Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What do you have to offer Giants and Braves?

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,, 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 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….




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What do you have to offer Royals and A's?

In this 2nd installment of Shark Sweepstakes we take a look at two more teams that could use Jeff Samardzija for a playoff run and what they have to offer…




Kyle Zimmer: He is the guy you get if you deal with the Royals.  Why you may ask? Well he is a top 25 prospect in baseball even with his lat injury this year and he has an Ace upside that is impossible to ignore.  He is at risk because of the recent arm issues but so far he does not require Tommy John surgery that we have seen so many pitchers fall to this year.  The other reason he is on this list mainly because of this scouting report bybaseballprospectnation in 2012.


Yordano Ventura: Some will argue he is off limits because he is currently helping the big club win and you are probably correct.  But if you are going to get Jeff Samardzija you have to pay.  End of story!  The Royals will have to give up Zimmer or Ventura in a deal for Shark.  That is unless of course they go nuts and trade Alex Gordon.  But enough about them.  Ventura is the guy the Cubs should target if Zimmer is off limits.  Just check out this nice fangraphs write up on him here.


Notes: The Cubs need one of these pitchers (or Alex Gordon) to make a deal with the Royals work.  I believe this will be quality over quantity.  There are two other nice prospects I see the Cubs take a look at as a secondary piece like P Sean Manaea and/or OF Jorge Bonifacio.  Both top 10 prospects in the Royals farm system. 





Michael Ynoa:  Once thought of the prize of the A’s farm system the guys just cannot stay healthy.  Scouts cannot place whether he will be a great #2 starter, #4 starter, power closer, or complete bust.  At only 22 years old this guy could still become something special.  The issue is whether he is worth the gamble as a headliner in a Shark deal. On his own I am not so sure.  You can see his numbershere.


Raul Alcantara: Now the prize arm of the Oakland A’s; he would be so high on my list of all prospects if he had not just went down with Tommy John surgery.  We have seen Theo and Jed take a gamble before with players with injury issues and he is definitely worth the gamble.  Here is what John Sickles had to say about him before the start of the year. Grade B-: Borderline B. Secondary pitches went from non-existent to solid last year and he already had a good fastball, resulting in dramatically improved performance and big spike in strikeout rate. I want to see if he sustains it, but could be a number three starter.



Note: The A’s really have a nice farm but the problem is I do not believe any of their current available prospects are what Theo and Jed want.  The main issue is the age of the prospects.  Almost any impact prospect they have is either in the majors (which they will not trade) or below AA or injured.  They are still on the list because the A’s could still put a nice package together for Shark and plus they have been directly linked to him in the past.  And those of your pining for Addison Russell can keep dreaming.  The guys is going nowhere!



On the next post we will be taking a look at the Giants and Braves… Until Next Time..





Monday, June 16, 2014

What Do You Have To Offer Orioles and Jays?

When talking about the Chicago Cubs it is hard not to think of the draft as their Superbowl.  So if the draft is their Superbowl then the trade deadline is their Stanley Cup!  Hopefully soon we will talk about the Cubs as buyers at the deadline and not sellers but in the post we are going to check out the Shark trade market. We know just about every team would love Shark on their roster contender or not.  Although; not all these teams will be as “in” on Shark as the others. So we are going to try to eliminate some of the teams first. Teams that are currently out of playoff contention which I will exclude from the Shark Sweepstakes are the Rays, Diamondbacks, Phillies, Reds, and Padres. Next; lets omit the teams that have pressing needs in other places than pitcher which would be the Rangers, Cardinals, and Red Sox. After that lets omit teams that simply do not have the farm system or tradable ML players to acquire Jeff Samardzija on their own which would be the Tigers, Angels, Yankees, Mariners, and White Sox. Next lets remove the teams that are not likely to go all in for Shark for one reason or another which would be the Mets, Astros, Indians, Twins, Brewers, and Pirates.  Now as many as 12 teams have been linked to Shark in the past but obviously only one team will pay up for his services before the trade deadline.  The teams I see as legit contenders (not just talkers) are the Blue Jays, Orioles, Royals, Athletics, Giants, Braves, Dodgers, Marlins, Nationals, and  Rockies.


So over the next few weeks I will be highlighting 2 of the teams above and then the top 2 guys in each team that the Cubs will likely target in a deal for Shark.


Let’s start it off with some likely suitors….


Blue Jays


Drew Hutchinson: The 23 year old pitcher has been solid this year posting a 3.96 ERA in 13 starts all while striking out 67 in 75 innings pitching for the big league club.  His 8 SO to 2.8 BB per 9 looks pretty good on paper but seeing this guy pitch just shows he has the potential to be something special in the majors.  Read the scouting report on him back in March of 2012



Marcus Stroman:  This is the grand prize for the Cubs front office.  They have been linked to him for quite some time now and there is a reason why!  In his small sample size in the majors he is posting a high ERA of 5.18 but his 7.8 SO to 1.1 BB ratio per 9 shows the potential of a top of the rotation pitcher.  I look at his major league stats in the backdrop of his minor league numbers which are far more impressive and found here.   He is the arguably the Jays best top prospect in their system.


Note: While I like Aaron Sanchez I believe the Cubs are going to want ready or a near ready pitching piece as the main piece for Shark.  I am not saying they won’t be interested in Sanchez I just believe Hutchinson and Stroman are more appealing.  Sanchez would have been #3 on my list.





Kevin Gausman: Scouts are split 50/50 on Gausman but I love what he offers.  He has the potential to be a #1 starter which earned him the 10th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball Prospectus and the 20th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America before 2014 started.  Gausman is only 23 years old and has only seen 31 games in the minors but his numbers are nice.  Sporting a 3.36 ERA over those 31 games and posting 9 SO/9 and only 2.1 BB/9.  He should be a top prize for the Cubbies but don’t ask me, check out the scouting report from Baseball Prospectushere.


Dylan  Bundy: The O’s number 1 prospect is coming off Tommy John Surgery but should start pitching again this month.  Because his health is in the air makes him a good candidate to get dealt for the Cubs and Orioles. A 2012 Fangraphs should get you jazzed with their scouting report here.



Note:  The Orioles are going to have to part with one of these pitchers to get Shark especially with the amount of action he will be getting from other teams.



Next on our list the Royals and Indians… Until Next Time…