The Blue Jays showed plenty of interest in Jeff Samardzija early in the offseason, and it was looking like they would acquire him. But a third team would likely have to be included in the deal, due to the lack of exciting pitching prospects within the Blue Jays minor league system that are close to reaching the Major Leagues. This means that the Jays would have to get a third team involved in the deal, which has caused the talks to decrease tremendously.
The Diamondbacks do have flashy young pitching in their system, but it's seeming likely that it will be unable to reach a deal with the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija. Archie Bradley could be a name that is mentioned, but he has very high potential (in other words: the sky's the limit). Braden Shipley could be mentioned in the talks as well, but he is a few years away from the Majors and seems unlikely to be a centerpiece for the deal. One other name that could be mentioned is 22-year old Tyler Skaggs; he has good potential and has some Major League experience. The Diamondbacks are definitely loaded for Samardzija and talks could increase. Stay tuned on Arizona.
The Baltimore Orioles could be players in the Jeff Samardzija sweepstakes, but not much has surfaced as of right now. We may have to wait until the Winter Meetings get into full swing until we really know how much of an interest the Orioles have in the righty.
The Yankees have shown interest in Jeff Samardzija as well. Again, along with the Blue Jays, they would have to bring a third team into the deal so that they can acquire pitching. According to Robert Murray of Sports Injury Alert, Brett Gardner, the Yankees outfielder, "could be included in the deal." Gardner would have to be dealt along with other pieces, but the Yankees are seeming like they have a plan in place to perhaps bolster their rotation with Samardzija, but no "advanced" talks are imminent.
The Phillies have shown interest in Jeff Samardzija as well, according to John Arguello of Chicago Now. They would also have to include a third team in the deal, according to Tom Loxas of Chicago Now. It is possible that Phillies slugger Domonic Brown is included in the deal as well. A source told Cover Those Bases that the chances of the Phillies acquiring Jeff Samardzija are "slim to none."
Today, the Braves have jumped into the Jeff Samardzija sweepstakes, according to reports. The Braves are looking for one starting pitcher that is able to provide veteran leadership. They are also interested in acquiring pitcher Chris Sale, but Samardzija seems like a more realistic option.
Hat tip to Robert Murray of Sports Injury Alert