The Baltimore Orioles could be looking to make a big move at the trade deadline. They have had scouts watching Chicago Cubs pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel on consecutive nights. The team, sitting at 33-31, might be looking to make a run into the postseason with some trade deadline acquisitions. And no better place to start than the rotation, something that has been up and down for the team so far this year.
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune mentioned that scouts were in attendance to watch Hammel pitch five innings last night, and will be in attendance again tonight, this time scouting out Samardzija. Hammel's outing was one of his worst this season, as he allowed four runs on 11 hits, taking the loss in a 4-2 defeat to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Jeff Samardzija has been one of the hottest commodities to be traded this year, but Sports Rumor Alert's own Robert Murray believes the Cubs should attempt to keep him. If Samardzija was to be put on the trade block, many teams, such as the New York Yankees or Toronto Blue Jays, would be knocking on the Cubs' door, which would make it much harder for the Orioles to acquire the right-hander. Jason Hammel, however, has been target much less and could be in the ballpark for the Orioles, both price-wise and competitor-wise.
On the season, Samardzija has a 2.54 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and a 3.04 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) in 85 innings pitched. He is sixth in the National League for pitchers in fWAR (Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement) and has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 75 to 24. Hammel has a 2.81 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and a 3.02 FIP in 83.1 innings pitched. He has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 76 to 18.
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