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Cubs reportedly made new five-year offer to Jeff Samardzija, but he isn’t going to accept it

Jun 18, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT

jeff samardzija getty Getty Images

Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this week that the Cubs were making a late push to lock up ace right-hander Jeff Samardzija. But it doesn’t sound like anything is going to get done between the two parties.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman confirmed Wednesday that Samardzija and his agent were presented recently with a fresh extension offer but opines that “the chances of Samardzija signing the new proposal amount to something akin to the outmanned, out-of-it Cubs winning the World Series this year.”

Here’s more from Heyman’s latest column …

The Cubs are said by sources familiar with the talks to have upped their previous bid of about $60 million for five years to a bigger number, also for five years, confirming the original Chicago Sun-Times report. The new offer isn’t known but it’s quite possibly something more in the range of $75-80 million but most definitely not in the vicinity of the $105 million guarantee Homer Bailey has with the Reds.

Samardzija, who’s currently under contract through 2015, is likely to be dealt before this year’s July 31 trade deadline. The 29-year-old owns a 2.78 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 90/29 K/BB ratio in 97 innings this season.

The Giants and Royals were among the teams scouting Samardzija on Tuesday night in Miami.


UPDATE, 6:43 p.m. ET: More confirmation here from FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi

  1. redpiratecaptain - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    Why don’t the cubs, a large market team, pay the guy market value? They’re probably not gonna get a sure fire ace back in a trade, which is basically what Shark is now. This isn’t a case like the Pirates or Rays where the team can’t afford it

    • jeffbbf - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      JS is a “sure fire ace”? Tell me again how many times this guy has finished in the top 10 in the Cy Young voting? When was the last time he had a consistently above average season as a starter? What, exactly, has this guy done to deserve a giant contract? He hasn’t even been the best starter on a crappy team. Hammel has been better. Same with Arrieta. The only reason the guy is in the news was because he had an awesome first 10 starts without any run support. 6.55 ERA since then. Same as last year. Trade him.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        More numbers for you, as a starter (Including this absurd year)

        76 GS, 485.1 IP, 3.84 ERA, 104 ERA+, 3.52 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 2.97 K/BB

        Decent peripherals but the league average is slightly worse than he is on preventing runs. Then again that ERA/ERA+ is what some people use to put Jack Morris in the HoF, so what do I know…

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        ERA+, over a career, is decent as a HOF tool. I would never use straight ERA. My “starting point,” on B-Ref., for pitching candidates, is career ERA+ of 110 or better and career WHIP of 1.25 or less.

    • paperlions - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:26 PM

      There is really no such thing as “market value” when bidding on unique objects. “What the market will bear” = the MOST any team is willing to pay. Almost all FAs that are in high demand wind up signing contracts that are horrible deals for their teams.

      Who was the last true FA who signed a long-term deal (5+ years) that worked out well for the team?

      Matt Holliday?

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:06 AM

        If we’re being honest the only reason those 10 year deals don’t work out is because players aren’t earning market value for the first 7 years of their career. If Mike Trout was allowed to hit the open market when he was actually in his prime he’d be paid fair value for his best years and, presumably, teams would be smart enough to contracts decline in value depending on the age they’re signed at.

      • paperlions - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        Oh, I know. The entire process is upside down with players mostly making squat when they are at their best and if they can stay healthy, cashing in while in decline.

        I was just commenting on the notion of a “market” in FA…which is a market, but more like an auction than what people usually think of as a market (i.e. what people in general are willing to pay for goods/services)…as auction markets are set by the single individual willing to pay the most….and in FA, that person is even allowed to bid against themselves, possibly paying a LOT more than anyone else was willing to pay.

        For example, Peralta didn’t set the market for Drew, because there was only 1 buy that interested in a SS….even if there were 2 Peralta’s, the second one likely wouldn’t have sold for a similar price….there is also the confounding factor of roster space, teams only need so many of each item.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:48 PM

      Samardzija is 29 and having what is clearly a career year. I’m sure somebody will overpay for him. I’m also pretty sure the Cubs won’t go much above what they offered.

      After all, he’s not a Borass client, so Heyman’s probably actually telling the straight skinny on this one.

    • kiwicricket - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      He seems transfixed on what others make/might make, but seems to ignore the monetary value on the RHS of the slip of paper.

  2. ottawabrave91 - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    if the royals got him and 1 more hitter………

  3. wiskybuck - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:52 PM


  4. notsofast10 - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    They should trade him and Kris Bryant for lots and lots of prospects. The Cubs like to have prospects! With prospects in the minors, they don’t have to worry about starting the arbitration clock and save money. Yay!!!!

  5. happytwinsfan - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    If he hopes to get a big buck contract for age 29 – 34 this winter, he better hope that Verlander and Sabbathia make a decent comeback. Otherwise GM’s are going to be telling him, we’d love to have you, but 5 years is a long long time for any pitcher who won’t be finishing those years south of 30.

  6. kiwicricket - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    On the strength of 2mnths good pitching(very good in patches last season, terrible in others), while 29 yrs old…he is going to turn down $85M for 5 yrs work.

    I don’t care if it’s money left in billionaires pockets, sometimes players are just stupid greedy bastards.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:34 PM


      coming into this season, his career ERA+ was 100

      exactly league average 100

      his good year this season has raised it to 101 for his career now.

      he isn’t a bad pitcher, don’t get me wrong.

      in a 5 man rotation, a team hopes their #1 pitcher is a true ace. the teams #2 man should be above league average too.

      now, many #3 men in rotations are average guys, like this guy is.

      many #4 and #5 pitchers in rotations are below league average.

      IF he wants 5 yrs and $100 million (can’t blame him for WANTING it), well he is NOT worth $20 million a season.

      if one takes the time to Google it, not all that many pitchers are making $20 or more million per season right now in the big leagues and this guy should NOT be one of them.

      • kiwicricket - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        Yup. Offering a guaranteed $17M, but willing to gamble it in order to try and make $20M/per.
        Jeff would be better off getting advice from a loan shark at this point, not his agent.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        Realistically? He’s a solid No. 3 starter. Nothing more.

    • stex52 - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      I think, Kiwi, that for a lot of players it is that they have decided the $$ is how they measure their worth against other players. So it is not a rational decision, it is a competition-driven number.

      How else do you explain the whole Pujols/Cards fiasco? To me Samardziafnaopdfhaa (or whatever) is just trying to establish with a number that he is a great player. He’ll never spend all of that money.

  7. garylanglais - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Adrian Beltre fits your description. 6-year deal and he has finished in top-15 of MVP voting each of first 3 years

  8. kiwicricket - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Trying to ooze an extra $15M onto an existing $85M offer….at the end of next season when he’s 30yrs old?
    After half the population of the continent has gone down needing TJS this season?
    When his entire body of work consists of sporadic 6-week patches of good pitching?
    Like an extra $15M is actually noticeable, or makes any identifiable difference in your life at that point?

    Seems like a pretty big crazy bet, in my opinion.

  9. hwkeycubronco - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Almost sounds like Jeff wants ace money and would sacrifice winning just to make a few million more. He is not an ace but an OK 2 and a very solid 3. Come on Jeff, take the money and build this team around you.

  10. boyofzimmer - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    But he played college football!!!

  11. miguelcairo - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Alternate headline: Samardzija is Smart

  12. kastout11 - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    He has been average at best, since entering MLB. He is picking a great time to pitch his butt off. He is going to cash in big time. Even though I don’t think he is worth it, he will probably get close to $20 million a year for 5 years, hopefully the Cubs aren’t the team paying the contract. Although they need a quality #2 type starter like JS, they won’t pony up that kind of $$$ for him.

  13. rangermania - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Either Jeff wants to get out of Chicago or he has greeditis. It sure looks like most of the huge contracts being awarded end up as overpay and there is also no loyalty left with players and their teams from either players or owners.

    • stex52 - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      But there you are, ranger. If one side is not loyal, why should the other side be? I face that in my own profession every day. Once I realized the big company thought of all of us professionals as interchangeable, my own employment decisions got a lot easier.

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