Samardzija To The DBacks? How?
One of my favorite things about scouting and following prospects is the ability to assess organizational depth charts on both sides of a potential trade. For the Arizona Diamondbacks, adding a power arm like Samardzija and power in the outfield (Nate Schierholtz) is a no-brainer. Each would fill a current need at the Major League level and give them a chance to improve on last season.
The Cubs are one of the worst team’s in Major League Baseball. To the fan who leaves comments on Jeff Passan’s pieces, they have legitimate needs at most every position — even with long term signings Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo.
However, the prospect follower would understand the organization is loaded with young talent headed by Kris Bryant and Javier Baez — a left side of the infield for years to come. Other prospects including Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Arismendy Alcantara help round out arguably the best farm system in baseball.
From the Diamondbacks side, the Cubs would make a great trade partner, but what’s in it for the Cubs?
Two prospect names sure to come up in trade talks are Chris Owings and Matt Davidson. Other than Archie Bradley, they are the two most valuable prospects in the system given the combination of talent and big league readiness. But do the Cubs need two more prospects at the 2B/SS and 1B/3B positions? Not really… One might say the Cardinals are a good three-way match, but they’d need to be 100% sure Owings is a shortstop in the end. After seeing him play in 2012-2013, I’m not so sure.
As for Bradley, I won’t mention him as a legit trade piece because he’s untouchable for me. He’ll be an impact pitcher at the Major League level as early as next season.
His being unavailable has nothing to do with Samardzija’s talent. Prospect followers greatly undervalue the “bird in the hand” value of Major League players when it comes to prospects. In 2012-2013, Samardzija averaged 197 strikeouts in 194 innings pitched with an ERA+ of 97. That’s a quality Major League pitcher. Let’s not forget Arizona had two of the top-10 prospects in baseball in Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer set to anchor their rotation for years to come. How did that turn out?
On the Major League roster, Adam Eaton would be a nice fit in Chicago. He’s an expendable piece in the Arizona outfield given their plethora of less than impact center field options. As the Cubs center fielder, Eaton would allow Junior Lake to move to right field where his quickness and cannon arm would play beautifully.
The addition of Eaton to any package would make Schierholtz an important piece. It would allow Arizona to field a more conventional outfield alignment of Parra-Pollock-Schierholtz.
Randall Delgado is another player the Cubs would probably target. He has a ceiling of a 3/4 at the Major League level, but the Cubs paid Edwin Jackson 50-plus million to do the same thing. Delgado would “replace” Samardzija in the rotation, leaving them with a decent front four of Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Randall Delgado and Jake Arrieta. Should the organization make a run at David Price or other top arm, the foursome would be a 2-5 capable of competing in the National League Central.
Would a package of Randall Delgado, Adam Eaton and David Holmberg be enough for Arizona to land Jeff Samardzija and Nate Schierholtz? Without the DBacks dealing Owings, Bradley or Davidson, I didn’t think they had the pieces to fit. After doing my due diligence, they just might have them after all. What do you think?
4 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
Categories: MLB Analysis
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