At least half a dozen teams are interested in Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Nightengale tweeted earlier today that the San Francisco Giants are showing “strong interest” in the 29-year-old ace who is in the midst of a career-year on the North Side of Chicago. In addition to San Francisco, other potential suitors include four American League East clubs – the Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles – and the Angels out west.
At first glance, Samardzija’s win-loss record of 2-6 is off-putting, but he has been nothing less of superb for the majority of his starts this season. His BB/9 tally is the lowest of his big league career, as is his 1.176 WHIP. His trade value is sky-high as teams approach the July trade deadline, and it has long been speculated that the right-hander would be dealt given he reaches free agency at the end of the 2015 season.
This report adds to the talks detailed by Chicago Sun-Times writer Gordon Wittenmeyer earlier this week. Wittenmeyer also spoke on the interest in fellow Chicago right-hander Jason Hammel, who is also quickly emerging as one of the most reliable starters in the league.
"Sources say the Cubs already have had trade talks with multiple teams regarding Samardzija and right-hander Jason Hammel. The Braves, Mariners and Blue Jays are among the most interested, with one source suggesting offers already have been made by at least two teams.And one major-league source said he expects Hammel to end up in Seattle."
Hammel is 6-4 this season, but has also been a victim of lackluster support at times. He has pitched to the tune of a 2.81 earned run average, a 0.984 WHIP, and a career-best 4.22 SO/BB ratio. Boasting a career ERA of 4.65, Hammel has pitched well above expectations and, as noted by Wittenmeyer, it appears he will likely be dealt – similarly to the trade of Scott Feldman a year ago.
At this point, it no longer seems to be a question of if Samardzija and Hammel are dealt, but rather when.