The Chicago Cubs have indicated that starter Jeff Samardzija is available this winter, and the Toronto Blue Jays are definitely interested in acquiring him. According to Bruce Levine, the Blue Jays are discussing the possibility of acquiring Samardzija from the Cubs, and are putting together a package of young players in an effort to do so.
After it became known that the Cubs were unlikely to sign Samardzija to an extension this winter, many teams have surfaced as potential fits in a trade.
As Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported two weeks ago, the Nationals are expected to make a run at the 28-year old this winter, along with their pursuits of Rays' lefty David Price and AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.
The Diamondbacks expressed serious interest in acquiring Samardzija before the non-waiver trade deadline in July, and are likely to make another attempt at acquiring him this winter.
Samardzija, who is under team control for two more seasons, was 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA in 2013, his second season as a starter with the Cubs. He has a career record of 29-35 with a 4.19 ERA in 189 games (66 starts), and has been widely coveted by teams looking to capitalize on the Cubs' firesale throughout the last year.
After a disappointing 2013 season, the Blue Jays are likely to add two starting pitchers before camp opens in Dunedin next February. The team had interest in a reunion with Josh Johnson and Tim Hudson, but they ultimately signed with the Padres and Giants, respectively. In addition, the team inquired on free agent starters Hiroki Kuroda and Ervin Santana, and they could pursue Matt Garza or Ubaldo Jimenez.