Mailbag Monday

Larry from Pekin asked: How long does Samardzija stay in Chicago? And if he is traded what would you be looking to get in return?

Driscoll: Great question, and one that many other fans have been asking. In my opinion, there is no reason to wait to trade Jeff Samardzija. Yes, with our farm system developing three excellent hitters (Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Albert Almora) pitching will become highly important. However, the Cubs can afford to to part with their ace. Especially if they can get some young talent in return, and despite Sunday’s game against the Brewers, the price for Samardzija should remain high. At the moment, it seems like the Baltimore Orioles are the leading team of interest. If this is the case, I would expect top arms like Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. Although snagging them both may be a little out of reach. I’d settle for Gausman with Hunter Harvey or Eduardo Rodriguez.

Kenny from Downers Grove asked: Do you see the Cubs bringing up Kris Bryant or Javier Baez or both in September to get them some big league experience before giving them a shot to make the opening day roster next year?

Driscoll: I see that happening for Baez, definitely, once all is well with his ankle injury. We see Mike Olt struggling primarily because of his inexperience. He is working hard to learn and make corrections, but Olt has not seen a majority of the pitchers he is facing. I think Baez has proven how excellent he is with the bat, smashing home runs of ridiculous length. However, there is nothing better than experience. With Rick Renteria’s strength in player development, I’d rather see Baez developed under him than in the minor leagues. Kris Bryant is another excellent player. In his past 7 games he hit three doubles, three home runs, and earned a .545 batting average. Both of these players would improve Chicago’s team. My only issue with bringing them up is defense. It is a little unclear where the Cubs will place them. I wouldn’t mind trading Darwin Barney, then place Baez at 2nd. Bryant is a little more difficult. I see him in right or left field, but bringing up Baez would be a little easier of a transition this season.

Jakub from Chicago asked: Why should I keep watching the Cubs?

Driscoll: Oof. You’re right, Jakub. It’s hard to watch a team that is consistently in last place. However, our farm system may entice you a little. It is among the best in baseball. Currently, the Cubs have seven players in the top 100 and three of those players are in the top 20. “There’s always next year” is a common phrase for any Cubs fan, but when these young players join Chicago’s roster a winning season next year may actually be a possibility. Hang in there!

Thanks for the questions! Feel free to send me more here or @CubbieClubhouse on Twitter.

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