Jul 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel (39) throws the ball during the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians Reportedly Targeted Ex-Cubs Starters

The Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs pulled off a Fourth of July stunner, with Oakland sending top prospect Addison Russell and others to Chicago for SP Jason Hammel and SP Jeff Samardzija. Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes reports the Cleveland Indians were suitors for the Ex-Cubs pitchers, but balked at the Cubs’s asking price:

The Indians talked to the Cubs about Samardzija and Hammel. It would have cost them Francisco Lindor, Tyler Naquin and Danny Salazar to make the same kind of deal that the A’s did. Lindor was the Tribe’s No.1 pick in 2011 and Naquin their No.1 pick in 2012. Salazar started last year’s wild-card game.

The Tribe was firm about not trading Lindor. They backed off Samardzija and concentrated on Hammel. The Cubs, however, felt they could get the biggest return by putting both pitchers in the same package.

Most scouting sites have Russell and Lindor rated pretty closely as prospects, such as Baseball Prospectus, which rates Lindor as their #6 prospect and Russell as their #7 (requires a subscription but BPro is worth the money).  Naquin is closer to the big leagues than OF Billy McKinley, who was sent to the Cubs, but Naquin isn’t considered to have the same type of ceiling. Salazar is RHP and has struggled recently, earning a demotion to AAA, but he’s arguably a better return than LHP Dan Straily, the pitcher acquired by the Cubs.

It’s still hard to blame the Indians for not wanting to deal Lindor, and in the long run, it could turn out to be a good thing the team was patient on Salazar, and maybe Naquin really surprises us all. Wahoo’s on First’s Michael Chaney took a look at how the Samardzija trade would affect the Indians, and another potential trade target, Brandon McCarthy, was traded to the New York Yankees. Keep checking here at Wahoo’s on First for all Indians trade updates and rumors.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Danny Salazar Francisco Lindor Jason Hammel Jeff Samardzija Tyler Naquin

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