Phase 3 is underway of the Shark Sweepstakes! Now we take a look at two very interesting teams that are known to be “in” on Samardzija.
Kyle Crick: The best prospect in the Giants system and it is really hard to see them part with him but unlike other top prospects I feel the Giants could actually deal Crick. Crick is labeled in the top 40 best prospects in baseball by Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus. With the upside of an ace and the downside of a #3 starter it will be nearly impossible for any team to compete with the Giants if they include Crick in a deal for Shark. In 231 innings in the minors Crick has posted 10.7 SO/9 .2 HR/9 and a 2.61 ERA. He is the guy you dream about when talking about a Shark deal. Check out this scouting profile from Fangraphs here.
Edwin Escobar: If Crick is #1 on the list then Escobar is 1a. Although his ERA over 494 innings pitched in the minors is 4.08 his SO/9 is a nice 9.1 and BB/9 is 3.0. He may be the most underrated prospect I list in this whole series considering Baseball America rated him the 56th best prospect in baseball andMLB.com rated him the 95th best in 2014. Some predicted Escobar could actually make it up to the Majors in 2014 so he is as close as ready you can get to ML ready when talking about legit prospects coming back in a Shark deal.
Notes: The Giants have a loaded farm system which makes them dealing for Samardzija relatively easy to do even without completely depleting it. This is a plus for the Cubs since they are requiring a heavy price tag when it comes to Shark. Some other guys that would and could be included in a deal along with Crick or Escobar or even in a package not including Escobar or Crick are Clayton Blackburn, Adalberto Mejia, and Mac Williamson. Giants would be one of the most ideal teams to deal with if you are Theo and Jed.
Jason Heyward: You didn’t think the Cubs would just trade for prospects did you? I have some insight that suggest the Cubs are wanting to deal for a young Major League ready outfielder who hits left-handed for Shark if they cannot acquire an elite level pitching prospect. Enter Jason Heyward. Many of you have turned your back on Heyward. Even some suggest the reason he did not get a long extension is because he has fallen out of favor with the Braves. At the age of 24 it is hard to turn your back on a guy like Jason Heyward in my opinion. While his numbers are solid at best .259 avg with .349 OBP over 600 games it is hard to ignore that he still has room to improve and reach that upside the scouts drooled over. Now I think a package around Heyward would have to be pretty strong for the Cubs to take him as a headliner. But remember the Cubs FO asked for him and Justin Upton for Shark in the past so the interest is there.
Alex Wood: What? I did not take a top 10 prospect in my top 2? No I didn’t because of what Alex Wood offers at the age of 23. Although a small sample size he has been tested in the ML. IN 138 innings pitched he has posted a 3.26 ERA with a 9.1 SO/P and a 2.7 BB/9. Another huge plus is he is left-handed and can hit low to mid 90s on his fastball. The Braves have an advantage because I feel the Cubs are valuing close to ready or ready ML players back for Shark. This is a trend you will continue to see in this post.
Notes: The Brave theoretically could offer Alex Wood and Jason Heyward in a deal for Shark without adding any of their big prospects which honestly bodes well for both teams. Other players that would of course be in the minds of the Cubs front office are Lucas Sims, Christian Bethancourt, J.R. Graham, Jason Hursh, Sean Gilmartin, and David Hale.
Up on the next post we will look at two very interesting and two very different teams; Dodgers and Marlins. Until Next Time….