Sunday, June 22, 2014


Many will say that winning in the game of poker is just luck but others will argue it is skill. Those arbitrators will make their case that winning in the game of poker takes precision and patience. The moves are intentional. I guess the same could be said for the game of baseball. Well, the way I see it is that we have the chance of completing a full house of pitchers if we can pick up Jeff Samardzija from Chicago. In other words, I am seeing a hand of two aces and three jacks with the addition of Samardzija, which could absolutely put us over the top not to mention, give us a full house!

Here are the facts: The trade deadline is fast approaching. In fact it is July 31st. According to Major League Baseball regulations, “any player under contract may be placed on waivers ("waived") at any time. After MLB's July 31 trade deadline and through to the end of the season, however, a team must place a player on waivers if that player is to be eligible to be traded.” According to Fox Sports, Samardzija has rejected a five-year, $85-million deal from his home team. CBS Sports Jon Heyman states that, “From everything we've heard about Samardzija over his fairly short Cubs tenure, he values two things above all else. First and foremost is winning. And he's on the Cubs, so they are at an immense handicap to start, at least for the foreseeable future. Second on Samardzija's short priority list is having the chance to be paid his true market value. To do that, normally one has to go on the market, which won't happen until he's a free agent after the 2015 season.” I say, why wait. And frankly, Samardzija is transitioning into his prime pitching years. Why waste those 18 months in Chicago?

If Samardzija is looking to win, New York is the place to do it. We just swept the first place Toronto Blue Jays. Our team is gelling. The synergy is electric. The pitching staff, particularly the bullpen, is battling batters like no other. According to ESPN, as a pitching staff, we are ranked 16th out of the 30 teams in the major leagues over the last seven days, which is an upswing for us as a team. I am not really a betting person, but I would bet on Samardzija to move us into the top 10. And that kind of performance will keep us on the fast track to win the pennant.

Frankly, it is a win-win situation for the Cubs pitcher and the Yankees. Samardzija gets what he values, a winning team and the Yankees get what they want, a winning team. The pitching rotation or poker hand would look something like this: Ace- Masahiro Tanaka, Ace- Jeff Samardzija, Jack- Hiroki Kuroda, Jack- David Phelps and Jack- Chase Whitley- a full house! If CC Sabathia is able to come back this season, he could step into the rotation for Phelps and Phelps could add value to the bullpen. He’s always said he wants to contribute in any way he can. He’s proven himself valuable. If Michael Pineda is ready to pitch, well, he can take a seat in the dugout. I never did understand him or his issues. He’s a head case if you asked me.

I have always believed that Samardzija could not only be effective in our rotation but he could find success in a big city like New York. He is primed for it. With roots in one of the most prestigious sports programs in the nation at Notre Dame, Samardzija is used to having all eyes on him and the criticism that comes along with being a spotlight athlete. New York could be everything he needs.  It's in his blood to come here. In an interesting spin, however, according to CBS Sports, “some Cubs people have spoken more optimistically about the possibility of signing Samardzija back as a free agent in a year and a half, after they trade him elsewhere, then (hopefully) show marked improvement in the interim, thus proving to him they are on the pennant track.” That’s if the Yankees don’t make him an offer to refuse. But, I am getting ahead of things here. Bottom line- we need Samardzija and he needs us. Let’s make it happen. Play your hand Brian Cashman. You’ve been intentional, precise and you’ve been patiently frugal.

Now it is time to act. Don’t fold!

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @suzieprof


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