Mar 20, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Cubs Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors: Blue Jays Dispatching Scouts To Watch Jeff Samardzija, Others

With one week to go before the start of the regular season, one would assume that the Toronto Blue Jays are going to head into Opening Day with a rotation comprised of R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Drew Hutchison, Brandon Morrow and one of Todd Redmond, Esmil Rogers, or J.A. Happ. However, according to a pair of tweets over the last few days, the team may still be looking to find an upgrade if one is out there.

The first note, floated by Bruce Levine of isn’t much of a surprise. The rumors of the Blue Jays interest in Jeff Samardzija are well-documented, with the Jays having open discussions with the Chicago Cubs for the right-hander this winter. However, Chicago’s desire to receive back a package that included BOTH Marcus Stroman AND Aaron Sanchez derailed any further conversation for The Shark.

The Cubs have an enviable amount of talent in their farm system, but the question still remains whether that talent will arrive with Samardzija still being a part of the puzzle. The 29-year-old has one more season of arbitration eligibility, meaning he has only two years of team control left. If the Cubs choose to trade him, they would arguably get the most value for him by moving him this season. Over the last two seasons as a starter, Samardzija has a 17-26 record with a 4.10 ERA and a 9.1 K.9 ratio.

As for the Blue Jays checking out the Minnesota Twins, that one is a bit interesting from a bargain-shopping standpoint. As of right now, left-hander Scott Diamond is on the outside looking in on the rotation and has looked rough this spring, having allowed 6 earned runs, 2 home runs, and 7 walks over 9.2 innings of work despite facing an opponent quality level of 8.6 (Triple-A level) according to Baseball-Reference. He’s also coming off of a tough 2013 season where he posted 6-13 record, a 5.43 ERA, and a measly3.6 K/9 ratio over 131 innings in 2013.

One interesting name that has popped up is Jacob Turner of the Miami Marlins, who the fish are apparently shopping according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. No word on whether the Blue Jays have expressed any interest, but the 22-year-old Turner is coming off a decent 2013 season where he posted a respectable 3.74 ERA and 45.7% ground-ball rate over 118 innings last season, but it also comes with control issues (4.1 BB/9). Those struggles to throw strikes (4.1 BB/9) and miss bats (3.4 K/9) has carried over to his 13.1 innings of work this spring.

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Tags: Jeff Samardzija Toronto Blue Jays

  • Eric

    Turner would be great.

  • Andrew van Laar

    Nooooo anyone but Samardzija :’(

    • wallywhack

      The Shark throws smoke. Not worth Sanchez and Stroman, but infinitely better than anyone currently rounding out our rotation.

    • SM

      I dunno, check out his highlights from yesterday. The movement he was getting was unreal and suffice to say NONE of the Jays pitchers have that. I’d trade Stroman OR (not and) Sanchez plus a BP arm for the Shark

      • Andrew van Laar

        So you would give up one of our top prospect arms who project to be top of the rotation starters (unless the projector hates on Stroman’s height) for a guy who had one good season and one meh season in the NL and is 29 years old this year? I mean, his ‘stuff’ can be as good as you want but stuff alone doesn’t do the job. Ask Romero. Samardzija has never really put it all together and his number are just average and that is pitching in the NL.

        EDIT: I know only so much can be put on ST stats but hes been pretty bad this spring too.

  • ole

    how can you not bring in samardzija for stroman and sanchez. the jays are in first place and he would give us the balance of power in the a l east. I would give them whatever they want. nothing beats major league talent. that is providing they talk to his agent and a long term contract is in the offing