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Cubs and Jeff Samardzija still far apart on a contract extension

Jan 12, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

Jeff Samardzija AP

Last month, the Cubs reportedly offered starter Jeff Samardzija a five-year contract extension worth $55 million. Nothing has surfaced since then, but CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports that the two sides are still far apart on the terms of an extension.

Samardzija’s name has popped up in trade rumors, but Mooney says that the Cubs plan to hold on to their right-hander until at least the trade deadline, when the supply-and-demand dynamics will change. Last year, they were able to unload Matt Garza on the Rangers for Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, C.J. Edwards, and Neil Ramirez. As Samardzija is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility and won’t become a free agent until after the 2015 season, they may be able to get a better package for him than they got for Garza.

Samardzija finished the 2013 season, his second as a full-time starter, with a 4.34 ERA in 213 2/3 innings of work, averaging almost exactly a strikeout per inning pitched. While the ERA is higher than you’d like to see for a player who wants more than $55 million, he earned much better grades from defense-independent statistics such as xFIP, which pegged him at 3.45.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    Samardja bears an uncanny resemblance to someone else we all know and love: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Vlad_Tepes_002.jpg

    You cannot fail to love this.

    • dan1111 - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      Apparently we can fail to love it. But I do see the resemblance.

    • spudchukar - Jan 13, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      The “Impaler”?

  2. tfilarski - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    trade the Shark! he is only 1/4 starts

    • masher1965 - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      HUH ??

  3. fatediesel - Jan 13, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    It’s an odd stance for Samardzija to take. Chicago is near his hometown and from what I’ve read he is happy with the Cubs. He isn’t eligible for free agency for 2 more years so it would seem to make sense for him to take the guaranteed money now rather than risk injury and end up with significantly less money. I’ve watched several of his starts over the years and while he’s good he’s not great so it’s not like he’s guaranteed huge money when he hits free agency.

  4. Gamera the Brave - Jan 13, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    My guess is that the contract dispute centers on the hairstyling stipend.

  5. El Pollo Loco - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    since when did this scrub garner any type of contract like that?

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