I don't have anything personal against Nick Cafardo, although you could be forgiven for thinking so. Two or three times a year he ties to Twins to something that doesn't make a great deal of sense. The latest turn involves potential trade suitors for the White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Per his "Updates on nine" section:
1. Jeff Samardzija, RHP, White Sox — Teams are tempted but don’t know what to make of him because of his 4.53 ERA and struggles this season. His affordability as a rental and the fact that he’s not a No. 1-caliber starter in the eyes of most scouts but a good second or third guy in a rotation make him worth looking at. But the White Sox likely wouldn’t receive a great return. That’s why the same teams looking at Clay Buchholz are looking at Samardzija — the Royals, Tigers, Twins, Blue Jays, Yankees, Cardinals, Orioles, Angels, and Dodgers.
If that comes as a surprise to you for any number of reasons, you're not alone. Minnesota's starting rotation has posted a 3.82 ERA this season, which is the eighth-best in all of baseball and third-best in the American League. Ervin Santana is making his Twins debut on Sunday. Ricky Nolasco is still getting paid, even though he's on the disabled list, so he has to be inconsideration, too. None of that deals with the potential of Alex Meyer or, in September, Jose Berrios.
Samardzija, 30, is a free agent at the end of 2015 and therefore qualifies as a rental down the stretch this summer. The Twins can be both buyers and sellers as we turn the calendar to July, but the starting rotation is such a low priority right now that seeing Minnesota on Cafardo's list is a bit baffling. Even if, as Cafardo assumes, the Chicago right-hander wouldn't require much by way of prospects, seeing an inter-divisional trade would be improbable. Samardzija gets some swinging strikes, and his FIP (3.67) and xFIP (3.70) out-perform his ERA (4.53), but acquiring him would cause so much consternation in the way of roster spots in the rotation that the very idea isn't just surprising it would also be very out of character for the Minnesota front office.
None of this isn't to say that there isn't a good argument for picking up another starting pitcher. But would Samardzija be on that list? Let's see what you think.