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Jun 12, 2014

Column: Cubs should keep Jeff Samardzija and trade for David Price

By on 9:00 AM

The Chicago Cubs are likely going to be big spenders this offseason. Their farm system is loaded with talented players and most of them are close to MLB ready. When they are eventually called up, the Cubs are going to need to have proven MLB talent that can take them to the next level.

One of their best players, Jeff Samardzija, has been subject to many trade rumors the last couple years. Many expect the Cubs to trade him, but would that really be in their best interest?

Sure, they would get many top level prospects in return, but they wouldn't have a proven ace in their starting rotation. In order to be a legitimate playoff contender, you need to have a strong pitching staff and a very good ace.

The Cubs have many talented hitting prospects that likely will never see the field as everyday players. Something they lack is depth in the starting pitching department at both the minor and major-league level.

What if the Cubs wanted to package some of those hitting prospects to make a blockbuster deal, say, for Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price? With the Rays struggling this year, they are likely going to rebuild and could end up dealing their young ace.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal recently mentioned this idea and it is definitely intriguing from the Cubs perspective. Having two young, talented pitchers in the same rotation has to be something they would love to have, but it will be tough to pull off.

Samardzija wants out of Chicago. He wants to win now and the Cubs current roster isn’t exactly going to win many games. They are roughly two years away from being a playoff contender and that isn’t something that is appealing to him. Making a move for Price could show Samardzija that the Cubs are in fact serious about winning.

Having a team built around Price, Samardzija, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant would give the Cubs a very good foundation. Combine that with some of their other prospects and veterans and you have the makings of a really good team that is capable of going deep in the playoffs.

It would be a very pricey investment for the Cubs to make and it's something that they may not be able to afford. They'd have to lock up both pitchers to long-term deals and it likely would cost them in excess of $200 million. It's highly unlikely, but if they are in fact serious about winning in the near future, it's something they should consider.

Follow Robert on Twitter @RobertMurrayMLB


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