Jeff Samardzija Extension Talk Legit

Jeff Samardzija Extension Talk Legit

I am not big on jumping on my laptop right away to over-analyze someone else's news.

However, Gordon Wittenmeyer's little tidbit about the Cubs making another attempt at re-signing Jeff Samardzija...well that had me interested enough to dig a little further. When it comes to Samardzija, I've written recently that it would be a prudent thing if the Cubs could find a way to keep him in the fold.

I checked around because my antenna went up telling me immediately this could be posturing by the front office to solidify Samardzija's value.

But the consensus I've gotten is this is a real thing. There are real talks happening.

It is a far cry from realistically getting done, however. The two sides may indeed still be too far apart. It seems Shark's camp will not settle for anything less (or possibly more I hear) than Homer Bailey dough (or is it d'oh?).

It was not immediately clear how high the Cubs have gone, or what their walkaway figure is. One source suggested it would take something close to the $17.5 million annual value of Cincinnati pitcher Homer Bailey’s six-year contract signed during the spring to persuade Samardzija to commit to an extension, especially without a no-trade clause.

Samardzija, who had the best ERA in the majors through May, takes a 2.77 ERA into his 15th start of the season Tuesday in Miami.

If you asked me at the beginning of the season, I would've said no way, no how. Yet, as Wittenmeyer pointed out, Samardzija is starting to emerge as a real top-of-the-rotation performer.

If the Cubs are indeed intent on adding this off-season, coupled with the re-emergence of Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, re-signing Shark could go along way towards pushing the Cubs rebuild into the next phase and rallying a fanbase that is begging for something be excited about.

Recently I had also heard rumors of San Francisco throwing themselves heavily into the Shark mix and possibly offering up star prospect Kyle Crick. Let's put it this way: there may be a reason the rumors weren't shot down right away.

So, the Cubs will probably still end up dealing their ace pitcher, and they probably will get a considerable return. However, I would still like to see Samardzija stick around and be coupled with a free-agent pitching acquisition such as John Lester or Justin Masterson.

You can't always get what you want. Hopefully the Cubs get what they need in return.


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  • I assume that the negotiations are in good faith, at least on Jed's side. Negotiating wouldn't drive up his trade value (and would seem to decrease it if the message is out that Jeff might sign). The only real question is whether enough money or years and a no-trade clause will satisfy Jeff, or he really intends to test free agency at age 31.

  • to me, the question's really whether the cubs are willing to commit to TWO pitchers in the 2015 rotation with an AAV of $17M - $20M?

    they may have a plan that limits new dollars on the rotation...and if so, those dollars they'd rather allocate to other positions via FA. given the ascendance of quite a few young, cost-controlled pitchers, that's not a stretch.

    if they're planning to keep their powder dry on rotation spending, then the question becomes "how good a pitcher can you acquire for $17M AAV v. what Shark is likely to deliver?"

    since pitching hasn't been the heel of the team this year, i have to imagine they're feeling really good about their bullpen and rotation expectations for 2015. locking up $$$ on multiple contracts for starters is not what i'd guess the focus to be...

  • In reply to ratay1:

    "to me, the question's really whether the cubs are willing to commit to TWO pitchers in the 2015 rotation with an AAV of $17M - $20M?"

    First, the average doesn't mean much, because Jeff would be entitled to at least $8 million in arbitration next year, and these deals in comparable situations (like Sale) are structured so that the hit is at the end.

    And if the other pitcher is Jackson, that money has already been urinated away, which may indicate that Theo and Jed don't know how to value pitching. In any event, there is no way of recapturing that.

    Maybe the real reason negotiations have resumed is that the front office has finally figured out that they won't maintain attendance so long as the flipping continues. I asked about a week ago "who is going to take the ML mound if Jeff and Hammels are traded?" and Bruce Miles raised the same question today.

    Someone else pointed out that Boston didn't have pitchers from its own system when it won the 3 WSs, so you either pay Jeff or you pay some free agent or for international rights whenever the "Cubs become competitive." Your point may imply that they were never serious bidders for Tanaka, which may have been the case.

  • In reply to jack:

    sorry...had intended to reference two incremental pitchers in the 2015 rotation...was more looking at it like "new money" from a payroll perspective v. the sunk cost of ejax's contract. but fair point...

    on your other point, i think it's a decent supposition that the FO is realizing the possibility that all the attractive FA options might re-up with their current club.

    in a world where you can swap shark for a nice haul of prospects AND sign a FA starter with roughly the same performance projection as shark, then you'd do that every day and twice on sunday.

    but, in a world where you trade shark for a nice haul of prospects and find that all your preferred FA targets are no longer available (or just choose to go with another club...yikes anibal/masahiro), you haven't really taken a step forward. in fact, you could argue you've probably taken a step back, given the club's timeline is considerably better-defined at the end of this season v. the ends of the last couple of seasons.

    this is likely a case of the bird in the hand... i don't think they pull the trigger on a new deal for shark to affect attendance. they've been pretty steadfast that their horizon is considerably longer than fans' & i'd expect them to continue to act accordingly.

  • In reply to ratay1:

    I wasn't assuming that the potential free agents would have already been signed to long term contracts, but that the ones still available would cost more than they are worth. But, yes, if they are signed to long term contracts, they won't be available, either. Also there is the question whether the front office wants to gamble now on what might be available in say 2016 as opposed to a bird in hand.

  • In reply to ratay1:

    You are right. That's too much money probably. I'm getting greedy.

  • I've posted so often that the Cubs should extend Samardzija that I sound like a broken record, but in this world one does not always get what they want. Unless Jed tries water boarding, it takes two. Spending and a ntc could be prohibitive to an agreement.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed, no NTC.

  • Schwarber has two bombs today! Making the FO look very smart!

  • In reply to Naf023:

    And Len just said was assigned to Kane County. So, you'll probably see some action there.

  • Well, it's good to hear that this might not just be a smokescreen. I reserved myself to the fact long ago that Samardzija was going to be traded this year – whether it's a solid return a la Garza, or Samardzija actually signs, I'll be satisfied either way personally. Only thing I wouldn't be satisfied with is standing pat and watching him walk as a free agent, which is something this FO isn't going to let happen.

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