Shi Davidi of Rogers owned Sportsnet is reporting that the Blue Jays are “expected” to make a push for Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija on the trade front. The team has publicly stated that filling a hole at the front of the rotation is a priority this offseason, and Samardzija would certainly fit the bill.
Samardzija is widely seen as the pitching consolation prize of this year’s market, after David Price, whom the Tampa Bay Rays are rumoured to be shopping as he enters his final season before free agency. Samardzija pitched 213.2 in 2013, posting a 3.45 xFIP. While he didn’t have the breakout season many thought, he still managed to strike out over a batter per inning, while coaxing swinging-strikes more than 10.0% of the time. If he is able to manage to cut down on walks and home runs against (possibly a problem at the Roj Mahal) he could be a very good to elite starter the Jays need for their push back to contention.
Davidi also notes that the Blue Jays have called the Cincinnati Reds about catcher Ryan Hanigan whom they have been shopping. The Reds have apparently been moving slowly on making a move. Hanigan is coming off a very poor offensive season, managing just a wRC+ of 53 over 75 games played, which is actually slightly worse than incumbent J.P. Arencibia‘s 57 wRC+, albeit Hanigan is regarded as a vastly superior defender.
At this point, I’ll take anyone that isn’t the run producer formally known as J.P. Arencibia.