Jeff Samardzija laughs at Yankees trade rumors after Luis Severino injury


Jeff Samardzija laughs at Yankees trade rumors after Luis Severino injury

The MLB regular season doesn't start for another month, and Giants starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija already is dealing with trade rumors.

New York Yankees All-Star pitcher Luis Severino's recent injury history went from bad to the worst-case scenario Tuesday when general manager Brian Cashman announced Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery. After two straight seasons of playing in the Midsummer Classic, Severino only pitched a combined 20 innings between the regular season and playoffs last year. 

Now, the Bronx Bombers will be without their ace for the entire 2020 season. Could the Yankees and Giants be trade partners? Soon after Severino's upcoming surgery was announced, many people took to Twitter suggesting San Francisco's best two starters, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, could be shipped to the Big Apple. 

Samardzija laughed off the idea Wednesday, with a comedic jab at Derek Jeter and the Yankees. 

Samardzija deserves a slow clap for his response, however, it would make plenty of sense for the Yankees to explore a trade with the Giants for the veteran right-hander. New York has its ace in Gerrit Cole and two veterans behind him in Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ. But with James Paxton out multiple months after back surgery and Domingo German on the restricted list, the Yankees are left with young question marks. 

Manager Aaron Boone now might have to lean on Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Loaisiga at the end of the Yankees' rotation. Clarke Schmidt, and even 20-year-old Deivi Garcia, could become options.

The injury bug took a big bite out of the Yanks last season and already has done so this spring. A proven veteran like Samardzija might be a must for a team with World Series aspirations. But what could they offer the Giants in return? 

Samardzija, 35, will be a free agent after this season. His 3.52 ERA last season was his best since his All-Star campaign in 2014. Baseball America ranks the Yankees' farm system as the 17th best in the game. Garcia and young outfielder Jasson Dominguez are off the table in a trade with the Giants, but outfielder Estevan Florial, along with pitchers Luis Gil, Clarke Schmidt and Albert Abreu all would be intriguing options. 

[RELATED: How Hjelle impressed Zaidi in Giants spring training debut]

Perhaps the Giants would entertain a trade for a young, major league-ready outfielder. Clint Frazier still is only 25 years old but he once again seems to be without a job in New York. In just 69 games last season, Frazier hit 12 homers, 14 doubles and drove in 38 runs for the Yankees. 

Frazier is far from a sure thing in the outfield, but his age and powerful right-handed bat align with what the Giants want right now. While a Samardzija-Frazier swap hasn't been discussed publicly, it could make sense for both sides. 

Samardzija rightfully can laugh off any trade rumors right now in late February. At the same time, Cashman and the rest of the Yankees' front office should have their eyes on the Shark.

D-backs troll Giants over Madison Bumgarner signing, 2017 Opening Day

D-backs troll Giants over Madison Bumgarner signing, 2017 Opening Day

Madison Bumgarner left the Giants for the Arizona Diamondbacks in free agency this offseason, and in an ironic twist, MLB aired the 2017 Opening Day game between the two teams Thursday.

On April 2, 2017, with Bumgarner on the mound for the Giants, they were trying to win their fourth straight Opening Day start.

Bumgarner had an incredible day on the mound and at the plate. In addition to striking out 11 in seven innings, the Giants ace also belted two home runs.

But Mark Melancon, making his Giants' debut, blew the save in the bottom of the ninth.

With the 2020 season on hold, MLB decided to re-air memorable Opening Day games Thursday, and MLB Network sent out a tweet to promote the broadcast of that game.

The D-backs' social media team responded with this tweet.

Giants fans are already hurting over the loss of Bumgarner to a division rival. They don't need his new team to rub it in.

[RELATED: Zaidi doesn't regret holding onto Bumgarner]

Hopefully for the Giants, when the 2020 season starts, they can get the last laugh on the field.

How Giants will be impacted by MLB-MLBPA agreement for 2020 season

How Giants will be impacted by MLB-MLBPA agreement for 2020 season

This is the furthest thing from business as usual for Major League Baseball, but there was still plenty of work to be done over the last couple of weeks. The league and the MLB Players' Association have been hard at work trying to figure out what a 2020 season might look like if players are cleared to return at some point this summer, and how to prepare financially and behind the scenes. 

An agreement was reached Thursday and ratified by owners Friday morning. There is plenty to catch up on, and Jeff Passan of ESPN and Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic did a nice job of providing all the information. Here are some of the key points, with notes on what they specifically mean for the Giants:

--- Service time was the main priority for the MLBPA, which wasn't a surprise. The owners have held service time over players' heads for years, and it's the main reason why top prospects are often left off April rosters. The sides agreed that a player will receive the same number of days in 2020 as he did in 2019 if the season is canceled. If there's not a full season, players will still earn a full year of service time. 

This means that, no matter what, Mookie Betts will get his year of time and be a free agent at the end of the year, which is a small blow to the Dodgers. This isn't that big a deal for the Giants. Jeff Samardzija is the only player on a significant contract that will expire after this season. 

There is a big difference for some other guys when it comes to getting closer to arbitration and free agency. A shortened season would still count as a full one for players like Alex Dickerson, Mike Yastrzemski and Mauricio Dubon, who were not on Opening Day rosters last year. 

Under Farhan Zaidi, the Giants have mostly sat out free agency. But they're close to getting their books in order, and they should be in a nice position to jump in on big names now that there's a guarantee the 2020 free agent class will still exist. With Mission Rock and other side projects, the Giants are better positioned than most other teams to come out of this season with money to spend. 

--- The draft could be as short as five rounds, per ESPN's Passan, and the internationightal signing period could be pushed back to 2021. The 2021 draft could also be shortened to 20 rounds. 

The MLBPA represents players on 40-man rosters, not minor leaguers or amateurs, so there was little reason for them to fight over the draft when they were getting small wins elsewhere, like an advance on salaries. The end result m get the owners closer to eliminating some minor league teams, a goal this past offseason. It also will save them a few million in draft bonuses. 

This is going to have a huge impact on the college game and junior colleges, and it's probably a big bummer for Giants scouts. Team officials believe they're a couple more good drafts away from being truly competitive, and shortened drafts in 2020 and 2021 would certainly make it harder to add talent to a system that is much improved but still needs it. 

The Giants have gone all-in on player development and are counting on finding some diamonds in the rough. Take, for example, Sean Roby. He was a 12th-round draft pick out Arizona Western College in 2018 and after a solid 2019 year he got seven spring at-bats this year, picking up five hits and six RBI. Those are the types of players the Giants are hoping to get into their system and develop every year. 

A five-round draft would still get some high-end talent into every system, but a lot of players would miss out on taking a shot at their dream. Dubon was a 26th-round pick. Yastrzemski went in the 14th round. Tyler Rogers was picked in the 10th round. A lot of amateurs will be left on the outside. 

[RELATED: How Dubon is staying ready]

--- The agreement was necessary to iron out some financial details as both sides seek further clarity on what comes next. At some point they'll need to figure out what spring training looks like, how much they'll expand rosters, if there will be an All-Star break, how many doubleheaders they can play, how late a shortened season can go, and much more. 

But the league, like the rest of society, is on hold: