According to Tom Loxas of the Loxas Factor, the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles have talked about a Jeff Samardzija/Matt Wieters base trade. Loxas did not mention if the talks are ongoing and if the talks progressed. The trade will be bigger than just Samardzija/Wieters and more players will be added.
The Cubs went into the off-season with the mindset of shopping and possibly trading 28-year old Samardzija. Samardzija had a good first half last season, but then fell off the face of the earth during the second half of the season. Last season, Samardzija went 8-13 with a 4.34 earn run average, 210 strikeouts and walked 78 batters. Samardzija can strikeout a batter at any time, but can also lose the strike zone at anytime as well.
General Manager Jed Hoyer said the Cubs would like to sign Samardzija to an extension more than trade him. However, Samardzija is stuck on wanting a no-trade cause and the Cubs will not even think of giving him one. That may be the reason for Samardzija’s departure and why he’s playing for another team come next season. Samardzija can have ace stuff if he puts it all together, but in reality, he’s more of a number three starter in the rotation.
The Orioles, on the other hand, are in the need of a starting pitcher. But would need to clear payroll and why Wieters name was brought up in trade talks. Wieters struggled last year, but is still only 27-years old. Last season, Wieters had a line of .235/.287/.417 with 22 home runs, 79 runs batted in, 43 walks and struck out 104 times. Wieters is also not a bad catcher behind the plate.
The trade will be bigger than just Samardzija and Wieters. The Cubs will more than likely throw in 26-year old catcher Welington Castillo (per Loxas) and the Orioles will have to part with one of their top pitching prospects Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman. Bundy is out as he is recovering from Tommy John Surgery, so I don’t know if the Cubs would want to take a chance on him.
The Cubs will head to the Winter Meetings in a couple weeks with the mindset of trading Samardzija and not leaving Orlando with him still on their roster. Samardzija is more attractable since he still have 2-years on his contract before he hits free agency.
Other teams with known interest in Samardzija … Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cubs Den reports the Diamondbacks are falling out of the Samardzija pursuit.
The Samardzija rumors will not go away and the heat to the rumors are just about to begin. Stay Tuned!