NL Central Notes: Pirates, Samardzija, Morgan, Cards

The Pirates have earned the No. 1 spot atop the organization talent rankings in the 2014 edition of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook (Baseball America's J.J. Cooper has the details).  The Bucs' strong 2013 draft and their multitude of quality prospects throughout the farm system contributed to the ranking, BA editor John Manuel explained to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  “They have several players we felt would contend to be No. 1 in a lot of different organizations,” Manuel said. “They have several players who fit the profile to be starters on championship-caliber teams. They have more of those than other teams.”

Here's some more from around the NL Central…

  • Jeff Samardzija believes he'd be unlikely to sign an extension with a new team following a trade from the Cubs, the right-hander tells CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney.  “The odds are very slim that I would," Samardzija said.  "For any professional player two years out of free agency, the odds they sign a deal are pretty slim (in that situation)."  Samardzija said his feelings could change if he's actually in that situation, but he tells Mooney that his preference would be to stay with the Cubs.  Click here for an earlier portion of Mooney's pre-Christmas interview with Samardzija.
  • The Reds aren't one of the six-to-eight teams who have shown interest in Nyjer Morgan, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports.  Morgan enjoyed a big 2013 season with the Yokohama Bay Stars and is weighing offers from both MLB and Japanese clubs.
  • The Cardinals seemingly have pitching to spare, but Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out that the club's arms have thrown a lot of extra high-pressure innings over the last few seasons due to the Cardinals' deep playoff runs.  "This is why I have no problem with GM John Mozeliak's obvious desire to hoard pitching. You just never know when you're going to need arms to come to the rescue," Miklasz writes.
  • The Cardinals plan to expand their scouting and development operations within Japan and Cuba over the next year, Mozeliak tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • In other NL Central news from earlier today, the Pirates signed Chris Dickerson to a minor league deal, the Cardinals claimed Rafael Ortega off waivers from the Rangers, Brewers GM Doug Melvin commented on his team's lack of free agent moves, Reds GM Walt Jocketty discussed the difficulties of signing Homer Bailey to an extension.


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40 Comments on "NL Central Notes: Pirates, Samardzija, Morgan, Cards"


Member
WillGio
1 year 6 months ago

lol the Cardinals expanding their scouting and developing? What were they doing before?

Member
Teufelshunde4
1 year 6 months ago

Seems to be aimed at international scouting.. The word is Cuba, and Asia are the targets.. Some Cards fans thin they should drop 50 plus million on Cuban guy Diaz… Makes no sense…

Member
WillGio
1 year 5 months ago

Exactly, go for the less heard of talent. Taveras was relatively off the radar when the Cards picked him up, if people knew the potential he had you would have seen a bidding war for the kid. Btw who is this guy named Diaz?

Member
VanHicklestein
1 year 5 months ago

Aledmys Diaz, a Cuban shortstop. Given the Cardinals’ struggles in coming up with a competent shortstop, linking his name to the Cardinals was to be expected.

Member
VanHicklestein
1 year 5 months ago

Clearly, focusing on South America.

Member
Sky14
1 year 6 months ago

A little bit surprised the Pirates ranked a head of the Twins, but both systems have a lot of high end talent. The NL Central should be very competitive for many years with the amount of talent the Cards, Bucs and Cubs have in their systems.

Member
rikersbeard
1 year 6 months ago

Both have dynamic farm systems, but I think Bucs just have noticeably more upside on the big league roster than the Twins.

Member
rikersbeard
1 year 6 months ago

Nevermind, they were only discussing the farm system.

Member
Sky14
1 year 6 months ago

If they were going on young talent including the MLB rosters there is no question, I would agree except the Cards would likely top that list. I think perhaps the Twins 1-5 is better but the Bucs have more upside 5-10 on a top ten list.

Member
Lee Foo Young
1 year 6 months ago

Where would the Bucs be, if they hadn’t inexplicably lost out on Sano?

Wow!

Member
BENT_WOOKIE
1 year 6 months ago

if the cubs can get exactly what they want for samardzija, then trade him. if not, just keep him. if they end up contending it’s because the young guys are stepping up, and they’ll be doing it cheaply. the only other high cost guys are what, edwin jackson and starlin/rizzo and even their contracts aren’t all that crazy. it’s not ideal to pay market price when he hits FA, but it’s not so crazy considering we are, you know, a big market.

Member
Nathan Boley
1 year 6 months ago

This is like Christmas Day for a Pirates fan like myself. I don’t even know why anyone gets all worked up about the lack of free agency activity the Pirates show. They have so much talent down on the farm, I would happily bet we’ll be successful for the next few years regardless of our budget.

Member
AsHeR
1 year 6 months ago

I really hope its you guys and my Cubs competing for the division for the next decade or so. Pirates have always been my 2nd team. And I’m sure you can agree that I’m getting sick of the Cards and Reds.

Member
Nathan Boley
1 year 6 months ago

I’ve never liked the Reds but I don’t mind the Cardinals…yet. The Cubs are my second favorite team in the division. Nothing, however, will ever annoy me more than the mid-2000s Brewers who used to torture my Buccos on a daily basis.

Member
BENT_WOOKIE
1 year 6 months ago

so we are all in agreement, wisconsin is to be hated by all.

Member
AsHeR
1 year 6 months ago

ugh Chris Capuano and Carlos Lee… always killed us too

Member
Ferrariman
1 year 6 months ago

the reds haven’t really won anything for you to be sick of them haha.

Member
AsHeR
1 year 6 months ago

you’re right. but they beat us a lot. and maybe its just knowing Dusty Baker is their manager

Member
Joe
1 year 6 months ago

WAS their manager.

Member
tenncub
1 year 6 months ago

Samardzija has said, repeatedly that he would like to stay with the Cubs, yet he refuses to sign an extension. However, from the Cubs standpoint, they can’t afford to let him walk for nothing. They either need to wrap him up for several years, or get the biggest haul available for him. One or the other is sure to happen. Bank on it! If he really wants to stay, he needs to consider signing that extension. IMHO

Member
ice_hawk10
1 year 6 months ago

And by saying he would be unlikely to sign an extension with the team he’d be traded to, he likely diminishes some of the interest other teams have in him. Seems like he’s really trying to back the Cubs into a corner here.

Member
Cubstein
1 year 6 months ago

And of course now most fans consider this competitive spirit. If he struggles this year, it’s considered a cancer to the team. Just look at what happened with Big Z.

Member
oh Hal
1 year 6 months ago

Its not surprising he doesn’t sign an extension if its the rumored 5/55. He’ll get much more than that as a FA. He might want to stay, but also wants Theo to get real.

Member
1 year 6 months ago

Theo shouldn’t be in a hurry to re-sign him. He’s under control through 2015, so let’s see which Shark shows up in 2014… the first-half one who looked like a Cy Young candidate, or the second-half one who looked like an end of the rotation journeyman.

Member
Cubstein
1 year 6 months ago

Any team acquiring him would give up much more for two playoff runs rather than just one. He has until July at the latest to either sign an extension or be traded in my opinion. Of course if a team blows them away with an offer before then, he may have less time. Of course he’s trying to sabotage his trade value by claiming he most likely won’t sign an extension with whatever team that acquires him.

Member
tenncub
1 year 5 months ago

I disagree. Theo should be in a hurry to sign him since his trade value will drop as he gets closer to free agency or if his performance isn’t good enough to warrant the high asking price. I’d love to keep him, but not if he walks and we get nothing for him in 2 years.