How can you describe a Samardzija trade using the word "doubtful," when he's been in rumored talks for a week, with many believing he could be one of the first to go.
The exec chose the word "doubtful," when he could have chosen the words "no longer likely" or "might not be a guarantee." I'm not trying to rip on this unnamed person, because, well, s/he does have a job within baseball and is involved with trade discussions. Plus, this is just one quote, too. How s/he phrased it. So, I'm not trying to disrespect him or her, but I disagree.
Samardzija is the best rental pitcher currently on the market. With David Price really never a trade piece, and Johnny Cueto finding a new home in Kansas City, Samardzija becomes the focus to contenders who don't want to spend for Cole Hamels and still want a No. 1 or No. 2 guy (unlike Yovani Gallardo or Mike Leake).
The Blue Jays remain in active discussions with the Sox over Samardzija, and if they don't get a deal done for him, I'd be ashamed at the front office and their thinking. The Jays' pitching staff is atrocious. The best pitcher on this staff has a 3.84 FIP (Mark Buehrle). Blech.
I'd consider a non-trade for a starter a bigger loss for the Blue Jays than Troy Tulowitzki was ever a gain. The Blue Jays need pitching and Samardzija will give them that. Though it's a rental player, and they don't like those guys, shouldn't they be focusing on 2015, especially with their farm system taking a hit in the Tulo deal?
I'd love to see a deal made between those two teams that allowed the White Sox to both buy and sell. They're playing noticeably better baseball, and even though they have been whooping up on the Indians and Red Sox, it's a start.
It's hard to think about a potential trade between the two teams that they could use to their benefits this year. That must be why no deal is done. The needs match up, but the players, especially for the White Sox to buy and sell, don't click as well.
And if the White Sox can't get a big league contribution in return for Samardzija, is he really worth moving anymore? That's still a yes. They've got a 8.8 percent chance to make the playoffs, FanGraphs says. What they could get in return for him would likely be more than the draft pick they'd get from the qualifying offer.
If the White Sox do move Samardzija, they could easily replace him with Erik Johnson, a 25-year-old righty and former second round pick. He is tearing it up in Triple-A, with a whopping 3.50 K/BB ratio and a 2.59 ERA over 90 innings. Johnson isn't a sure thing, but he'd make up for Samardzija's loss, and could even come out as an addition if the White Sox get big league help for "Shark."
With three days to the trade deadline, it's hard to call anything "doubtful." While there are obstacles, the White Sox should be moving Jeff Samardzija at the deadline Friday. Anything less and it'd be a mistake on their part.