Talk about throwing a curveball into the plans for the New York Yankees this summer.
For months, Jeff Samardzija has been one of the most heavily talked about trade targets for teams like the Yankees, as well as the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays, as all three teams are in the race for the A.L. East and would love to bolster their starting rotations with an addition like Samardzija.
But what if he doesn't get made available by the Cubs because he gets taken off the market from a contract extension? Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times talks about how it could be a reality this summer.
"But even as the Cubs continue early trade talks with some teams about Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija, they also have quietly reached out to Samardzija with a new offer on a contract that would keep him in Chicago as long as Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, according to multiple sources."
Samardzija has hinted that he could want out because of the lack of run production he gets with the Cubs, which is why his record is at 2-6 this season. So if the Cubs really want to lock their ace pitcher up, they may have to pony up the dough and pay their 29-year-old ace what an ace would get for an extension. Some think it could be in the $175 million range over seven-eight years.
Getting Samardzija from the Cubs over teams like the Orioles or Blue Jays was always considered to be tough for the Yankees, especially since they don't have the kind of prospects that the other teams do, but that hasn't stopped their interest in the former Notre Dame product.
Of course if Samardzija is not dealt and signed to a contract extension by the Cubs, it would put a drastic wrench into the trade plans for the Yankees this summer, as they desperately need to add a starting pitcher between now and July 31. They have been tied to another Cubs starter in Jason Hammel, who wouldn't cost the Yankees as much in a return deal.
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