Jason Hammel a likely quick-flip candidate for Cubs
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter July 2, 2014 10:30PM
Updated: July 3, 2014 2:19AM
BOSTON — The Cubs’ traveling trade show lands next in Washington, where top trading chips Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija are scheduled to start the first two games of the series — with either making his potential final start as a Cub every time he goes to the mound.
A year ago Tuesday, the Cubs and Baltimore Orioles “jumped the market” with the trade that sent flip guy Scott Feldman to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop more than four weeks before the trading deadline.
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer doesn’t seem to anticipate enough single-minded urgency from a team toward his guys to make that happen, but he’s ready for it.
“Ultimately, sometimes it takes a deadline to make deals,” said Hoyer, who, along with team president Theo Epstein, has had conversations for weeks with potential trade-season buyers.
“I don’t think you ever go into July thinking you’re going to make deals early, but sometimes it can come together.”
One long-time major-league evaluator said this year’s sign-to-flip guy on the Cubs’ roster, Jason Hammel (7-5, 2.98), is clearly the best flip guy in three seasons of using the strategy (including Paul Maholm in 2012). That explains the multitude of teams that sources say are interested, including Seattle, San Francisco and the Yankees.
Another source said he believes a team will strike quickly on Hammel to get the additional four or five starts between Friday and July 31.
Samardzija is more likely to be a deadline deal because of the high asking price and the value he brings with an additional year of club control before free agency.
NOTE: Look for Arismendy Alcantara, Pacific Coast League player of the week last week, to be called up if he keeps up what he’s doing at Class AAA Iowa. The Cubs have played the second baseman in the outfield to create more versatility for a potential big-league role. “He’s the under-appreciated guy in our system,” Jed Hoyer said, adding that Alcantara, 22, belongs in the discussion of the organization’s top prospects with the so-called Core Four.