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Jeff Samardzija Trade Rumors: Braves, White Sox

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It's a slow Saturday. So why not discuss a former Cub?

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Let's get this out of the way right off the bat: Jeff Samardzija is not coming to the Cubs by trade, nor do I think I want him back.

But Shark was a popular Cub for several seasons. He's one of only eight players still active from the 2008 Cubs division title team (Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, Reed Johnson, Casey McGehee, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall and Neal Cotts are the others).

So here's a place for you to discuss two rumors that are floating around Saturday. First, from the Sun-Times:

The former Cubs right-hander, whose presence between Chris Sale and Jose Quintana in the starting rotation would instantly legitimize the Sox’ threat to the Tigers and Royals in the American League Central, would come to the Sox at considerable cost. At a projected $9.5 million in his final year of arbitration, Samardzija has only one year left before he becomes a free agent. And he has said he’s not interested in signing a long-term deal until he becomes a free agent, so there’s a good chance he would come to the Sox as a one-year rental.

That said, sources confirmed the Sox are in discussions involving Samardzija, with one speculating they are past the "just talking" stage.

"I believe serious talks are going on," an American League source said.

The article goes on to mention Alexei Ramirez as someone who might be included in such a deal, though that appears to be speculation on the part of Daryl Van Schouwen.

There's also this tweet from the Bay Area News Group:

That would be a pretty big deal, and would signal rebuilding on the part of the Braves (since they'd not be certain of having Samardzija past a one-year rental) and more retooling on the part of Billy Beane, who went for it all last summer when he traded for Shark and Jon Lester. That blew up when the A's lost the wild-card game to the Royals.

Samardzija on the South Side? Here's a 2012 article where he takes a bit of a shot at the Sox:

The former reliever, who claimed to be a fan of both Chicago baseball teams when he grew up in Northern Indiana, sounded Thursday as if he may have had an affinity for the White Sox when he was younger. But that didn’t stop him from taking a shot.

Samardzija, who is starting in the series opener Friday, was asked if there was any phrase or saying from White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson that he enjoyed in his youth. He started out praising the White Sox’s old broadcast team, then turned on the club.

"There’s a lot of them, man," Samardzija said. "I always liked the ones where he didn’t talk for like an inning and a half. Then all of a sudden he’d be like, ‘The 2-2, two outs …’ It’s like, well, where were the other 15 pitches that happened that inning?

"That was when (Darrin Jackson) was (on TV) too. I loved watching those guys. They’re entertaining. I always liked his ‘Hose’ call. That was my favorite. They’re fun to watch, fun to listen to. Like I said, you can always get a good nap in during the Sox game."

As the Sun-Times article notes, a deal to the White Sox doesn't seem likely because they don't seem like the sort of team that would give Samardzija the kind of long-term extension he'd be looking for. For the Sox he'd likely be a rental, and possibly traded again in July 2015. The Braves could probably afford him after they shed Justin Upton's contract.

It'll be interesting. As I said, a way for you to pass the time on a weekend that's pretty bereft of Cubs rumors.