

      • proudlycanadian - May 25, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        OK! We will offer Happ, Romero and Drabek. Happ pitched 7 scoreless innings today.

      • indaburg - May 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Yeah… I’m sure Theo Epstein will just jump at that deal. :-)

      • proudlycanadian - May 25, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        His loss. By the way, this season, Toronto’s starters have more wins than the starting pitchers of any other AL team. Jays finish the sweep of Oakland.

      • indaburg - May 25, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        Very nice. We cooled those A’s bats a bit off for you. 😉

      • proudlycanadian - May 25, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        Thank you very much. Next up, the Jays face Bedard, Archer and Cobb.

      • nbjays - May 25, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        And I see you are extending the Red Sox streak as well… nice!

      • indaburg - May 25, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        Don’t jinx us… 9th inning, two outs…

      • nbjays - May 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        You don’t have ‘nando Rodney anymore… don’t sweat it.

      • indaburg - May 25, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        Have you seen Balfour’s numbers this season? 1.60 WHIP, 8.38 BB/9–he’s living up to that “Ball four” name. I can’t just give Balfour a plantain like I did ‘nando to fix the problem.

        In any event, congrats to your Jays. This was the team we expected last season. In any event, I’ve been feeding many blue jays with my bird feeder–my apartment complex is full of jays–so please be nice to my team the next few days. Thank you.

      • nbjays - May 25, 2014 at 9:22 PM

        By “be nice to”, I assume you mean don’t beat them by a lot, just a little?

      • indaburg - May 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM

        Just don’t embarrass us and keep the games under 3 hours. Thanks.

  6. 18thstreet - May 25, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    “The Jays have all hands on deck, including special adviser Fred McGriff, who was my anonymous source for this note.”

    Fixed it.

  7. garybrian2014 - May 25, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Don’t give up the franchise to acquire a National pitcher. They usually don ‘t do as well in the American League with the DH.

  8. buffalo65 - May 25, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    If our jays are going to add a pitcher it will be a hammel, McCarthy type at a lesser cost. I trade Sanchez to the cubs but not both. Might happen but i doubt it.

  9. buffalo65 - May 25, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Dirty Harry is out there somewhere and I am laughing at him.

  10. sidelineshot - May 26, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    At which point is Theo Epstein going to unleash his super duper masterplan and win some?

  11. crazyitie - May 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    If the Jays Give up both Sanchez and Stroman I will not be a happy Blue jays fan. If we do that then in a matter of two years we will have given up all of our top prospects in return for a short term solution. We will have given up Adeiny Heachaveria, Travis D’arnaud and need I mention Noah Syndergaard. I would not agree with giving up both but I could and would be okay with giving up 1 and throwing in a Ryan goins.

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