Trade rumors have surrounded Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzjia this season and after his recent performances, his stock is at an all-time high.
Samardzija has been dominant this season, despite his 0-4 record. He displayed his dominant form today against the New York Yankees, throwing seven scoreless innings, but the bullpen kept him from earning his first win by allowing two runs in the ninth.
Besides the high number in the loss column and the goose egg in the win column, Samardzija has all the numbers a team would want a top of the rotation pitcher to have. His ERA sits at 1.46, his WHIP is just over one at 1.09 and he is holding batters to a .216 average. Samardzija has also lasted at least six innings in eight of his 10 starts, including a nine-inning no decision where he allowed just one unearned run on three hits.
The only problem for Samardzija is that he isn’t getting run support. The Cubs have scored more than three runs just once when Samardzija has been on the mound this season and that has kept the ace from racking up the wins. Today’s game against the Yankees is a prime example, as Samardzija took the loss after the bullpen allowed two runs to tie the game, costing Samardzija a win.
Samardzjia’s performances, coupled with the lack of run support, have the Cubs at a crossroad. They can either trade Samardzjia and add some top talent to their farm system, or keep him and hope their prospects develop to position around Samardzjia.
What it comes down to is whether the Cubs want to try and win now or in the future. There is some help coming in the form of top prospects Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, but those players are likely a year away and waiting would waste a great season from Samardzija.
Whatever the final decision ends up being, Samardzija has put the Cubs in a position to make a decision that will have a big impact on the organization’s future.