By Nick Schaeflein @ptchr2424 on June 1, 2014
Jeff Samardzija's name has been involved with trade talks for months going back to the winter. He is the biggest trade piece that the Chicago Cubs currently have if they choose to ultimately move him. Come the deadline, Samardzija could arguably be the most sought after player in the league due to the season he has had thus far. He leads the majors in ERA. Unless a deal is done that shocks everyone, here are five teams that could land the ace.
The Oakland A's have the moneyball concept working in overdrive. They have been a game away from reaching the ALCS the last two seasons. They are playing well and 2014 could be the year that the A's finally get over the hump. Billy Beane just may surprise everyone and go get a big-time player to help Oakland's chances at landing the ultimate prize.
The Toronto Blue Jays have been one of the surprises thus far this season. They are mashing home runs and currently lead the AL East. They already have one former Chicago pitcher leading the league in wins. They may be in play to go out and make a statement for a second Chicago pitcher to head north of the boarder and compete within the league's toughest division.
Anytime that there is a high-valued player potentially available, the New York Yankees have to be considered as a threat to land them. The Yankees could use a healthy arm to back Masahiro Tanaka in the rotation. Just recently, the Yankees got an up-close and good look at Samardzija. Was it enough to have the Evil Empire in play come the deadline?
The Baltimore Orioles were one of the teams that was rumored to be in on Samardzija during the winter. Now in the hunt for a postseason bid, the Orioles could be in play once again. Baltimore has already struck it rich in signing Nelson Cruz, who is paying huge dividends, and landing a true ace could make them a serious threat come October. These two teams have done deals in the past. Does Baltimore have enough to land the big right-hander?
The San Francisco Giants could be itching to make a move come the deadline. They are currently in their every-other-year pattern of seemingly winning the World Series. They also could be looking for a move to stay one step ahead of the deep-pocket Dodgers. San Fran could use some starting pitching help, and are currently the only team this year that has officially been defeated by Samardzija. If you can't beat him, go acquire him.
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