Results tagged ‘ Blue Jays ’

11/24 Samardzija rumors

Jeff Samardzija struck out 200 over 200 innings in his first full season as a starter, and has drawn interest from teams looking for a young pitcher, especially one who would be under team control for two more years. The Diamondbacks, Nationals and Blue Jays have reportedly inquired about Samardzija and on Sunday, there was a report that Toronto was putting together a package of young players for the Cubs right-hander.

During an interview on MLB Radio on Sunday, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos was asked if there was any truth to the rumor about the Blue Jays pursuing Samardzija.

“You know what, I just saw that [rumor], too,” Anthropoulos told MLB Radio. “I’m in the office [Sunday] just going through some things. I’m going to try to be a little more candid than I may have been in the past. I won’t comment on specific rumors and things like that but I will say that we’re definitely exploring starters with teams. But also, just like a lot of stuff that’s out there that is false, we have not made an offer to anybody with respect to a starter. So if there is something out there that [says] we’ve actually made an offer to someone for a starter, that is not accurate. It doesn’t mean we’re not inquiring.”

MLB Radio host Jim Duquette asked if anything was imminent regarding either adding a free agent or making a trade.

“You know what, we’re talking to one club about a smaller trade and maybe it’ll move the next few days, or maybe it won’t happen,” Anthropoulos said. “But, no, I don’t think, not right now there isn’t anything imminent. We’re not necessarily waiting on someone to get back to us but, again, at any time that can change and I hope it does. I think, and you guys both went through it, before the Thanksgiving holiday sometimes there’s that last little push [when] teams want to get some things off their plate. So maybe things happen here in the next two or three days. If not, we’ll take it to the [Winter Meetings], I guess, at that point.”

The Cubs have approached Samardzija, 28, about a possible contract extension. The pitcher, who was the Opening Day starter this year, has not been in a hurry to something done.

“I have two more years of arbitration so there is a lot of time to get something done,” Samardzija said in early November.

As for all the rumors, GM Jed Hoyer said Samardzija had the right attitude because he doesn’t pay any attention to the reports.

Teams shopping for starting pitching may be comparing the cost of acquiring Samardzija with another 28-year-old, David Price, who also is under team control for two more years. However, Price has more innings and experience as a starter, and won the AL Cy Young in 2012 when he went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA for the Rays. Price did miss time this season because of a left triceps strain. Samardzija, who ranked fifth in the National League in strikeouts per nine innings, has been healthy. Price was paid $10 million in 2013; Samardzija $2.6 million.

The Cubs don’t have that much depth pitching-wise, with Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Jake Arrieta set for the rotation in 2014.

– Carrie Muskat

1/4 Garza rumors continue

The Cubs are listening to offers for Matt Garza but no team has presented a package of elite prospects that matches what Theo & Co. want in return. On Wednesday, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Major League sources are saying the Cubs will part with Garza if another team is willing to deal three prospects from a team’s “A” list. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays were known to be interested in Garza. The Cubs have entertained offers for the right-hander.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told the Detroit News that he did not offer pitching prospect Jacob Turner for Matt Garza. The Tigers did actively pursue Gio Gonzalez but Dombrowski said there are no ongoing trade talks for starting pitching. Says Dombrowski: “There’s been a lot of things written in recent weeks that have been totally incorrect.”

– Carrie Muskat

1/3 Garza & the Yankees

The Cubs are not going to deal Matt Garza unless they get significant players in return, and the asking price apparently is too high for the Yankees. ESPNNew York’s Wallace Matthews reported Tuesday the Cubs’ asking price is “out of the question” for the Yankees. The Cubs reportedly want at least two and possibly three of the Yankees’ top prospects Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. The Red Sox, Tigers, Marlins and Blue Jays also have been linked to Garza, but the Blue Jays also have reportedly balked at the Cubs’ requests.

– Carrie Muskat

12/29 Garza hot topic

Could the Cubs deal Matt Garza? They are apparently still listening to teams interested in the right-hander. The Cubs are most likely looking for a package similar to what the Padres received from the Reds for Mat Latos and what the Athletics received from the Nationals for Gio Gonzalez, which means a lot of talented prospects. According to reports, the Blue Jays and Yankees may be the front-runners. What makes Garza attractive to the Jays and Yankees is his 23-15 record, 3.34 ERA in 56 career games vs. the AL East. Plus, he’s 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 19 games against the Red Sox.

Chicago helped its system by dealing Sean Marshall to Cincinnati for Travis Wood and two other players. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has said Garza is “exactly the type of pitcher we want to build around” but is willing to listen as the team re-tools. They’d have to be overwhelmed to move Garza, who is under team control through 2013. Gonzalez, 26, and Latos, 24, will be under team control for at least four years.

– Carrie Muskat

11/20 Cubs & Blue Jays talk

The Cubs are one of the teams the Toronto Blue Jays have contacted regarding pitcher Roy Halladay. However, before Cubs fans start salivating at the prospect of the former Cy Young winner in the rotation with Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano, and Ryan Dempster, there’s a catch. He’s owed $15.75 million in 2010, and the Blue Jays want some of the Cubs’ top prospects. No. 1, the team can’t take on Halladay’s salary. The Blue Jays apparently have a wish list and Milton Bradley is not on it. A player like highly regarded shortstop Starlin Castro most likely is, and the Cubs don’t want to part with him, especially since they might only have Halladay for one year. The right-hander was 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA this season, and is a free agent after 2010. One thing the Blue Jays did make clear to the Cubs is they want to move Halladay this offseason.

– Carrie Muskat

10/31 Trick or treat?

A Toronto newspaper is reporting a possible swap between the Blue Jays and Cubs in which Milton Bradley goes north and Chicago lands center fielder Vernon Wells. The Toronto Sun quotes an unidentified Cubs official saying, “It’s early on, but we think this one has some legs. But they aren’t the only team we are talking with.”

The Cubs have made it clear they want to move Bradley, and there has been interest. The outfielder batted .257 in his first season in Chicago, which ended early when he was suspended for the final 15 games of the season because of detrimental conduct. Bradley has two years remaining on his deal at $21 million. But the catch here is that Wells has six years left on his contract extension, which he signed in December 2006, and $107 million remaining. That includes an $8.5 million installment on his signing bonus due in March.

The deal simply doesn’t make much sense for the Cubs, already saddled with Alfonso Soriano’s contract, which runs through 2014. A Cubs source told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday that the Bradley-for-Wells deal had “no legs.”

Expect a flurry of Bradley rumors this offseason. If we’re talking about swapping one bad contract for another, the Cubs may want to consider Gary Matthews Jr., who wants out of Anaheim. He signed a five-year, $50 million contract in 2007. That year, he batted .252 in 516 at-bats. This season, Sarge Jr. hit .250 in 316 at-bats.

The only thing certain is the Cubs plan on moving Bradley, despite hiring his former hitting coach, Rudy Jaramillo.

– Carrie Muskat

 

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