Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija could be a hot commodity come the trade deadline in July. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
The Baltimore Orioles appear to be the "leading team of interest" to land Chicago Cubs right hand pitcher Jeff Samardzija, according to a report from Bruce Levine of CBS Sports.
The Cubs and Orioles appear interested in making a deal before the July 31 deadline, according to Levine, and Chicago would like to get a subset of Orioles pitchers Kevin Gausman, Hunter Harvey and left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez in exchange for Samardzija.
Samardzija's 1.68 ERA is the second-lowest in baseball for a starting pitcher.
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Samardzija won NL Player of the Week honors last August and has a 30-39 career record, with a 3.90 ERA, 600 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP.
Levine reported that the Cubs, at the bottom of the NL Central with a 19-31 record and most likely not contending for this year's postseason, are looking to get younger and 29-year-old Samardzija doesn't fit into the club's long-term plans. He is set to become a free agent in November 2015.