According to Jason Churchill, the Chicago Cubs have been talking to Jeff Samardzija and his agent about a possible long-term extension. This is really not surprising because the Cubs have reportedly been pondering the idea of a long-term extension with Samardzija since last season.
Churchill brought up a possible extension that could look similar to the one the Cincinnati Reds game to starting pitcher Johnny Cueto. Cueto’s extension with the Reds was for 4 years at 27 million. Annually it’s 6.75 million a year. Honestly, I would be fine with that extension. However, people think it’s too much but I don’t think it is. I can see why the Cubs will wait on an extension as this is Samardzija’s 1st year of arbitration and has 2 years left before he hits free agency. This is how I see it, the Cubs will be taking a gamble … if he has another good season and improves – his price goes up, but if he struggles – his price goes down. So, it’s really a 50/50 call on if you should give him an extension in his 1st year of arbitration.
Last season, Samardzija had a breakout season … posting a 9-13 record and a 3.81 era in 174.2 innings. He also walked 58 and struck out 180. Samardzija will only be 28 on Wednesday, January 23rd. Let’s just hope he can repeat this season or have an even better season.
Under former general manager Jim Hendry’s tenure, Samardzija was a relief pitcher. If Hendry was still the GM, who knows, Samardzija might have never gotten the chance to start. But Theo Epstein made it clear that they will stretch out Samardzija to start and by doing do, his 1st year was a success.
The Cubs and Matt Garza avoided arbitration late last night. Could we hear news of the Cubs avoiding arbitration or knocking down an extension with Samardzija very soon? I think we could, but a 1-year contract avoiding arbitration is what we will probably see. As Churchill said a 1-year contract is the likely scenario and ESPNChicago’s Bruce Levine said confirmed a 1-year deal is what we will most likely see.
Other news at notes:
*Cubs Vice President of scouting and minor leagues, Jason McLeod says top prospect Javier Baez will remain at shortstop. Even though, Baez would be open to a move to 3B. He didn’t get specific, but this may be a now moved and a change in the future could still happen.
*1B Anthony Rizzo is the only active Cub of whom will play in the World Baseball Classic. He will be teaming up with Italy. SS Starlin Castro wanted to play, but didn’t get the nod from team Dominican Republic. However, the Cubs do have 2 players in the minor leagues that will play in the WBC as well … pitcher Ryan Searle – Australia and pitcher Yao-Lin Wang – Chinese Taipei.
*OF Jorge Soler will likely start at a higher level than Low-A Kane County per Jason McLeod. However, he will have to convince the front office.
*Jason McLeod says pitching prospect Trey McNutt future is still to be determine, but he’ll likely be a relief pitcher. That does make sense with his past history of injuries and there’s a great chance he’ll be more effective out of the bullpen.
*Ex-Cubs Mark Prior and Kerry Wood spoke with the minor leagues yesterday on to make it the majors and how it can be an up/down career. Yeah, don’t get injured… that’s it!
*The Ricketts family has an agreement to build a Sheraton Hotel across the street in the McDonald’s lot. It will be conditioned on the Wrigley Field funding.