Sep 22, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcherJeff Samardzija
(29) throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago White Sox really do need a right-handed starting pitcher, and they are currently one of at least two teams in talks for Jeff Samardzija of the Oakland Athletics.
But the question I have is … Is Samardzija worth trading the No. 2 prospect in the organization for?
As it is being reported, the Athletics (the current team of Samardzija) are interested in Tim Anderson, a MiLB shortstop within the White Sox organization?
In an article from the San Francisco Chronicle and baseball writer Susan Slusser, it says the following:
"“While many outlets today are reporting that shortstop Alexei Ramirez is the A’s target, I’m hearing that minor-league shortstop Tim Anderson is also a player Oakland likes a lot.”"
With Samardzija, he has one year left on his current contract. If I were the White Sox and in fact traded for him, and if I were trading the second best prospect in the organization in Anderson, I would want some type of contract extension for the RHP in place before the trade took place.
If the trade were for Alexei Ramirez, both players are eligible to become free agents in 2016, so that would be a trade that might make a little more sense in terms for the future of the organization without a new contract.
Looking at Anderson, he was the 17th overall pick of the White Sox in ’13, and in three MiLB stops this past year, with the highest level being Double-A, he batted a combined .301 in 83 games.
In those games, he also built a .481 slugging percentage and .808 OPS. Anderson also collected 104 hits in those three levels of play, with 21 doubles, seven triples and nine home runs. All of that also helped add up to 40 RBIs.
While in the Arizona Fall League, Anderson batted .301 with the Glendale Desert Dogs in 23 games (93 at-bats). In that span, he totaled 28 hits, including six doubles and two home runs (nine RBIs).
I know the White Sox want to win now, I want them to win now, but is trading the future shortstop/second baseman of the organization (most likely in 2016) worth if for Samardzija?
This could become a trade of potential (Anderson) for a proven commodity (Samardzija).
In ’14, Samardzija totaled 219.2 innings with 202 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.065. His WAR (wins above replacement) was 1.7. Samardzija walked just 43 batters last season. His season ERA with the A’s and Chicago Cubs was 2.99.
If the White Sox were to trade Ramirez and maybe a couple other lower prospects, I could agree to such a deal. Anderson is tough to trade, just for the fact he is batting over .300 in all his various levels of baseball as he works his way to Triple-A and eventually the MLB roster.
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But again, Samardzija could give the White Sox one of the best rotations in all of baseball if they were to add him to the mix next season.
The rotation of the White Sox could possibly be: Chris Sale (LHP), Samardzija (RHP), Jose Quintana (LHP), John Danks (RHP) and possibly No. 1 prospect Carlos Rodon (LHP). That’s a scary one-to-five rotation, especially if Danks could get back on track after his performances the past two seasons.
I get it, to get a player like Samardzija the White Sox must give up someone big in return, but would the A’s be a fan of the $10 million owed to Ramirez next season? I doubt it, but didn’t they just sign designated hitter Billy Butler to a three-year, $30 million deal? So who knows what that team is thinking?
Maybe the A’s aren’t afraid to spend more money this season, so the money owed to Ramirez wouldn’t be such a big deal.
If it were me, it would be very hard to trade a prospect like Anderson with the current lineup the White Sox have. If they do trade for a pitcher like Samardzija it really shows they are in a “win-now mode,” but they can add all the starting pitching and even a DH like Adam LaRoche, but the bullpen will need more work if the White Sox really want to be competitive in ’15.
Any time an organization has to possibly trade top prospects it is a tough decision, because who knows what that player will become? I actually trust General Manager Rich Hahn and Co. in this situation, and I’m excited to see what occurs in the next few days in terms of a possible trade.