May 26, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) follows through on a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Deadline: Blue Jays still fishing for Jeff Samardzija


Like the idea or not, the Toronto Blue Jays seem to really, really want to make a deadline deal with the Chicago Cubs for Jeff Samardzija. They see those long, flowing locks standing on the mound at Rogers Centre and it makes them happy.

That much is evident with each passing start that Samardzija makes in a Chicago Cubs uniform. The Blue Jays sent a full contingent of scouts, including Perry Minisian (Toronto’s pro scouting director), to Monday night’s start against the Reds. As reported by Jon Morosi of FoxSports, the Blue Jays have made a practice of watching Samardzija pitch, leading to speculation that the team is going to make a move on him at some point before the deadline.

However, as Morosi notes, that move is not likely to come without a price. As of this writing, the Cubs are said to be looking at a package that includes top prospect Aaron Sanchez, the team’s #4 prospect Daniel Norris, and top positional prospect Dalton Pompey. That’s a significant difference between earlier reports that said the Cubs were asking for a package highlighted by both Sanchez and Marcus Stroman, but it is still a high price to pay.

Aaron Sanchez has made the climb to Triple-A Buffalo this summer, but it hasn’t been without its bumps in the road. The 21-year-old is sporting a combined 4.08 ERA and a 7.6 K/9 ratio across the two levels, but his command has been a continual issue (5.8 BB/9) and his two starts at Triple-A have been underwhelming to say the least.

On the other hand, Pompey and Norris have forced themselves into the conversation with outstanding seasons.

Norris absolutely blew away High-A opponents to the tune of a 1.22 ERA and 10.3 K/9 ratio over 10 starts at Dunedin before forcing a promotion. His first start at Double-A New Hampshire wasn’t perfect (5.2 IP, 4 ER), but he struck-out 9 and walked just 1 in the process.

Pompey has been absolutely electric for Dunedin as well, but has yet to see the promotion to Double-A. In 67 games, he is slashing .312/.392/.460 with 27 stolen bases and 47 runs scored. If not for a guy named Franklin Barreto, Pompey may be considered the top position prospect in the Jays system, making him difficult for the team to want to part with at the deadline.

However, we are talking about Jeff Samardzija here, and the Blue Jays obviously have a need in their rotation. Ignore the 2-6 record, and see the sparkling 2.53 ERA, the 2.89 FIP, and the solid 3.13 K/BB ratio and you can understand the Blue Jays interest in the right-hander.

But that interest comes with a price, and even with the Cubs altering their demands a bit, the fact still remains that they want a haul that the Blue Jays may not be willing to give up. Norris’ strides alone make him very difficult to justify moving, and Pompey’s future should be in the Blue Jays outfield soon. Yes they want Samardzija, but are they willing to deal away more of the future to make it happen?

That’s a tricky question to answer, as it puts gamble on winning now or the wager that they prospects will pan out and deliver as promised. It’s a million dollar question, and no one has the answer.

Tags: Aaron Sanchez Dalton Pompey Daniel Norris Featured Jeff Samardzija MLB Trade Deadline Popular Toronto Blue Jays

  • Andrew van Laar

    I will be very upset if the Jays make this trade.

  • bob l.

    i hope aa d0esn’t give into the pressure of “win now” . it has been a very long time since playoff success, but to give up on these young guys for only a year plus of smardja is not worth it

  • JJVmlf

    They haven’t proven to me they are a David Cone away from winning the show.

    • Kit Cheng

      100% agreed. AA stated that he will build from within then spend when team is close… Then he saw a false opening and now forced to go all in? I’d rather him reset and stays the course.

  • http://www.jaysjournal.com/ Keegan Matheson

    Can Lebron pitch? Guy’s a free agent now, wouldn’t cost us a single piece of the farm!

  • ERIC

    I was thinking if we really want to go for it all then we should trade for both Samardzija and Hammel
    been talking to guys at the cubs site and this was a trade we agreed on

    Sanchez
    Norris
    Smith jr
    Tirado
    Jimenez
    For
    Samardzija
    Hammel

    only problem we now have six starters but i think we could find someone to trade dickey to.

    personality i think its a bit high but for what it turns our starting rotation to I say it’s worth it

    Rotation
    Samardzija
    Buehrle
    Hammel
    Hutchison
    Stroman

    Thoughts

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      I wouldn’t do it, only because I value the 12 combined years of control of Sanchez/Norris much for than the 2.5 years of control with Shark/Hammel. Cubs I think would come out the winners of that deal, especially if Tirado comes close to his ceiling. I like Samardzija a lot but I think the acquisition cost will end up being too high for a deal to get done. I have a feeling Anthopoulos learned from the Dickey trade and I don’t think he’ll give up two of his top three prospects again, for anything.

    • Kit Cheng

      I wouldn’t do it unless Jays are prepare to spend Yanks money for the next 20 years… Hope all those saying “Go For It” today won’t complain when another 20 year drought comes.

  • Gary Reid

    Back in 1992-1993 several “trades” were made to bolster the team. And after they did [I didn't say because they did] they won two world series titles. BUT, did they give up too much of the future — because here we are 21 years later talking about giving up the future for a much less sure present. Are we ready for another 20 years without winning anything this year? I don’t really believe what I just wrote in its entirety — but I very much would like to enjoy the Jays 3-4-5 years from now — not just this year!!!!