The bigger question now is, can Anthony Rizzo pitch?
Because Jeff Samardzija can’t. Not now. Not for a while.
Samardzija was tradeable in May. Now that window has closed.
And yet, you still want to jump out of it.
Oh, Samardzija still can be dealt, but what’s the value of a guy with a preposterous 10.41 ERA and ridiculous 2.06 WHIP in June?
After posting a 2.48 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in May, Samardzija has started five games this month, has lost four in a row, and has yet to get through six innings. He was gone after 4 1/3 innings against the Mets on Wednesday, allowing nine earned runs on six hits and four walks.
Wait a minute, I think Samardzija just walked the pitcher again.
Samardzija was never the big trade chip that Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza are. Now, Dempster isn’t even that Dempster chip until he comes off the disabled list and shows he has returned to form.
Which leaves Garza because he’s healthy and pitching well enough to bring back a load.
Maybe the Cubs want to keep Garza and build around him. Problem is, he’s the guy you would trade to get the best building pieces --- Garza or Starlin Castro.
Garza is regarded as a top-of-the rotation arm, and look who just lost the guy at the very top of their rotation: the Yankees.
CC Sabathia went on the disabled list with a groin problem that might not be healed in 15 days. Hours after that on Wednesday, the Yankees also lost Andy Pettitte to a broken left fibula that projects as a 6-8 week absence.
Bang, 40 percent of the Yankees’ rotation is hurt. Freddy Garcia and his 6.39 ERA will start in Pettititte’s place. Some guy named Adam Warren will be called up from the minors to take Sabathia’s spot. Theo Epstein has Brian Cashman on speed dial, right?
A year ago, Epstein and Cashman were rivals. Now Cubs baseball honcho needs to make the Yankees general manager his new BFF. The sooner, the better. Same goes for dealing Garza before he gets hurt or shows more of that Zambrano-like act on the mound that might turn off another team.
As a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, Garza showed he can win in the AL East. The Yankees were running away from that division and the rest of baseball, but good luck continuing that without your ace and a lefthander whose ERA was even better.
The Yankees figure to make some kind of move before the July 31 trade deadline. The sooner they cut a deal, the sooner they get a better arm for their rotation.
Some would argue that the Cubs should wait to draw more interest from more teams and collect a bigger package. If that was the plan with Dempster, then how’s that plan looking right now?
And another thing: By waiting, the Cubs will find that other teams can play Garza against the likely official availability of Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels.
There’s no way Greinke would be a Yankees target because the right-hander absolutely will fall apart in a big city, so watch the Braves move on Greinke.
But Hamels is something else. He has pitched in Philadelphia, a First Team All-Dispicable city, so take that, you New York #%@!&%#$s. The left-hander also has won a World Series, so it would be understandable if the Yankees would rather have Hamels over Garza.
The only reason the Cubs wouldn’t make a deal is if they found the Yankees’ farm system lacking the prospects they want. But hey, the Yankees were dumb enough to just dump Sox surprise Jose Quintana, so they might be loaded and have no idea that’s the case, ready to be fleeced by Epstein.
I assume Epstein dialed Cashman this morning, if not yesterday. I assume Epstein indicated he had Garza at the drive-thru window, which is more than any other Yankees trade partner could say for a top-of-the-rotation arm.
If nothing else, I assume Epstein asked if the Yankees need a wide receiver.