May 26, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) follows through on a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants: Should They Pursue Jeff Samardzija?

The San Francisco Giants just finished up a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs, and one of the Cubs’ starting pitchers has been connected to the Giants in some recent trade rumors. It’s very likely that Jeff Samardzija will be moved before the trade deadline, and San Francisco is one of the possible destinations for him.

Although the Giants haven’t yet expressed interest in Samardzija, many fans and writers have suggested that the Giants should make a strong push to trade for him. Given the Giants’ inconsistent starting pitching last season, they could look to add another starting pitcher this season.

The Giants’ starting pitching as a whole has been much better this season than last season, but starting pitching is a valuable commodity in MLB. If a team has depth in their starting pitching rotation, they’re more likely to have a successful season and deep run in the postseason.

Samardzija would be a great addition to pretty much any starting pitching rotation in MLB, regardless of how strong a team’s starting pitching is already. He just earned his first win of the season against the Giants, but he has been outstanding all season. He currently has a 1.68 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, 2.7 WAR, and a .216 opponent batting average. He also throws hard, and he’s not afraid to pitch inside.

If the Giants were to try to trade for Samardzija, they would have to give up top prospect Kyle Crick. Jesse Rogers of ESPN believes the Giants and Samardzija would be a good fit, and he says they should give up Crick in order to get him.

Unlike the New York Yankees, the Giants might make a good trade partner. Their top prospect is right-handed pitcher Kyle Crick, 21, who’s 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA in Double-A right now. Crick is ranked 69th in Law’s top 100 prospects and fills a need the Cubs have: young starting pitching. Cubs Double-A starter CJ Edwards ranks 67th on Law’s list so the two could move up the ladder together.

The Giants don’t have another prospect in Law’s top 100 — though most of their top guys are pitchers — and Crick shouldn’t be enough to pry Samardzija away so the deal will need some maneuvering but Crick could be the centerpiece. He was a first round pick in 2011 and had a 1.57 ERA at High-A ball last season.

As Rogers pointed out though, it’s unlikely that giving up solely Crick would be enough to get this trade done. The Cubs would most likely want two MLB-ready pitching prospects in return for Samardzija, and the Giants simply don’t have that. The Giants don’t have many other highly sought-after prospects, besides Crick, so it’d be difficult for them to come up with the right package of players to acquire Samardzija.

In addition to this problem, the Giants have developed Crick in the hopes that he can eventually become a part of their starting rotation. Depending on when he becomes MLB-ready, the Giants would probably look to him to take over Ryan Vogelsong or Tim Hudson’s spot in the starting rotation, once their contracts are up or they retire.

Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group summed it up best when describing if the Giants should pursue Samardzija or not.

“If you’re a Giants fan, the best bet is to simply hope that he doesn’t end up in the division,” Pavlovic wrote.

The Giants don’t have the necessary resources to acquire a quality starting pitcher like Samardzija. All they can hope for is that he doesn’t end up in the NL West.

Tags: San Francisco Giants

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