May 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija throws a pitch against the New York Yankees during the game at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Baltimore Orioles favorite to trade for Jeff Samardzija?

The Chicago Cubs have amassed one of the better minor league systems in baseball, especially offensively, but their Major League product is a sight for sore eyes.

That has lead many to believe that the Cubs will eventually part ways with ace pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who despite a 1.68 ERA on the season has only picked up one victory this season and until this past weekend, was winless over his last 17 starts.

Over the Winter, the Cubs were said to be in serious trade talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks regarding Samardzija, but the two sides struggled to find a middle ground as the Cubs reportedly were seeking quite the return for the former Notre Dame wide receiver.

Now with Samardzija’s pitching at a career best clip, the Cubs are said to be testing the market for the 29-year-old arm and Bruce Levine believes it’s the Baltimore Orioles who are the favorite for his services, at least currently.

“The Baltimore Orioles appear to be the leading team of interest in the sweepstakes for Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija, as sources confirmed the two teams are mutually interested,” says Levine.

While the Cubs have a very solid core of young bats, they lack significant high quality arms in the minor leagues, something the Orioles do have. That seems to give both teams plenty of ammunition for a potential trade, though the Orioles won’t be without competition.

A handful of other teams have expressed interested in Samardzija and more are expected to do so when the Cubs begin to take trade talks a little more seriously.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Chicago Cubs Jeff Samardzija

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