After seeing Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija's frustration boil over to the point where he snapped a bat in half over his knee in his latest good-start, bad-result performance, the thought that immediately jumps to mind is this: get this poor fellow out of Chicago. However, it isn't as simple as it seems. While Samardzija could substantially help any team with the possible exception of the pitching-rich Dodgers and Nationals, and is unquestionably one of the better trading chips out there, there are a couple complications in the Cubs' efforts to extrricate their best haul. Considering they received quite a stash last year from the Rangers for Matt Garza, who had at least a slight health question and was only a rental (including C.J. Edwards, Mike Olt and Neil Ramirez), the assumption is that they should be able to get at least twice as much for Samardzija, who's not only healthy but fresh-armed and who also isn't a free agent until after the 2015 season, giving an acquiring the opportunity to employ him in two pennant races but also to extend him a qualifying offer and earn an extra draft choice after 2015. Those factors surely enhance Samardzija's value. But here are three things that don't: 1) Teams aren't as desperate for pitching as in past years, even good pitching, as most contending teams have decent pitching. It's undeniable: many more teams are having offensive struggles this year; 2) The pitching market is going to include Rays star David Price, who has a Cy Young award, has thrived in the AL East and like samardzija also has a year and a half to go until free agency, and; 3) There would appear to be no hope to extend Samardzija to a long-term deal. At least that's the perception, after a turned down $85-million-plus from the hometown Cubs (sources confirmed that figure).
Samardzija a great trade chip, but can he bring twice as much as Garza?
CBS Sports | Jun 27