Storylines: Could Samardzija go to the White Sox?
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Saturday, Nov. 30.
- We learned yesterday that the White Sox and A's were discussing a trade for Jeff Samardzija. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez may be the A's prime target, but they also like infield prospect Tim Anderson and utility fielder Marcus Semien, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Some view Anderson, 22 next season, as the second best prospect in Chicago's system after pitcher Carlos Rodon. Semien, 24, has looked overmatched in 326 major league plate appearances, but he's featured reliable power, speed, and position flexibility at the Triple-A level. It's worth wondering if the Sox would deal a top prospect like Anderson for just one season of Samardzija – especially with an apparent buyers market for pitchers. The White Sox have already added first baseman Adam LaRoche and lefty reliever Zach Duke this offseason. Samardzija would give them another strong starter to complement Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, and his acquisition would be another step toward building a competitive team around Sale and Jose Abreu. Samardzija pitched 219 2/3 innings while posting a 2.99 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in a terrific 2014. He's projected to make $9.5 million in arbitration this offseason, and is eligible for free agency next winter.
- The Red Sox want starting pitching and the Indians have it, but that doesn't make it likely that Cleveland would trade Danny Salazar or Trevor Bauer to Boston for an outfielder, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer wrote. The Red Sox want pitching, but they would likely want more star power, and the Indians aren't likely to want to deal Salazar or Bauer for one year of, for example, Yoenis Cespedes.
News and Notes:
- Justin Masterson headlined a list of the top ten free agent bargains, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com wrote. Masterson has the potential to recover completely now that his rib injury has been addressed, and his asking price is said to be reasonable. It was reported that the Tigers have put out feelers for him. Additional potential bargains include Sergio Romo, Ervin Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera, and six others.
- Braves outfielder Justin Upton is a hot commodity on the trade market, although the Braves are in no rush to move him, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote. A deal involving Upton and top young Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker would appear to make sense, Heyman suggested. Walker was the key to a deal involving Upton between the Mariners and Diamondbacks two years ago, but Upton rejected the trade. Now, though, Upton doesn't have the Mariners on his no-trade list. Last week, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweeted that Walker might be attainable in an Upton deal.
- Billy Beane said the Athletics are unlikely to sign a free agent shortstop, Joe Stiglich of Comcast SportsNet California reported. They have a big hole at the position given the departure of Jed Lowrie to free agency, but it isn't a strong market, with Lowrie, Stephen Drew and Asdrubal Cabrera as the headliners. That the A's are already bowing out could be an indication that they plan to address the position with a trade.
- The Rangers are one of four teams outfielder Torii Hunter is considering, according to Gerry Fraley of the the Dallas Morning News. The Orioles and Mariners are also at the top of Hunter's list with the Twins a less likely landing spot. Mark Whicker of the L.A. Daily News was the first to tweet the news.
- After the acquisition of Josh Donaldson from the Athletics, the Blue Jays are still trying to re-sign Melky Cabrera, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported. That makes sense, of course — the Jays have a hole in the outfield, and they can use another batter who can hit left-handed. A recent report indicated that Cabrera would prefer to sign with a team that doesn't play on turf, as the Blue Jays do, although Cabrera himself recently tweeted that he didn't care whether he played on turf or grass.
- The Tigers plan on having Alex Avila as their primary catcher in 2015, despite his issues with concussions, but that will probably be his last season with them, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News reported. Since hitting .295/.389/.506 for the Tigers in 2011, Avila's offensive production has declined, though he remains a strong defensive catcher. In preparation for his departure via free agency, the team will create opportunities for 24-year-old rookie James McCann in 2015.
- The Astros are in an odd position with center fielder Dexter Fowler, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle wrote. With just one more season of club control, Fowler seems like an obvious trade candidate. However, he's developed a tight bond with star prospect George Springer. While the club has the depth to deal Fowler – Springer, Jake Marisnick, Robbie Grossman, and Alex Presley can all play center field – they may want to hang onto him if he could benefit Springer's development.
- Cubs reliever Pedro Strop was in a car accident in the Dominican Republic Thursday, but he didn't suffer any significant injuries, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reported. Strop did require stitches in his left arm, but he is reportedly "doing fine," according to a team spokesperson. Strop, 29, was a key part of the Cubs' bullpen in 2014, posting a 2.21 ERA in with 10.5 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 61 innings.
1.) Cleveland "fans" are terrible
2.) I hope the Browns go 0-16 every year
3.) I do not enjoy reading Browns cheer leading on an Indians site.
The Indians are head and shoulders a better run organization and it really is frustrating to not see fans realize that. So that is why I won't lighten up. Screw the Browns.