SAN FRANCISCO -- On a recent Baseball Tonight podcast, ESPN reporter Buster Olney and prospects guru Keith Law discussed the possibility of Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija ending up with the San Francisco Giants this season.
While there’s no real information the Giants have interest just yet, the idea makes sense on several levels. First off, San Francisco is in the pennant race this season, which wasn’t the case a year ago when they finished 76-86 in the National League West. It’s probably why you never heard the Giants inquiring about Samardzija last season as other teams like Arizona did. But their success dictates them adding before the trade deadline.
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.
Samardzija would fit in well pitching at AT&T Park. Last year, it was the fourth best place to pitch in the majors. Wrigley Field was second worst. Despite giving up three earned runs here in his first victory of the season Monday, he still dominated, giving up only six hits while striking out 10 without walking a batter.
“Today (Monday) was probably the first day I felt like I had all four of them,” Samardzija said afterwards of all his pitches.
So the Giants saw some of the best of Samardzija in what will be his lone start against them before the trade deadline. San Francisco already has good starting pitching but you can never have enough. And when a guy like Samardzija comes on the market, everyone will and should be calling.