The Baltimore Orioles are expected to be an early candidate to trade for Chicago Cubs hurler Jeff Samardzija ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, a source close to situation reported on Wednesday.
Currently on top of the American League East standings, the Orioles look to add more firepower to their pitching corps by adding another solid hurler in Samardzija.
"This report comes out of CBS Chicago - that the Orioles are interested in Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija, a free agent after the 2015 season who is 1-4 with a 1.68 ERA in 11 starts this season," via Baltimore Suns.
Orioles executive vice president of basketball operations Dan Duquette stressed his team has not set a dateline when they are going to hammer a deal on the trading front, though multiple sources indicated Baltimore could strike before the competition for Zamardzija gains steam.
"We haven't been. We made a trade over the weekend [for catcher Nick Hundley]. It's about adding the needed pieces to our ballclub," Duquette said. "We talk to teams all the time."
With so many key players on the mound playing the final year of their contracts, the Orioles are considered in a win-now season. However, Duquette insisted that they want to develop as much as they could young prospects and keep them as cornerstones for their future campaigns.
"Our young pitching is maturing," Duquette said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to use it to help out our own ballclub."
When asked if he's interested to make a pre-deadline deal for Samardzija, Duquette distanced himself from the issue, believing it's not appropriate to talk about players suiting up for another team.
"It's not appropriate to talk about players on other teams," said the Orioles front office executive.
The Orioles' interest in Samardzija is for real. But then again, this is not the first time Baltimore expressed their desire to get their pitcher's service, but their reluctance to part ways with their prospects has been a major road block in the negotiation.
"Bottom line is Samardzija fits the Orioles, and the Cubs are interested in - and scouting - the Orioles' top prospects. But everybody is interested in Samardzija. And the Orioles have shown reluctance in the past to deal their top pitching prospects," according to Dan Cannolly of the Baltimore Suns.