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.

Joe Musgrove shut down with ab discomfort

Joe Musgrove
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Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.

Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.

While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.