As my fellow writer Brian Draus pointed out today on the website, how should the White Sox go about trading Jeff Samardzija? He laid out some options on to whether they should sell quickly or wait until the final hour before dealing him away.
I cannot disagree with either solution but I am here to offer an alternative. The Sox should not trade Samardzija but rather hold onto him and lose him for a compensatory pick next year.
Why should they hold onto him you ask? Well per Dan Hayes of CSNChicago, a scout told him that the White Sox may not get much as for him as we had all hoped.
Some scouts view on Samardzija is that he’s more of a number two or three starter than a number one. If this is the case and Samardzija can’t land you top end talent in return, then I believe that the team would be smarter to just hold onto him and get a first round pick in return if he were to leave via free agency.
By holding onto Samardzija until the end of the year the team can extend him a qualifying order which if he turns down, will turn into a first round pick if he signs with a team that didn’t finish with a bottom 10 record. If he were to sign with a club that finishes in the bottom 10 they’d get a pick at the end of the first round.
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Right now the Sox are tied for the ninth worse record in baseball so realistically they’d only have nine teams that could sign him without losing their first round pick. In my opinion, Boston is the only team that would make sense for him. However, they may view him as a secondary starter as well and will likely look for a true ace.
Why do I value a draft pick over two or three guys?
There are no guarantees with draft picks. But trading for prospects, especially those who are considered to be mid-level guys is not what I’d expect in a market where pitching is valued so much. If I were to trade Samardzija I’d want an organization’s top-five guy in return and if they are not willing to give me that, then why trade him for guys who are more than likely to provide depth in the minors and never contribute to the big league club?
I am by no means saying that if the right offer doesn’t come along, don’t take it, but it needs to be an offer with an A-lister in the prospect pool. Even better if it’s one that could help you out right away whether it be at any of the infield spots or catcher. It’s just that I view the potential of having an additional second first round pick as something considerable.