The Atlanta Braves started the season as the favorite in the not-exactly-meat-grinder-like NL East, but things have taken a turn for the worse thanks to a series of injuries in the pitching rotation.
In the last few months, the Braves have watched starting pitchers Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and, most recently, Gavin Floyd go down with elbow problems. Atlanta has attempted to patch together a rotation with the likes of Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang but things are not going all that well.
Clearly, an infusion of pitching is needed in Atlanta. Jon Heyman speculated on one possible very expensive solution to the Braves’ problem.
Floyd is the 3rd good SP #braves have lost to elbow (medlen, beachy). Wonder if they’ll play for Samardzija, who they like.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 20, 2014
Samardzija is the biggest chip on this year’s trade market, and has garnered interest from multiple contending teams including the Giants, Yankees and Blue Jays.
The assumption is that no team would be willing to give up a big package for Samardzija without intending to sign him to a long-term deal. The pitcher recently turned down a five-year/$85 million offer from the Cubs, so you have some idea of the kind of money we would be talking about.
Would the Braves really be willing to offer Samardzija that kind of deal? If not, I don’t see them making the trade. Despite their current woes, I can’t envision them giving away a ton of prospects to rent Jeff Samardzija for a few months.
Samardzija will be moved, but to a team that’s willing to lock him down long-term. I don’t know if the Braves are that team. They’ll likely have to find a cheaper solution to their ever-more-vexing pitching problem.