While it's been reported that the New York Yankees don't have the necessary trade pieces needed in order to land Chicago Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija this summer, people around baseball feel that Jason Hammel would be a much more reasonable trade option.
While that is true, other teams are seeing this as well and will likely join in on the pursuit of Hammel and give the Yankees some very serious competition for his services.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and WFAN has reported that the Toronto Blue Jays are looking for a potential rental pitcher and if they aren't able to convince the Cubs to trade them Samardzija, they will also try to pry Hammel away from them this coming deadline.
"The first-place Blue Jays keep getting connected to ace Cubs righthander Jeff Samardzija (it's been going on for years now, it seems), but the sides have yet to make new proposals, and while the Jays will talk about Samardzija, sources suggest they are ultimately much more likely to trade for Samardzija's teammate Jason Hammel or another comparable rental starter."
Hammel is currently 6-5 with a 2.99 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 96.1 innings for the last place Cubs and has experience pitching in the American League East as he was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays and more recently, the Baltimore Orioles. Hammel pitched in Games 1 and 5 of the 2012 ALDS against the Yankees. Earlier in the season when the Yankees and Cubs played at Wrigley Field, Hammel was able to pitch the Cubs to a win over the Yankees as well, which only further enhanced his trade value.
The Blue Jays do have better prospects in their minor league system than the Yankees, so if it came down to it, Toronto might have the pieces needed to make a trade for the Cubs starter and thus, leaving the Yankees scrambling around for other answers in the pitching market next month.
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