Jeff Samardzija's name has been heavily tied to trade rumors involving the New York Yankees, however, they team might not be able to land him as there is another American League East team that could be in the market for Samardzija's services.
The Baltimore Orioles are right behind the Yankees in third place in the East and in the thick of the playoff chase, which puts them in the market for starting pitching and as Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago has reported, the Orioles have serious interest in Samardzija and the Cubs and Orioles have mutual interest in a potential trade, which makes them the potential front runners for the Cubs right-hander.
"The Baltimore Orioles appear to be the leading team of interest in the sweepstakes for Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija, as sources confirmed the two teams are mutually interested. With the American League East up for grabs, the Orioles could separate themselves from the pack with a pre-emptive move before the trading deadline on July 31. The Orioles have premium young pitching that the Cubs will insist on if they are going to move their ace. Right-handed pitchers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Hunter Harvey and left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez top the list of young arms the Cubs are scouting."
Samardzija is viewed as the top trade target this summer considering he's the league leader in the National League for ERA with 1.68 and has been victiminzed by a lack of offense, which would explain the 1-4 record, but that isn't scaring off any teams from being interested. The Toronto Blue Jays have also been reported with interest in Samardzija, but from the report, it looks like the Orioles have taken the lead.
Some have reported that the Yankees have interest in Samardzija as well, but their farm system of prospects aren't as strong as some of their competitors like the Orioles, who have Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in their system as starting trade pieces in a deal to give back to the Cubs.
Because of CC Sabathia's injury to his knee, Ivan Nova out for the season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery and inconsistecy from Hiroki Kuroda, David Phelps and Vidal Nuno, it makes sense for the Yankees to have interest in Samardzija and after watching him hold the Yankees scoreless for seven innings and nearly getting a win against the Yankees, but not before the Cubs bullpen blew the lead and the Yankees came back to win the game.
It's not clear if and when the Orioles and Cubs will get together to make a potential deal, but if the Orioles have the upper hand and if the Yankees aren't able to land Samardzija and lose out to Baltimore, then it will cause the Yankees to look elsewhere for pitching options this summer.
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