The hottest rumor involving the Cubs right now is whether or not they will land Joe Girardi as their next manager, but that may not be the only thing you'll want to keep an eye on.
The Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals are interested in trading for Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, according to Tom Loxas Chicago Now and John Arguello of Cubs Now.
The Blue Jays may view Samardzija as a replacement for Josh Johnson who is scheduled to hit free agency at the end of the year. When they acquired Johnson from the Marlins this past offseason, they were expecting Johnson to put up solid numbers for them and help lead the Blue Jays to the playoffs. That wasn't the case at all. Johnson had a 2-8 record with a 6.20 ERA and a 83/30 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Blue Jays finished the season 74-88 and 17.5 games back in the American League East.
Arguello says that the Nationals see Samardzija as a guy who can potentially replace Dan Haren. During this past offseason, Haren signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Nationals. On the season, he went 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA and a 151/31 strikeout-walk ratio. Loxas says to expect the Nationals to make the biggest push for Samardzija.
In a potential deal with the Nationals, who would the Cubs want back in return for Samardzija? Tom Loxas of Cubs Now has the answer:
#Nationals Brian Goodwin is a name that #Cubs would want back in a Samardzija deal.
— TomLoxas (@TomLoxas) October 6, 2013
Goodwin wouldn't be the only player headed to the Cubs in a potential deal, but if his name entered potential trade discussions, the Cubs would definitely at least entertain the idea of trading Samardzija. On the season, Goodwin hit .252 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI's. The 22-year old outfielder was the No. 52 rated prospect in baseball by MLB.com and No. 70 by Baseball America.
Samardzija figures to draw a lot of interest on the trade market this offseason. The Diamondbacks showed interest in trading for him before the trade deadline, but no deal was worked out. The Cubs will try to sign him to an extension, but if they can't, look for them to explore a trade.
On the season, Samardzija was 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA and a 214/78 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
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