If you look at it all wrong, Jeff Samardzija of the Cubs — remember him? who could forget?– has been having a pretty great start to the year, despite sporting an utterly meaningless 0-3 record. He’s pitched to a 1.62 ERA, allowing just nine earned runs over seven starts and 50.0 innings.

Peripherally, however, things look a bit strange, and not nearly so “great.” He’s doing all this with an unsustainably low HR/FB rate (5.3%), a very high strand rate (83.0%), a helpfully nifty BABIP (.271, compared to a career mark of .295), and a noticeable drop in his strikeout rate (38 in 50.0 innings, or 19.0%/6.84 K/9, compared to last year’s 23.4%/9.01 K/9, and even better rates in 2012, his first full year as a big league starter). Shit, and if we’re nitpicking, his velocity is also down one full tick from 2012, and his swinging strike rate — a category in which he ranked fifth among qualified starters in his 3.0 WAR 2012 season with a 12.1% rate — is at just 8.2%.

In other words, though yesterday he may have gone nine innings in a three-hit, 0 ER/1 R, seven strikeout, two walk performance that the Cubs ultimately wasted, he hasn’t been terribly Samardzija-like. And he certainly hasn’t appeared to be the number one starter he’s hoping to get paid as — at least according to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago, who tells us that “contract talks between the Cubs and the pitcher’s agents stalled at the end of 2013,” because “a difference of opinion exists over the pitcher being a No. 1 or No. 3 starter going forward. As much as $20 million over five years might divide the two sides from reaching an agreement.”

So what, you ask? So, according to Levine (also: the title of this post), the contract dispute may not be the Cubs’ problem for long. It may be the Jays’ problem.

The Toronto Blue Jays have continued to pursue Samardzija in a deal that would bring back an inventory of young pitchers for the Cubs, if a contract is not agreed upon soon. Toronto had top scout Jim Beattie at Monday’s game. The Cubs have had scouts watching Blue Jay minor league pitchers since the beginning of spring training.

We heard all winter that the supposed asking price was something on the level of Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez — six full big league years of each in exchange for just two from Samardzija. Good for Chicago for asking, I guess, but… yeah, it’s nuts, and surely the main reason Samardzija is still putting on a Cubs uniform every day. Add in the fact that the Jays have now lost seven starts from him, and such a price truly seems nuttier still — and that’s without even considering what sort of handouts the club would have to ask from its own players in order to add Samardzija and his $5.345-million salary to the payroll.

At the same time, you could be forgiven for wondering, and worrying,  just how desperate to win Alex Anthopoulos may be right now. He’s lost Brandon Morrow, his job is very likely on the line, and he’s staring at an AL East that remains very much there for the taking. It’s not crazy to think that, at the right price, he would entirely be interested in making a major splash like this. It’s just… what’s the right price? Certainly not Stroman and Sanchez — especially given what Samardzija’s peripherals are showing — but maybe there’s some kind of deal there to be made using other pieces.

Anthopoulos, to his credit, this winter avoided the further blowing up of his successor’s farm system in vain pursuit of a difference-making starter, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t consider it, or that he won’t still consider it. I don’t think Samardzija, given the price reportedly being asked, makes a whole lot of sense for this in-limbo team right now, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t make a whole at some point — and shit, maybe it’s better for the Jays to be looking to deal now, rather than when they get desperate enough that the Cubs can smell it.

Colour me skeptical, in other words, but maybe not outright dismissive of the idea altogether.

So… there’s that.

Comments (218)

  1. 6 years in exchange for 2? Its likely to be more like 14 assuming they handle them right, as you can get 4 pre-arb from both, and then the 3 arb years each.

    Giving up just one of either Stroman or Sanchez in exchange for Samardzija would be a poor trade. Both would be grounds for termination.

    • Six years “of each,” I said, but yeah, they’ll make it seven. You knew what I meant.

    • That’s assuming injuries do not derail their careers or that they are good enough to stick in the majors for the next six years.

      I would not do both because we will have to pay him too much to stay here past a year and a half. At that point it may make more sense to try FA next year if the Jays are willing to trade and sign him. Given that the players had to defer money for the chance of Santana then trading for smardkjhksc would more than likely be a year and half thing and then he would be gone. Not worth it in either case unless the price is less than we think.

  2. Honestly Sanchez plus other prospects sounds like a deal to me….. With two picks in top 11 in the draft they can afford to trade prospects… Hopefully lower level prospects that could be replaced easily with this year’s draft picks

    • You’re nuts.

      • He’s not really that nuts.

        • Or is it that he IS really that nuts?

          Are you saying he’s not that nuts because of the likelihood the Jays would do that deal or because that type of deal actually makes sense?

          • It makes sense. The Jays might do it. Seeing strides from Norris, having Stroman ready, and having the two picks mitigates the loss of Sanchez, whose value may never be higher.

            Mentioned this on Twitter yesterday: Kyle Drabek was a higher rated prospect than Sanchez or Stroman has ever been. Drabek was 16/14 in MLB for BP in 2010/2011. Let’s not lose sight of that stuff.

            That said, I’m not saying TRADE SANCHEZ NOW. I’m saying, yeah, that sort of a deal probably makes sense, all things considered. Not doing it probably makes sense too.

            • I guess it makes sense in a vacuum. However, if we’re to believe that payroll restrictions are a problem, is acquiring a guy looking for 20/season, with the type of warning signs you note in the article, really a great long term plan?

              Are you basing your opinion on the assumption that AA is nearing, or is already in, full-on save his own ass mode?

              And who is going to pass around the deferral jar to lock this guy up long term? Are we assuming the money that wasn’t there for Santana is going to be there for Shark?

              • Long term? Why would you assume that Shark would be a building block for anything other than right now?

          • not nuts at all. this guy is a proven MLB starter. a prospect. With Stroman there, and only a few years left of Reyes, EE, Bautista, i would consider. Are they trying to win now?? with the way the AL East has played out so far, i say go for it!

      • I’d say throw Rasmus in there. What the heck. He won’t sign with the Jays next year. Let the Cubs see if they can extend him. Rasmus and a prospect seems pretty fair. We’d def miss his defense in the OF. Heck, while we’re at it, trade the Phillies for Domonic Brown. They’re just wasting that fine stallion.

    • I’d rather have Sanchez. He could be ready to put up number 3 stats as early as next year.

      • Or he might bust and turn into a middling back-end reliever, or minor league lifer, or need TJ and not be ready for the majors until 2016 or 2017.

      • I dont know, I honestly think at this point Stroman is a safer bet to be a productive MLB pitcher than sanchez. Sanchez has boom or bust potential and he has never put up the big strikeout numbers one likes to see in someone who is supposedly a future top of the rotation guy. If you can pull Shark for Sanchez and filler, I seriously consider it.

      • How do you know any of this? Shark is a majo league stud right now, stop drooling over prospects.

  3. God. He’d better not do that.

  4. Not a hope would I give up Sanchez or Stroman for what’s his name.

  5. Keep Stroman and trade Sanchez. Otherwise blow the whole thing up and get a whole whack of prospects. Time is now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. At this point I think you have to be open to making a trade but certainly not at the cost of both Stroman and Sanchez. I agree with most that even losing just one would be disappointing. Especially since we seem to be on the verge (or at least close to the .. verge?) of seeing what Stroman can do for this rotation.

    It goes without saying that if the trade is for a combination of arms NOT including those two the Jays will do it in a heartbeat, which is exactly why the Cubs would not.

  7. I wouldn’t give up Stroman or Sanchez.

    There’s the pitchers that are a class below, or younger that the Cubs maybe interested in. Nolin, Osuana, Norris, Tirado. Assuming the Cubs were willing to take players that are still a few years away.

    Lots of good young arms in the system.

  8. Samardzija is 29 years old. Samardzija’s FIP (3.08) is almost double his ERA (1.68), and his xFIP (3.54) is higher still. His career GB% of 45%, and even this season’s 52%, would be iffy in the hitters’ ballparks of the AL East.

    Samardzija probably won’t be terrible, but you could probably get similar results just by throwing Stroman into the rotation, forget trading Stroman for him.

    • I retract the statement about ground balls. The rest remains true.

    • the FIP and xFIP numbers are also very nice though. clearly better than anything the Jays have in their rotation right now, with the possible exception of Hutchison.

  9. I noticed Samardzija’s stat line this morning and that K rate certainly stands out. Its a tough situation because he certainly would be an upgrade, but the price would have to come way, way down. If it starts at Sanchez., plus maybe two high update low A arms, do you do it?

    • Nope. I don’t trade Sanchez for this guy straight up. He’s a number four starter in the AL East.

      • Silly.

        • So, you think I’m greatly over-valuing my prospect porn. Probably true. But I just don’t like the return. Didn’t like the Dickey deal either though.

          • How sage of you, not liking the Dickey deal.

            I just don’t think you’re acknowledging what a fourth starter is, mostly.

            • I’m not claiming it’s ‘sage’ of me. I just rarely like these sorts of moves unless they’re going to help put a flag in the rafters. In this case, I don’t see that happening. But I appreciate the condescension.

              • You are right though. I am underselling Samardzija as a number four. He’s a solid three for a contending team, maybe a two. Honestly, he’d probably be our best starter. Maybe Sanchez and a low A lottery ticket or two makes sense. I just personally don’t do that deal.

      • hahaha wrong.

      • He’s easily a third pitcher in the East, if not second pitcher. He still hasnt show to be an ace though, unless he improves his peripherals.

    • I meant upside, not update.

      I think it merits consideration depending on where they are in the standings in a month. Stroman is obviously untouchable at this point, but Sanchez hasn’t proven he can consistently keep walks down – reviews over the past two years haven’t been rave (despite a very strong AFL), so maybe in the right situation it could be a sell-high-and-contend-now thing.

  10. Any number of pitchers not named Stroman or Sanchez should be available. If they embiggen the trade to address 2B as well, perhaps one of Sanchez/Stroman could be included if Alcantara is thrown in.

    Is Samardzija a free agent after this year or next?

  11. NL to AL can be problematic. We don’t just need a starter. We need a starter that can pitch well in the AL East right out of the gate. No getting used to the difference/getting used to the turf/getting used to the batters. So I’m not a supporter of this deal.

    • + Billions and Billions.

      Insert Stroman. Wait for Sanchez.

      Keep the kids.

    • It’s not a thing.

      • Well, it is a thing, just not as big of a thing as people make it out to be. You can’t deny the difference facing the opposing pitcher 2-3 times per start as opposed to a DH makes.

        • you watched this guy pitch? he will be fine in the AL East.

        • That changes his numbers, it doesn’t change who he is.

          • Yeah but according to the first paragraph of the above post, which you wrote, who he is may not be who we want him to be.

            • Sure. That has nothing to do with whether the AL East thing or AL/NL thing is a thing, though.

              • Pitching to a pitcher or a pinch hitter off the bench is a huge difference then throwing to a DH, no? It’s got to be kind of a thing…

                • Look an AL to Nl transition is a “thing” but statistics show that the difference is not that significant because it’s essentially a replacement level batter replacing a below average batter in the pitcher.

                  There are a couple of fangraphs articles explaining this, especially on the good ones when they transfer over to the AL from the NL.

  12. Maybe Norris plus a couple of B prospects… maybe…

  13. The nice thing is that this year we have some prospects that are actually exceeding expectations. Daniel Norris has probably upped his value, and Sean Nolin looks better than he did in his first stint in AAA. Maybe those two form a real part of a deal now, where a few months ago they’d have been seen as throw-ins.

    That said, peripherals or not, the Cubs are going to hold a high price on Samardzija after his hot start.

  14. I mean, if Josh Johnson got murdered in our division, what will happen to this guy?

  15. Per Dave Schoenfield’s current ESPN chat (not that this means a goddamn thing):

    Chris (Boston)

    0-3, 6 QS and a 1.62 ERA. Where’s Samardzija pitching at the deadline?

    David Schoenfield
    (1:09 PM)

    1. Boston; 2. Texas; 3. San Francisco.

    • Schoenfield? That’s the fuckin tool who said the Jays would lose 95 games this year. Fuck that guy.

      • Did he really? Yeah, that’s crazy talk. That said, I find his columns generally pretty well researched. He’s definitely open to other points of view.

      • Fuck that guy because he looked at my team and said something I didn’t like? Grow up.

        • Seriously, one of the most ridiculous predictions I’ve ever seen. What would seriously have to happen for this team to lose 95 games. 8 more than last year where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

        • I personally think 95 was so off-base as to be simply hate/trolling.

      • did he really? that’s pretty nutty.

        would have required the Jays to be substantially worse than last year with similar if not better personnel.

        it’s real easy to dismiss the Jays when you write for a US audience. no one is ever going to call you out for it.

  16. Sanchez, Nolin and Romero for Shark + 8 mil

  17. the jays have already offered stromon and it was turned down.

    • Where was that reported?? don’t make shit up

      • I believe it was a rumour that from a cubs executive that it would take both Stroman and Sanchez.

        Hence the rumour of a straight up stroman offer would be turned down.


    - Steve Simmons

  19. Stroman and Sanchez would be definite nos for me, and honestly, I’m not sure I’d part with Daniel Norris at this point, either. Everything with that kid is coming up roses right now. Giving up top arms for the opportunity to overpay Shark just sounds like a dumb way of going about business if you ask me.

    If they want to build a package around Nolin and other prospects, sure, I’m game. Nolin is clearly behind the current starting five, plus Stroman, and Morrow if he comes back. And unless he makes the team out of spring training next season, he’ll be out of options after 2015 thanks to some horrible asset management last year.

    • Good point on Nolin and his options. If he keeps up his pace, he could become quite valuable in short order. LHP that was very highly regarded until a small step back last year. Wouldn’t take much to get him back on other team’s radar.

  20. Same old trade 101 questions:

    1) How much better does it make the team now?
    2) How much better is that than what is in-house?
    3) What is being given up?

    I wonder how much of an improvement this guy would be over a Stroman this year?
    And how much better than a Sanchez in 2015 or 2016 (assuming he was even re-signed)?
    Could it be possible Happ could offer a level of value this year rendering Shark only a little more than a marginal upgrade?

    Seems like giving up either Stroman or Sanchez (packaged with other pieces) would be a high price for an innings eating 3ish starter.

    On the other hand, Stoeten, he does have great chemistry with Dioner.

    • that’s funny and what exactly do you think stroman is supposed to be a #1 ace?

      trade stroman before he gets bombed. I’d take 2 years of samard + draft pick than hoping stroman can become a 3.

      • My question is how much better is this guy than your current in-house options. That’s all.

        And of course the job of any good fan is to dream on the potential of your top prospects. Thus I expect Stroman to strike out at least 10 in his first 10 starts.

        • maybe you didn’t notice how many games our bullpen blew because we didn’t have that extra starter which would have allowed mcgowan to stay in the bullpen? so yeah it would make a huge difference.

          • And how many was that? Surely you’re not saying all of them are the fault of the starters not going deep.

            • I think there’s a fear the bullpen vomiting that’s gone on the past few weeks is their new MO.

              I don’t.

            • It has nothing to do with the starters not going deep. Many of the losses we had 3 run lead. I’m sure mcgowan would not have gotten bombed and been able to get 3 outs with his stuff. The bullpen is a lot more deadly with him in it no?

              • Ahhh, OK, so you’re saying those games were being blown for not having McGowan back there. My mistake. Equally ridiculous statement, but definitely different.

  21. I don’t like this at all. For once we have legit prospects to be exited about that potentially can be around for a very long time. 2 years with this guy and he will be gone, because there is not way in hell he gets resigned with the Jays after that. Use that cash to lock up Cabrera and Rasmus and keep this offensive core together. They are very fun to watch. I am a firm believer that Sanchez and Stroman can be big rotation pieces as soon as next year.

    Keep both of them. Keep what little farm we have.

    • and were you a firm believer in brandon morrow and josh johnson?

      • I highly suspect Cabrera will want to test his marketability after this year. And, the Jay’s will definitely NOT give him a QO, which will be over last year’s 14.1 MM.

        Also they already have JB (14 MM) and have said they’re going to try hard to sign Colby this year.
        If they’re going badly I can see them shopping Cabrera to a contending team. If they’re going ok, they’ll let him walk.

    • First year of a potential extension for Samardzija will be 2016. Currently the Jays have just $27-million committed for that year, $22-million for the next, and zero beyond that.

    • If Rogers didn’t pony up for more pitching, a 2nd baseman, and a better platoon option for Lind, you really think they’re going to come to the table to “lock up” our offence. This soon to be very expensive core is happening right now, not next season.

      • I guess what I’m trying to say is let’s use these two good controllable (cheap) rotation options and use the money that would have inevitably been spent on a high profile starter (that doesn’t always pan out, ie Josh Johnson) and keep a good offensive core together with that extra leverage. I realise the way Melky is hitting he’s worth barrels of money, though, but maybe that way we can keep a few pieces.

  22. I swear to god, if they trade Stroman OR Sanchez (let alone both of them) for the shark, I’m going to…probably continue watching the Jays and supporting them all the while secretly hating them and then hating myself for feeling that way.

  23. Shark + Ruggiano for Nolin + (probably low or High A SP Tirado, Smoral, Robson, Labourt) and a useful 5 Starter/RP like McGuire, Jenkins, Redmond or Rogers (more value in NL)

    Think that makes sense for cubs, they get young guy to put in rotation now (Nolin) and a guy they can dream on

  24. This sounds like Edwin Jackson II to me. Sam#*%*%*! is 29 years old and has one season of 200 IP (last year), and that came with an ERA+ of 92. Why we would even consider giving up any A prospects at all for that is beyond me.

  25. I’d be some kind of disappointed to lose either Sanchez or Stroman.

    But fuck, you gotta give up something, right? I don’t know.

    I would be a horrible GM.

    • Me too, I’d overpay for Utley and he’d probably get hurt.

      • Yeah but Chase Utley is <3 tho

        • I can just see Chase looking at the Phillies Line-up card every night and thinking… “Well Fuck I guess they just expect me to do everything then!”

          Other than Ruiz, and the occasional Howard bomb he doesn’t look to have much support right now.

  26. I’ll believe this after I believe Rob Ford isn’t partying it up in Ibiza right now.

  27. Is it crazy of me to say that I like where they’re at with the rotation right now? McGowan; Hutch and happ stepping up lately (or hutch l year, really) with Stroman waiting for somebody to drop the ball, Nolin killing it in Buffalo? Sanchez walking too many guys in AA but still looking good, and Norris destroying tbe FSL? Things are looking good?

    • Never have too many pitchers, pete

      • Agreed. But how many are you giving up to get this guy? And they don’t seem that far away anymore…

        • That’s the weird thing with Sanchez. He’s just breaking into Double-A, his K-rate is down again, and he’s nearly walking five per game.

          Still a tonne to like there, and everybody fell in love with him this spring, but how close is he really? Aren’t you over the moon if he turns into… well… Jeff Samardzija?

          • If his ceiling is turning into Samardzija. I’d be totally OK with that. I would also be totally ok with them passing on trading him and enjoying the 5 or 6 years of him as a Blue Jay compared to the just under 2 we’d have of the shark.

          • Sanchez is likely a year away still for reasons you’ve pointed out. whereas the Jays need to win now with their current roster core. Stroman can help now, Sanchez doesn’t look like he can.

          • The box! The box!

          • Stop. Just stop. Have you seen The Dirty toss? (live? I have 7-8 times over the 2 seasons) The kid has more potential than Shark plus years of control. Giving up on him for a couple of years of Shark is insane. Smart organizations don’t let kids like him go.

    • Meant hutch all year. Not one year.

    • Minors are just that. Results there don’t automatically translate. Norris, Stroman et al could crap out first couple times up to T.O.

  28. Everyone expecting Sanchez to step in and be Jose Fernandez need to check their heads. Look at Bundy, Gausman, Bradley, Walker, and a million other top pitching prospects.

    Sure, he could be great. He could also be nothing.

  29. oh…wait… Damn, I hate it when someone puts a comment between my comment and the comment I was cleverly pointing to with keyboard trickery.

  30. We already gave up Syndergaard (and D’Arnaud and Alvarez ) in a effort to contend earlier: A kind of gift to bolster AA’s career while mollifying impatient fans. The plan was to stock the farm with talent in order to neutralize the high cost (premium) of FA’s…..To have a controllable core that will contend for years.

    There are some kids in the system that are very close. They’re all mentioned in the previous posts. ( Some surprises too like Hendriks Nolin Mastroiani Goedert).

    Stay the course. Samardzija has already said he won’t negotiate with whoever trades for him and contending (making the playoffs) this year is -at best – most likely a one game and out scenario.

    • A gift to bolster AA’s career? Don’t be dumb. Also: part of the plan was to trade prospects at their peak value in order to make the big league roster better.

      Those surprises you mention are — surprise! — nothing. (Maybe Nolin as a back end guy).

      Samardzija’s word means nothing, and pretending that it’s somehow likely that if they get there they’re going to lose the Wild Card game is beyond ridiculous. Congratulations.

      • Why, thankyou!
        I really feel there are good things happening on the farm: Way better than last year when it looked pretty bleak.
        Just my opinion too but the WC game is a crap shoot and depends as much on who’s next in the rotation, how late your charter arrives the night before, and what the weather conditions are (etc) as it does the quality of your roster. Better to win your division outright.

        • After reading through both of your posts again, I’m struggling to see how all those factors add up to “most likely a one game and out scenario.” So… you’re automatically ruling out a division win, and you’ve also decided that the Jays are likely to lose the Wild Card game regardless of who they match up against?

          • Ok I’ll give you a “maybe” on the one game and out thing: depending on who’s at home and those other things I mentioned and maybe some mitigating factors I havent thought of.
            But really, are you saying they’re going to win the division?
            Besides, it’s not either of you I’m against: the playoff system sucks and they used to have a best 2 of 3 I believe. That at least gives the underdog a fighting chance.

          • It’s a crapshoot, so they’re likely to lose.


            • Just the thought of playing 162 games (6 months’ worth) for a one game chance is silly. It isnt logical if the end result is to determine the better team.

      • Why is Stroman untouchable? Could be why he’s up in the pen.

    • Easily the best part of this post is the talk of the minor league scrubs as surprises. Mastroianni, Godaert, & Hendricks are AAA fodder, and absolutely nothing more.

  31. I would expect that AA would overpay right now to get those extra starts and not get into a bidding war at the trade deadline so chic would have to wonder how much more they would get if they waited.

  32. This smells an awful lot like the Dickey trade. Let’s not this time just to be different.

  33. Let’s look at this objectively.

    • The Jays have an okay farm system, with most of the talent in the low minors.
    • The Jays have a rotation that is turning it around, but has now been hit with an injury, albeit an injury that maybe no one should be surprised about (unfortunately).
    • The Jays have minimal depth to the rotation.
    • The Jays are trying to win this year.
    • The AL East looks really weak as things currently stand.
    • It’s unlikely the Jays would resign Shark. This is an opinion, but Rogers hasn’t shown much interest in continuing to build upon the MLB roster.

    I’m opposed to the Jays trading for Shark not because I’m worried about losing a great arm, but rather because the talent could already be here, and this team is supposed to maintain success. You can’t maintain success if your owner refuses to pay to better your team, and if you have a major gap in your minor-league pipeline.

  34. Jays current rotation depth:


    You’re not adding Samardzija and his 1 WAR so far this season; you’re adding him while subtracting someone else.

    Is Samardzija so much better than Happ/Stroman/McGowan that he’s worth giving up Sanchez for? I’m not certain that’s true.

    • holy fuck,
      i think the rotation can be good, but just looking at those 5 names as your top 5 is kind of embarrassing.

  35. If we’re trading Sanchez AND Stroman (and whatever else) I want David Price not the Shark.

  36. Who trades Sanchez+Norris+Smoral for Shark today?

  37. When the young pitchers develop and reach the majors, what position players are we going to have to pair them up with? If we wait for the kids, then EE, JB, Reyes, Cletus, Melky will all be gone. I’m okay with making some trades, giving away some assets to try and win now. We’ll get some high draft picks back from sucking 3 years from now. Still wouldn’t trade both Sto and Sanchez, but would consider losing one and some peripherals.

  38. I would have preferred two years of Bronson Arroyo or, dare I say: AJ Burnett. Like AA, I have a raging bones for lanky hurlers with 12-6 curveballs.

  39. Bones = boner, of course.

  40. If the Cubs had a decent 2nd baseman to send our way, I could see expanding the trade and maybe something could get done. Of the three 2B on their depth chart, two of them (Luis Valbuena and Emilio Bonifacio) are guys the Jays have already gotten rid of, and the other (Darwin Barney) is hitting a robust .115. In short, filling just one hole won’t save the Jays. Any trade they make would have to be something that could fill multiple needs.

    • I’d take Bonifacio back in a heartbeat. His stats in Toronto are but a blip on an otherwise decent career. And with the loss of Rajai the guy’s speed alone makes him a decent bench option.

  41. You said that AA’s job “MAY” be on the line.
    That is a good way of putting it.

    If things go south and Rogers wants a scapegoat,
    or if the fan base is screaming bloody murder & calling for heads,
    or if they stupidly decide to do a complete tear down/rebuild
    he, and/or Gibby are the most likely candidates to go.

    However, Beeston is a AA supporter and his loyalty streak runs deep.
    Furthermore, the suits at Rogers know exactly what AA was promised last year
    and the degree to which the rug was yanked from underneath him this year.
    We’re guessing. They know.

    They might well decide to stay the course through the end
    of the ’15 or ’16 season and give AA a chance to finish what he started.

    One could make the case that a team of Dickey, Buehrle, Stroman, Sanchez,
    Hutch, Navarro, EE, Lind. Reyes, Lawrie and Bats…all under contract…..
    (along with TBA in lf, cf, 2B) could have a very good chance of winning in 2015.
    Dumping AA could turn out to be a counter productive knee jerk reaction.

    • I would say that denying AA the proper money to sign Ervin Santana is categorically NOT letting AA finish what he started.

      • Wasn’t that the money supposedly set aside for Josh Johnson, anyways? Hardly a vote of confidence.

      • That is not clear. BP has the current payroll at $ 134.6m
        The message may simply have been,
        “Do what you will; but do it on $140m or less”
        Santana would have taken it well over 140.

        • Then why trade for JJ if you’re not going to offer the QO?

          • As it says in paragraph 3 of the original post,
            and has been rumored pretty well everywhere,
            Rogers may well have changed the financial
            commitment between the beginning of ’13
            and the beginning of ’14. The money AA
            thought would be there when he made the
            trade was not there come the past off season.

            • I read your original post…thanks.

              Clearly Rogers did change its financial commitments between ’13 and ’14. I’m sharing my belief that these commitments are linked strongly to Rogers’ confidence in AA and his moves from last year. It seems to me if JJ won 15 games last year, the QO would have been offered.

  42. I can’t wait to see what happens to Samardzija when his schedule is skewed towards facing the AL East as opposed to the soft starts against CIN, PIT, ARI, PHI and CHW.

  43. Don’t make a trade until the season plays out

  44. Also, what did Buster Olney say about Melky?

    • He was just kind of being a c***. Don’t worry about it.

    • Pretty much, if you think he’s on the juice again, you’re entitled to that opinion.

      Pretty much a “once caught, always under suspicion” mentality. But hey that pervades American legal thought anyway.

  45. Lawrie is not in the lineup tonight.
    Have not heard anything since last night.

  46. Samardzija’s K rate going down is on purpose, he’s throwing his two seamer A LOT more in an effort to produce more grounders.

  47. repost: I’d say throw Rasmus in there. What the heck. He won’t sign with the Jays next year. Let the Cubs see if they can extend him. Rasmus and a prospect seems pretty fair. We’d def miss his defense in the OF. Heck, while we’re at it, trade the Phillies for Domonic Brown. They’re just wasting that fine stallion.

    • Are you proposing a “win now” trade for Smarj— at the same time as a distinctly NOT win-now dealing away of our best CFer?

      • No. It’s not a win now proposal. Is it a win now with Rasmus on the Jays?

        • Rasmus over Gose. Heck yeah that’s a win now move.
          Rasmus is a (well) above average centre fielder and there is no replacement on the roster. Anything other than keeping him is definitely NOT win now.

          What I was saying is I don’t know why you’d want to acquire Shark if you’re going to be unloading other players on the current major league roster…

        • …and honestly, which bat of the active roster would draw more interest? Do we wanna give up Bautista, EE? Reyes? Melky? I have more faith in Melky signing next season than I do Rasmus. Rasmus has that grand potential thing going for him and his fielding is admittedly fantastic. His bat too has the wow potential. Why wait it out with him to see what he turns in to if he walks next year? At least Cabrera is swing and swinging well. Replace his D in the field somehow. Even at 70% of what it is now.

          • Maybe I’m just not getting where you’re coming from.
            I fully get dealing Rasmus (though it breaks my heart) if you don’t think the team has a shot this year and you want to maximize your return for him. I just don’t get dealing him if you intend to contend.

      • Cletus is hot right now….do not trade

    • This is not hockey, and that stallion of yours has some pretty big warts.

  48. What we’re basically showing here by debating it is that Eno Sarris is entirely right in this tweet:

    “Toughest problem for a GM must be the fact that almost anyone you can acquire is post-peak but every prospect you keep has a 50+% bust rate.”

    • Truth.
      Also I laughed at this reply a lot: “Haha. Quit riding Logan Morrison just because he’s both.”

    • That can’t be true. Some organizations have better scouting, analysis, management, and coaching. For trades leads to right fitment and uncovered value. For prospects leads to higher success rate, but possibly lower ceilings on their guys.

  49. that is some crazy scary shit. this was like reading a horror short story/novel.

  50. i’ve been a fairly big proponent of bringing in Samardzija. he seems like the kind of guy who’s pretty good right now, but has some projection left that might, if realized, be worth giving up the premium that would be necessary to get him.

    some more notes:
    - pitcher velocity decreases as they age, it’s just a fact, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything seriously wrong with him health-wise.

    - Samardzija still throws quite hard (12th among starters this year), and it’s also only May, so his velocity is likely to tick up as the season goes along.

    - Samardzija has also never really been a particularly fastball heavy pitcher (46th most frequent user among starters since 2012), so a loss of velocity may not hurt him as much.

    - HR’s have always been his curse, but this year his GB% is up and FB% is down, so while his HR/FB% should regress a bit, the effect is not likely to be extreme because he’s not giving up as many FB’s to begin with

    - the loss of K’s is partially mitigated by fewer walks

    - while his LOB% and BABIP are out of line, it’s not by a huge amount (not like Johnny Cueto’s 100% LOB rate and .153 BABIP), so while regression is coming, it’s not going to all of a sudden turn him into Esmil Rogers.

    i dunno, i think i’d still make a play for him if it means giving up just one of Stroman or Sanchez.

  51. what if Stroman turns out better than Samardzija? he has 6 years of control and is making league minimum for at least this year and next.

    • Then you have a Samardzija-like guy two years from now, on a team that’s expected to do who knows what, given many of the current guys will be that much past their peaks, as opposed to having the most Samardzija-like guy possible right now (but only for two years).

      I’m not saying do it, but that’s the argument.

  52. In Samardzija’s best year (2012) he was worth 1.8 rWAR. In 2013 Dickey was worth 2.0 WAR, which was a down year for him.

    To put things in perspective, people complain about giving up D’Arnaud (who’s already 25, somewhat injury-prone and shown basically nothing at the majors) and Syndergaard (not exactly setting the world on fire in AAA) for four years of Dickey coming off a CY season.

    We’d never hear the end of it if this batshit crazy trade ever happened.

  53. Fuck it.

    I’d trade Sanchez for Shark straight up….. If only to end the insufferable Sanchez/Syndergaard comparisons we will have to deal with for the next decade.

    Seriously though, no guarantee that Sanchez irons out his control problems and becomes a productive top 3 starter.

    Bundy got TJ’d. Taijuan Walker on the DL. Archie Bradley on the DL. Drabek got TJ’d. The list goes on and on. A lot work out too, but the risk of a bust is always there….. And Sanchez is about as boom or bust as they come.

    With this roster, I’ll take 2 years of Shark and a comp pick over 6 years of Sanchez’s potential.

  54. We may not be this close for a long time. This thing is there for the taking. #1 fielding team in BASEBALL. Horrific meltdowns and we are the only team without a negative run diff in the ALE. What more does this group have to show AA and Rogers. Its May for god sakes. If they can shore things up and separate themselves from the rest of the division with this move NOW.
    Who’s to say another deadline move doesn’t elevate this team even further. Go for it AA it can’t hurt your resume. Be a baseball guy. MAKE A BASEBALL TRADE.

  55. If he does and it works they can back up the truck to the bank doors. Rogers will make a fortune with this team winning. Do it

  56. Why the panic?

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