Blue Jays scouts keep close tabs on Jeff Samardzija

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. (David Banks/USA TODAY Sports)

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. (David Banks/USA TODAY Sports)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:55 PM ET

And Teddy makes 10.

Ted Lekas was at Wrigley Field Saturday night to watch Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija face the Washington Nationals.

How long has he been around? Lekas scouted and signed Chris Carpenter in the first round of the 1993 draft — first from the state of New Hampshire since Carlton Fisk — and delivered a case of the Dom Pérignon champagne to the Long Island home of Billy Koch and his father after signing in 1996. Koch stuck with a handshake agreement and signed when some first rounders became loop-hole free agents after the Atlanta Olympics.

Since last September, no less than 10 Blue Jays scouts have been in checking on Samardzija and other Cubs moving — or soon-to-be moved — parts like right-hander Jason Hammel, who beat Washington on Friday, ex-Jay Carlos Villanueva and second baseman Darwin Barney.

The list of Toronto evaluators Cub-observing is a who’s who of the Jays brain trust.


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