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MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago Cubs Listening to Offers for Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel; New York Yankees in Play

June 16th, 2014 at 6:49 PM
By Doug Rush

Two of the Chicago Cubs starting pitchers have been tied to the New York Yankees going as far back as last month, especially from their two-game series between the two teams at Wrigley Field.

The Yankees got a birds-eye view of Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija and veteran Jason Hammel, both of whom pitched very well against the Yankees. Hammel in fact, is the only pitcher in baseball to get a win over Masahiro Tanaka in the 2014 season.

Hammel is currently 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA and has experience pitching in the American League; he was with the Baltimore Orioles when they made the postseason back in 2012 and pitched twice against the Yankees in the 2012 ALDS. Samardzija is 2-6 with a 2.77 ERA and has been on the short-end of bad luck of the Cubs offense that has failed to score runs for him as clearly, he's better than a 2-6 pitcher.

The Yankees are one of several teams in the mix for Samardzija, who could be the prize of the trade deadline before July 31, as the 29-year-old. is being pursued by the San Francisco Giants, along with the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and the Orioles; a team that at one time was considered to be an early favorite to be the landing spot for the Notre Dame product.

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported on Monday that the Cubs and their brain-trust in general manager Jed Hoyer and president Theo Epstein are currently listening to offers on their pitchers; Samardzija, Hammel, Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta, and may be willing to trade at least three of them this summer.

The Yankees interest of course would be in the first two; they could have signed Jackson in the past as a free agent but didn't want to offer a contract to a career .500 pitcher who has been inconsistent his entire career despite having a no-hitter on his resume (think an extremely poor-man's A.J. Burnett.)

Samardzjia is the best of the bunch and the better of the two pitchers, but because he won't be a free agent until after 2015, he will cost a lot more to pry away from the Cubs, whereas Hammel wouldn't since he's a free agent after 2014.

At 28-39 and in last place in the National League Central, it's only a matter of time before the Cubs decide to start becoming sellers and get value back for their starters; the only question is, do the Yankees pursue either of them or do they look elsewhere for pitching help.

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Tags: Baseball, Chicago Cubs, Jason Hammel, Jeff Samardzija, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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