Blue Jays “putting together package of young players” for Cubs starter Jeff Samardzjia

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Some potentially interesting Sunday morning hot stove tweets …

The Cubs have discussed a long-term contract with Samardzjia, but coming to an agreement could be tough after a few up-and-down seasons. The 28-year-old former Notre Dame wideout had a 3.81 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 180/56 K/BB ratio in 174 2/3 innings with Chicago in 2012. He then posted a 4.34 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 214/78 K/BB ratio across 213 2/3 frames in 2013. Samardzija is arbitration-eligible for the second this winter and will be arbitration-eligible for the third and final time next winter. He can then become a free agent.

Toronto registered a brutal 4.25 staff ERA in 2013, which ranked 25th in the major leagues.

Report: White Sox discussing trade for Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson
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A number of teams are making calls about Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson these days, as is the general nature of the offseason. Per Jason Kinander of FanSided, there have been some preliminary trade discussions between the Dodgers and the White Sox, though a formal deal doesn’t appear imminent and any potential competition from other clubs is still unknown.

Pederson, 26, has enjoyed quite a run with the Dodgers over the last five years. A perennial 25-home run hitter (when healthy), he slashed .248/.321/.522 with 56 RBI, an .843 OPS, and 2.7 fWAR through 443 plate appearances during the 2018 regular season. Following the Dodgers’ unsuccessful postseason campaign, Pederson agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract in advance of the arbitration deadline, and is currently slated to remain under team control through the 2020 season.

Despite his relative affordability and clear value to the club, shedding Pederson from their roster would allow the Dodgers to pursue the kind of right-handed hitters they need to balance out their 2019 lineup. It’s not certain what the White Sox are prepared to give up, but Kinander mentions right-hander Carson Fulmer, lefty reliever Aaron Bummer, and recent draft pick/third baseman Bryce Bush as a few possibilities.