Cubs talking Jeff Samardzija trade
Citing multiple sources, the Sun-Times reported that the Cubs may already have begun fielding trade offers from multiple teams. The report identified the Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays as some of the teams most interested in acquiring either Samardzija or Hammel.
Hammel could generate more interest than Samardzija because he likely will not command as large of a return in a trade, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney earlier this week. Hammel could be targeted by teams needing short-term rotation help like the Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins, according to Olney.
Samardzija is set to become a free agent after the 2015 season and has been speculated as a top trade target since this past offseason, when he was unable to agree to a long-term deal with the Cubs.
Samardzija, 29, is just 2-6 this season despite pitching to a 2.77 ERA. The right-hander went winless in his first 10 starts before finally claiming his first victory on May 26 against the San Francisco Giants.
Hammel, who will become a free agent after this season, also has been outstanding for the Cubs, going 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 13 starts. The nine-year veteran signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Cubs in February following a disappointing 2013 season with Baltimore.
Despite the solid pitching from Samardzija and Hammel, the Cubs (27-38) entered play Saturday with the lowest win total in the National League and just percentage points ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks (29-41) for the NL's worst record.
ESPN's Buster Olney contributed to this report.