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Saturday, July 27, 2013
Samardzija latest to be named in trade rumors

By Joe Stiglich
Special to ESPNChicago.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The rumor mill surrounding Chicago Cubs players continues to churn at full speed, with right-hander Jeff Samardzija the latest to be mentioned in trade talk.

A Fox Sports report on Saturday claimed the Cubs are "listening on" offers for Samardzija, but that the asking price was very high.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum -- who has already seen such front-line players as Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano and Scott Feldman dealt in advance of Wednesday's non-waiver trade deadline -- chuckled when asked about the prospect of Samardzija being dealt.

"That's a new one," Sveum said before a game against the San Francisco Giants. "Somebody just had to throw something out there."

The manager pointed out that Samardzija is under team control through 2015, making the pitcher a prime example of the type of player the rebuilding Cubs would be looking to retain.

The Fox Sports report said the Cubs were unlikely to move Samardzija, 28, but that "they're at least open to the idea of getting blown away by an offer."

Samardzija, for his part, said he's trying not to dwell on the rumors.

"I don't even know about it as much as you guys do," he told reporters. "I'm just excited to pitch in a couple days. I feel real good out there. We're playing some good baseball as a team. I'm excited, I'm happy to be here.

"We're in a position where we just do kind of what we're told. ... I don't have any control over [potential trades]. I don't have a no-trade clause or anything like that. But I know I'm still protected and still under control for a couple years. I'm in somewhat of a little bit different case than the other [players Chicago has dealt]."

Considering so many Cubs veterans have seen their names in trade rumors this season, Samardzija was asked if he ever received any advice on how to deal with the situation.

"I just started listening to Garza. He usually had a lot to say on the matter," Samardzija said with a smile. "It's a tough process as a player because you're as much on the outside as anybody else is. I'm sure you could get involved if you wanted to, but that's distracting and taking away from your goal of winning on the field. You're just kind of along for the ride, to tell you the truth."

The Arizona Diamondbacks were one team linked earlier this season to Samardzija, who is 6-9 with a 3.94 ERA in 21 starts this season.

Closer Kevin Gregg and outfielder Nate Schierholtz reportedly are two of the Cubs' top candidates to still be dealt by Wednesday.

Sveum was asked how his players have handled all of the speculation of the past several weeks.

"It's some of the best baseball we've played all year long, so obviously they've handled it pretty well," he said.

The Cubs, 46-55 overall, are 21-17 since June 13.