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Friday

6

December 2013

50

COMMENTS

Could Samardzija Be On His Way To Atlanta?

Written by , Posted in General

Happy Friday! The hot stove is cooking with gas these days. The Cubs haven’t been very active (as expected), but there’s still plenty of speculation to enjoy.

  • Nick Piecoro reports that Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is more likely to seek a starting pitcher through trade than free agency, but they’ve indicated that they won’t consider trading stud prospect Archie Bradley. Hmm…I still think the Cubs should hold out for the best possible package, but would a deal centering around Tyler Skaggs be enough?
  • In a column on mlb.com, Anthony Castrovince says that “Samardzija would be bargain compared to Price” adding that he has comparable upside, but wouldn’t cost a team as much in trade. Obviously, Price has historically been a much better pitcher than Shark, but the future is what matters. Remember, Price had some arm trouble last year, and his velocity has declined over the last few years. As we’ve seen, though, many teams tend to (over) pay for past performance rather than future potential (see the Ellsbury deal for the most recent, ridiculous example).
  • David O’Brien, Atlanta beat writer, tweeted about some potential interest by the Braves in Shark. Eh, I like their major league pitchers better than their prospects, but I’m not sure we could net any of those.
  • The Phillies filed a grievance with against the Cubs over the “mystery” injury that landed Lendy Castillo (whom the Cubs had to stash on their 40-man) on the DL for what the Phillies considered an inordinate amount of time. Teams do this all the time in order to keep a Rule 5 player and free up a roster spot, but it seems as though the Cubs have been called out on this one. The result is that the Cubs will lose their Rule 5 draft pick this year (they likely wouldn’t have selected anyone anyway, but you can be that at least one of the Cubs unprotected players will be selected).
  • Reportedly, Arodys Vizcaino has been throwing 98 mph with “electric” (according to Theo) stuff. That’s nice to hear! I’m predicting Vizcaino will be the Cubs closer at some point if he can stay healthy.
  • Bringing up Theo Epstein around here can be a dicey proposition, but I think it’s worth reading this quote (from his Sportstalk Live interview). Agree with it or not, I think it’s a nice capsulation of his philosophy. Think about this in contrast with some of the moves the Cubs made before his arrival: “When I see a deal like that [the Jacoby Ellsbury to the Yankees deal], I say: ‘Look, (who) wouldn’t rather have the first seven years of a star player’s career for $30 million versus the second seven years for $130 million or $150 million?’  You want the first seven years for $30 million and hopefully you work out a deal and you can keep him.”

I’m excited to see all the rumors that will start flying once the Winter Meetings start on Monday. Have a great weekend, and enjoy the hot stove!

  • Doc Raker

    Maybe the Cubs could get Bo Gentry, Rigo Sanchez from the Braves for Smarja.

  • Doc Raker

    Maybe the Cubs could get Bo Gentry, Rigo Sanchez from the Braves for Smarja.

  • The hot stove is cooking with gas these days, fellas.

  • The hot stove is cooking with gas these days, fellas.

  • Chuck

    If the Cubs trade Shark to anybody for prospects it will be another long summer.

    • Sean Powell

      I think it’s going to be a long summer either way

    • Jedi

      Why? We’d be struggling to replace a middle-of-the-rotation 4.00+ ERA player whose WHIP is trending in the wrong direction? You wouldn’t “build” around Samardzija anymore than you’d build around Garza. I’d love to hear a case made as to why the Cubs SHOULDN’T trade him…in fact, isn’t that the very case that people were making this time last year about Garza – that basically if he wouldn’t take what the Cubs were offering long-term, he should be dumped. I say the same holds true for Samardzija (except that I’d have already dumped him at the trade deadline last year, too many GMs wildly overvalue his talent).

      • Chuck

        At some point it would be nice if the Cubs actually, you know, kept good players. It would be a nice change of pace.

      • Noah_I

        I think the question is if Samardzija is a “good” player or an “above average” player. While I disagree with the value of year to year WHIP as something that is predictive of future performance (the .13 difference between Shark’s WHIP in 2013 and 2014 amounts to about 1 single finding a hole, 1 walk, or a combination of the two equaling 1 more base runner per 9 innings), Samardzija was clearly an ineffective pitcher for the last half of 2013.

        As a note, every report I’ve seen indicates that the Cubs’ preference is to extend Samardzija, but that the numbers Samardzija and the Cubs are floating are far apart. And there’s a decent reason for that. Samardzija has shown the potential for flashes of greatness, and he reasonably wants to see if the can extend those flashes into something that can get him ace type or legit number 2 type money. As Samardzija has not shown that, the Cubs want to pay him number 3 type money.

        This isn’t a matter of the Cubs not preferring to keep one of their good players, if you define Samardzija as that, but instead on the player and team disagreeing on Samardzija’s value. If it does not look like they’ll be able to come to an agreement, the deal that has been floated in the media for Samardzija (Skaggs and Trahan) far exceeds the value of the comp pick the Cubs would get in the 2016 draft.

      • Jedi

        The Cubs should be disagreeing with any of these front offices willing to give up top prospects for Samardzija. Quibble if you like over the predictive value of WHIP, the fact is that as Samardzija pitches more he puts guys on base more frequently. He also gives up runs more frequently. This isn’t a guy who is getting better as a starter – he’s getting worse.

  • Chuck

    If the Cubs trade Shark to anybody for prospects it will be another long summer.

    • Sean Powell

      I think it’s going to be a long summer either way

    • Jedi

      Why? We’d be struggling to replace a middle-of-the-rotation 4.00+ ERA player whose WHIP is trending in the wrong direction? You wouldn’t “build” around Samardzija anymore than you’d build around Garza. I’d love to hear a case made as to why the Cubs SHOULDN’T trade him…in fact, isn’t that the very case that people were making this time last year about Garza – that basically if he wouldn’t take what the Cubs were offering long-term, he should be dumped. I say the same holds true for Samardzija (except that I’d have already dumped him at the trade deadline last year, too many GMs wildly overvalue his talent).

      • Chuck

        At some point it would be nice if the Cubs actually, you know, kept good players. It would be a nice change of pace.

      • Noah_I

        I think the question is if Samardzija is a “good” player or an “above average” player. While I disagree with the value of year to year WHIP as something that is predictive of future performance (the .13 difference between Shark’s WHIP in 2013 and 2014 amounts to about 1 single finding a hole, 1 walk, or a combination of the two equaling 1 more base runner per 9 innings), Samardzija was clearly an ineffective pitcher for the last half of 2013.

        As a note, every report I’ve seen indicates that the Cubs’ preference is to extend Samardzija, but that the numbers Samardzija and the Cubs are floating are far apart. And there’s a decent reason for that. Samardzija has shown the potential for flashes of greatness, and he reasonably wants to see if the can extend those flashes into something that can get him ace type or legit number 2 type money. As Samardzija has not shown that, the Cubs want to pay him number 3 type money.

        This isn’t a matter of the Cubs not preferring to keep one of their good players, if you define Samardzija as that, but instead on the player and team disagreeing on Samardzija’s value. If it does not look like they’ll be able to come to an agreement, the deal that has been floated in the media for Samardzija (Skaggs and Trahan) far exceeds the value of the comp pick the Cubs would get in the 2016 draft.

      • Jedi

        The Cubs should be disagreeing with any of these front offices willing to give up top prospects for Samardzija. Quibble if you like over the predictive value of WHIP, the fact is that as Samardzija pitches more he puts guys on base more frequently. He also gives up runs more frequently. This isn’t a guy who is getting better as a starter – he’s getting worse.

  • PLCB3

    I’ll start caring when we get to General Sherman Day

    • Sherm

      Wait…what?

  • AC0000000

    I’ll start caring when we get to General Sherman Day

    • Sherm

      Wait…what?

  • SBardo

    Samardzija is going to be 29 in January, so he is in his peak years. He had one decent season as a reliever and two decent seasons as a starter. (You can call them good seasons if you want, but that’s just a matter of opinion – they definitely weren’t great) He’s barely played above replacement level for 3 straight years.

    Trade him while he at least gives some semblance of being worth something. He shows flashes of brilliance interspersed with flashes of Marmol-esque ability. Hope the other GM gets distracted by the shiny.

    • Jedi

      Last season he was definitively NOT decent – or good.

      • Sean Powell

        Shark had a 3.77 FIP and 3.45 xFIP & 2.8 WAR last season, compared to 3.89 FIP and 4.50 xFIP for Travis Wood last season (same 2.8 WAR). You may or may not want to call that good, but it’s certainly decent. Last season was only his second as a starter, and his first pitching over 200 innings. I still think he has potential to grow. He seems to take too much on himself and over-pitch at times. Of course, he may not improve, and I certainly wouldn’t call him an ace, but I’m not as down on him as you are. Did Shark steal your girlfriend at some point?

      • Jedi

        You’re comparing Wood and Samardzija as having similar seasons last year? You have a vivid imagination.

        Wood gave up more than 4 ERs in only 2 starts all season. Samardzija did that EIGHT times; and twice each month during the final three months of the season. Samardzija surrendered 34 more ERs while only pitching one more start and 13 more innings. The difference in IP between the two is negligible and yet Samardzija gave up almost 50% more ERs.

        So you roll in with a couple of cherrypicked so-called advanced metrics that you think effectively says the only difference between the two was how the players fielded behind them. Load of crap.

        My only advice is that you watch a few games; there is no way you could watch the bulk of their starts last year and legitimately believe that they were both basically decent. Wood pitched like a No. 2 for most of the year; Samardzija pitched like back-of-the-rotation journeyman.

      • Sean Powell

        I’ll be sure not to mention Shark’s .314 BABIP vs. Wood’s .248 BABIP, then

      • Jedi

        I know this is hard to fathom when you’re simply looking at numbers on a page, but when a pitcher is pitching poorly he tends to get hit pretty hard – it’s not a coincidence or bad luck. It’s not an accident that hitters frequently beat Samardzija like a pinata. It’s also not blind luck that saw Travis Wood inducing weak contact on a regular basis.

        Feel free to make the argument that with advanced metrics you can forecast a better outcome in 2014 for him…but no amount of advanced metric rationalizing is going to change the fact that he was very disappointing for long stretches in 2013.

      • Sean Powell

        That’s why I didn’t mention it.

      • Vagaries, Jedi.

  • SBardo

    Samardzija is going to be 29 in January, so he is in his peak years. He had one decent season as a reliever and two decent seasons as a starter. (You can call them good seasons if you want, but that’s just a matter of opinion – they definitely weren’t great) He’s barely played above replacement level for 3 straight years.

    Trade him while he at least gives some semblance of being worth something. He shows flashes of brilliance interspersed with flashes of Marmol-esque ability. Hope the other GM gets distracted by the shiny.

    • Jedi

      Last season he was definitively NOT decent – or good.

      • Sean Powell

        Shark had a 3.77 FIP and 3.45 xFIP & 2.8 WAR last season, compared to 3.89 FIP and 4.50 xFIP for Travis Wood last season (same 2.8 WAR). You may or may not want to call that good, but it’s certainly decent. Last season was only his second as a starter, and his first pitching over 200 innings. I still think he has potential to grow. He seems to take too much on himself and over-pitch at times. Of course, he may not improve, and I certainly wouldn’t call him an ace, but I’m not as down on him as you are. Did Shark steal your girlfriend at some point?

      • Jedi

        You’re comparing Wood and Samardzija as having similar seasons last year? You have a vivid imagination.

        Wood gave up more than 4 ERs in only 2 starts all season. Samardzija did that EIGHT times; and twice each month during the final three months of the season. Samardzija surrendered 34 more ERs while only pitching one more start and 13 more innings. The difference in IP between the two is negligible and yet Samardzija gave up almost 50% more ERs.

        So you roll in with a couple of cherrypicked so-called advanced metrics that you think effectively says the only difference between the two was how the players fielded behind them. Load of crap.

        My only advice is that you watch a few games; there is no way you could watch the bulk of their starts last year and legitimately believe that they were both basically decent. Wood pitched like a No. 2 for most of the year; Samardzija pitched like back-of-the-rotation journeyman.

      • Sean Powell

        I’ll be sure not to mention Shark’s .314 BABIP vs. Wood’s .248 BABIP, then

      • Jedi

        I know this is hard to fathom when you’re simply looking at numbers on a page, but when a pitcher is pitching poorly he tends to get hit pretty hard – it’s not a coincidence or bad luck. It’s not an accident that hitters frequently beat Samardzija like a pinata. It’s also not blind luck that saw Travis Wood inducing weak contact on a regular basis.

        Feel free to make the argument that with advanced metrics you can forecast a better outcome in 2014 for him…but no amount of advanced metric rationalizing is going to change the fact that he was very disappointing for long stretches in 2013.

      • Sean Powell

        That’s why I didn’t mention it.

      • Vagaries, Jedi.

  • Sean Powell

    I’m sure the FO is going to treat the Shark situation algorithmically. If the salary he would agree to works out to be a better value than the best trade offer they get, they’ll sign him (and vice versa). I’m sure Theo will plug it all into the new version of Carmine.

    In more important news, the Cubs may be looking at John Axford. If they do sign him, between him and Carlos Villanueva, we’ll have the most epic facial hair of any bullpen in the league!

  • Sean Powell

    I’m sure the FO is going to treat the Shark situation algorithmically. If the salary he would agree to works out to be a better value than the best trade offer they get, they’ll sign him (and vice versa). I’m sure Theo will plug it all into the new version of Carmine.

    In more important news, the Cubs may be looking at John Axford. If they do sign him, between him and Carlos Villanueva, we’ll have the most epic facial hair of any bullpen in the league!

  • Sean Powell

    Love this: Theo, as quoted by Sahadev Sharma “It’s always better to find talent that hasn’t been given opportunity yet in 9th inning & them give them that responsibility… Just because a guy has saves on his résumé & might cost a little more, he still might be a nice option. As long as you’re making sure you’re paying for talent and not a stat that Jerome Holtzman made up.”

    • Doc Raker

      Love it, a good philosophy to pay for talent and not a stat Jerome Holtzman made up. Funny too.

  • Sean Powell

    Love this: Theo, as quoted by Sahadev Sharma “It’s always better to find talent that hasn’t been given opportunity yet in 9th inning & them give them that responsibility… Just because a guy has saves on his résumé & might cost a little more, he still might be a nice option. As long as you’re making sure you’re paying for talent and not a stat that Jerome Holtzman made up.”

    • Doc Raker

      Love it, a good philosophy to pay for talent and not a stat Jerome Holtzman made up. Funny too.

  • Buddy

    Could the Shark be on his way to Seattle in some sort of Nick Franklin deal?

    • Doc Raker

      Nick would fit right in, a rookie learning how to hit in the bigs. Hit .325 in AAA and .225 in the bigs. He and Rizzo would get along great. Hard to project who will learn to hit .300 in the bigs and who won’t.

      • I like this notion. Consider it Japanese sitcom organizational depth.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Maybe the Cubs should field a Japanese team. Then we would either win their championship or be a failure on two continents.

  • Buddy

    Could the Shark be on his way to Seattle in some sort of Nick Franklin deal?

    • Doc Raker

      Nick would fit right in, a rookie learning how to hit in the bigs. Hit .325 in AAA and .225 in the bigs. He and Rizzo would get along great. Hard to project who will learn to hit .300 in the bigs and who won’t.

      • I like this notion. Consider it Japanese sitcom organizational depth.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Maybe the Cubs should field a Japanese team. Then we would either win their championship or be a failure on two continents.