Rumors are swirling that the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays are in trade talks involving starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. While nothing is a done deal, what could a trade between these two teams look like?
From the Cubs’ perspective, Samardzija could be the only piece that is moved from the North Side. He will be 29 years old come Opening Day and is coming off of two consecutive years as a full-time starter. He has a competitive nature that you love to see from a starting pitcher with an excellent fastball and strong complementary pitches. But a question might be raised with his stamina. While he is durable and rarely misses a start, the last two Septembers have been his worst months statistically. How would Samardzija fare in the American League East?
On Toronto’s side, their top six prospects are all pitchers. The Cubs have a deep crop of offensive players in the minor leagues, but the pitching depth is much more limited. Might the Cubs ask for one or two pitching prospects such as Aaron Sanchez or Roberto Osuna in return? Sanchez is a top 20 prospect overall graded with a plus fastball and curveball. Osuna is in the top 60 prospects overall and brings great command of all his pitches. Would Toronto part with one or both of them to get a starter who is ready now? If the Cubs were to land both pitchers it would give them 7-8 prospects in the overall Top 100 which is unheard of in Chicago history.
If a deal is not able to be done for prospects, the focus for the Cubs would then be to get bullpen help. Would two relievers such as All-Star Steve Delabar and Sergio Santos be enough to make a move? Santos would make a return to the city of Chicago as he was once on the south side pitching. Even pitcher J.A. Happ could be included as he could be utilized in both the rotation or bullpen.
Samardzija still has two years left before he is a free agent so a deal does not need to be forced by the Cubs. The question they have to answer is if Samardzija is the guy to lead the impending wave of prospects or do they move him for more pieces to the puzzle?
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.