From the Wire … Cubs Decline 2012 Option on Jeff Samardzija, Expected to Re-Sign at a Reduced Salary

According to multiple reports, the Cubs have declined the 2012 club option on Jeff Samardzija worth $3 million. Samardzija is under team control and is not elibigible for arbitration or free agency. The Cubs are expected to re-sign Samardzija at a reduced salary … teams can cut a players salary a maximum of 20 percent from the previous season.

Jeff Samardzija signed a five-year, $10 million Major League contract in 2007 that included club options for 2012 and 2013. Samardzija is out of options and according the Tribune will make the club out of Spring Training next season as either a reliever or as a starter.

Jeff Samardzija’s Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • paulcatanese

    I’m confused here. Under Theo’s policy ( not pay for what they have done,but pay for what they can do ) Isn’t that the reverse in the Shark’s case? He has improved this last year and looks to be even better in 2012. so why would he re-sign at a reduced salary? What happens if he dosent re-sign? Contracts are definately not in my understanding and something does not look right here, but I may be missing the point entirely.

    • paulcatanese

      Reread the first paragraph, looks like the Shark has no option but to sign a reduced contract, Cubs have complete control here.

      • Bobby P

        It kind of sucks for him, but ultimately I think it’s a good move. Theo & Co. are really nickel-and-diming. Save a couple of million on Ramirez by picking up option, and now saving a couple more on Samardzija. I didn’t know we were that strapped for cash. Hehe…

        Seriously though, good moves. The more money you save, the better.

      • John_CC

        Meet the new boss…

        Yeah, it’s a bummer for Shark, but he has “earned” $10 million over the past 5 years of middling minor league mediocrity. 

        So he get’s a $400,000 pay cut and still earns $1.6 million…I really don’t feel bad for him.

        • paulcatanese

          John, you make a good point.

        • Tony_Hall

          I think he made $3M and will make $2.4M next year.

          • John_CC

            Not that it really matters — but the way I read it, Tony is that he had 5 years at 10 million and a 2012 team option for $3 million.  I guess I just assume that the 5 and 10 was a basic 2 mill per.  So I was basing the 20% off 2 million bucks.  But like I said…doesn’t really matter.

          • Tony_Hall

            You underestimate JH.  He had escalators that kicked in, and raised his pay…for his sustained success at the major league level…I’m assuming.  Look below and you will 2010: $3M…

            Jeff Samardzija rhp5 years/$10M (2007-11), plus 2012 & 2013 club options5 years/$10M (2007-11), plus 2012 & 2013 club optionssigned Major League contract with Cubs 1/07, giving up football
            $2M signing bonus
            10:$3M
            no-trade clause
            total value may reach $16.5M with exercise of options
            must return bonus & much of remaining $10M if he returns to footballdrafted 2006 (5-149) (Notre Dame)signed 6/06, $1M signing bonus (may increase to $7.25M if Samardzija chooses to play baseball over football)agent: Mark RodgersML service: 1.028

          • J Daniel

            And that is why the players liked him so much!

          • John_CC

            It’s all very confusing…if 2010 he made $3 mil, what about 2011, his last year which would determine his 20% decrease? Certainly it didn’t go down, but maybe it was 3.5$M — who knows!

            That contract is just amazing.

            God, I am glad Hendry is gone!

    • Bobby P

      Can’t refuse to sign. He’s under control, and if he doesn’t sign a contract, we can get him for close to league minimum.

      This move essentially guarantees the Cubs will save money on him.

      • paulcatanese

        Dont know for sure Bobby, but I think that if he doesn’t sign a contract he would be put on the restricted list, dont think that would happen but could be a possibilty.

        • Bobby P

          Well, I think league minimum might have been pushing it on my part, but the basic notion is that if he won’t sign a contract, you can “force” him to sign a one-year tender since he’s still under control. Yes, he can refuse, but since Cubs still own his rights, he would have to choose between playing and not playing (restricted list). I think that’s how it works…

      • Tony_Hall

        They can reduce his pay by 20% (600K).

        Very good move by the new front office.  JH would have never known he could do this, plus they can eliminate his no-trade clause.

  • texcubnut

    I may be way out there on this one but hear me out. What if our best options for a starting rotation are internal. Not at the minor league levels but right on our own major league roster. Would a rotation of Garza, Cashner, Marshall, Samardzija and Dempster be effective? Free agency has better bullpen free agents available than starting pitchers and at less cost. Wells moves to the bullpen in long relief along with Marmol, Wood, Russell, Carpenter, Dolis or some other minor leaguers and perhaps, Capps or other free agent bullpen help. The money saved could be used to pickup free agents like Kubel, Cuddyer, Damon, etc. I know that aCashner, Marshall and Samardzija would have to be stretched and prepped as starters for 2012 but it could be done.  Aaron, Tony, Rip, Cubtex, Paul, Neil,Daverj,Dorasaga…. you guys are pretty sharp about baseball and I really respect all of your opinions;  is this possible or am I being foolish?

    • BosephHeyden

      Marshall was a completely average fifth starter, which is fine, except Cashner is coming off an injury, we have no idea how Samardzija would do if they stretched him out (my thinking is that, at best, he’s an above average fourth starter), leaving Dempster, who, at the moment is a third starter, and Garza, who was good, but not nearly at the level where I’d call him an ace (really good second starter, sure, but not an ace by a long shot).

      Wells did good enough last year to earn another shot, but his inconsistency means the team cannot expect anymore from him than a fourth man status from him.  So we have 2, 3, and 4 already set, the fifth starter could be Cashner, Coleman, Samardzija, or, heck, possibly even Marshall…we need an ace, and we need to hope we can keep our fifth starter healthy.

    • cubtex

      It is definately possible but to try 3 guys who don’t have much starting experience is a HUGE risk. Garza and Dempster are definately locks but to have 3 questions marks for the last 3 spots? If they go out and say that they are in full time rebuilding mode I can see this scenario….but with adding Theo and Hoyer I do not see this happening. I can see a scenario where Marshall and Shark might battle it out in spring training for the last spot and whoever doesn’t win the job goes to the bullpen….but not both.

    • paulcatanese

      Thank you for the compliment, but really I just answer the posts as they come on, Aaron,Tony,Rip,Cubtex, Neil, Daverj and Dorasaga do thier homework and delve into looking all the stuff up and are pretty accurate and I enjoy all thier posts.

      That being said, Aaron brought up Damon, and I think that would be a great choice and Theo should know him well. Damon is a great clutch player and at the worst he still would have two years left.

      Pitching, I leave to Aaron and Tony, they know it, Cubtex knows the infield (except for third basemen)Neil covers it all and Dorasaga has great info on the foriegn scene. Yes its a great site,very informative , also really enjoy Rip and his posts, above all these guys keep it classy as you would surely know with visiting some of the other sites

      • texcubnut

        Don’t sell yourself short, Paul. I’ve enjoyed your posts immensely and I like your idea of Castro to third base. Great reflexes and as a bonus for Starlin, he would have shorter throws. He should continue to increase his power numbers as he gets older. I also enjoy all the posters on this sight and it is by far, the BEST Cub website and info ‘hub’ there is. A big thank you to Neil and all the posters that make the off season bearable. With Theo and all the possibilities, all of us will be totally amped up for next season.

        • Dorasaga

          Cubnut (is this OK if I call you so?),

          You should google what Paul wrote around this site about his jolly days playing organized baseball in Germany. Some of his teammates even made it through the Major system.

          I’m always fascinated by what baseball people really DID in a less baseball-aware environment, as opposed to what baseball thinks people there SHOULD do.

          Take an example of a 2007 Tribune article about Major League touring Nigeria, Africa. There were promises from those officials who believed WHAT CAN HAPPEN, but I doubt they really knew what’s going on with promoting baseball in Africa.

          There were once Japanese teams going there. Those got pulled-off. Bubble economy sucked. Now there are social workers teaching poor kids to play (I ran into their blogs on baseball in Africa once). Just saying, Paul needs to write more about himself.
          B-)

      • Dorasaga

        That’s nice of you to mention, Paul. I love the compliment, but you are your own judge on my opinion, whether it’s based on facts or my sentiments.

        • paulcatanese

          Thanks for the interest, and just to let you know, I am working on it and hope to have it together soon, Neil has been helping me with it, and as you know he has been quite busy at this time, but soon.

    • Tony_Hall

      I see their rotation internaloptions as follows.

      Garza, Dempster, Zambrano, Wells, Cashner

      That looks familiar.

      Add in Samardzija and Coleman (not likely), and that is about it internally to start the year.  By mid-season, we hopefully have a few guys in our system, needing an opportunity.

      Z needs to be moved, Wells is #5 at best, Cashner needs another shot, and I would give Samardzija every chance in ST, to earn a spot.

      That leaves Garza, Dempster, Cashner, Wells, Samardzija

      That’s 5 with Coleman in AAA.  Now is that a World Series type rotation…NO!  But to start the year, you can live with this rotation. If they sign a starter, then we can have a competition and may have to go to a guy like Dempster and say, you are back in the bullpen, or we can find a new home for you.   Wells may need to go back to AAA (not sure if he still has 1 option or not, he never used the last 1) or he can be traded.  

      Bottom line, we need to develop some of our own SP and since we wasted the last 2 years worth of opportunities, we my as well use 2012. 

      • Jay from sandwich

        What about Jackson in AAA he could sake things up for the 5 slot (if he is still a cub and not a bosox)

        • Tony_Hall

          For a mid-season call up sure. He needs to start the year in Iowa.

      • Tom U

        Chris Rusin may be a sleeper come spring training.

      • RICK B

        The Cubs need to add at least 1 or 2 quality starters or they will be CRAP again.

        • cubtex

          Yep. They need to add at least 2.

        • Tony_Hall

          Of course they do. That doesn’t mean it will before opening day or that they won’t be internal players like Samardzija.

          • cubtex

            I meant 2 external if Z is not in the plans.

          • Tony_Hall

            2 is asking a lot in a trade or FA.

            Garza, Dempster, Wells, Cashner, Samardzija is not a bad place to start for next year.  We know that Dempster is not a part of the future, nor is Wells, so if we bring in anyone, they are expendable parts. 

          • cubtex

            I know that people are tired of the old Pirate starters but if they can get Maholm at a reasonable price he wouldn’t be a bad #4.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, he is one pitcher, I have thought of for this offseason, when looking through pitchers.

            This isn’t a year, where adding a top notch starter puts us over the top, so there is still a little bit of lets give some guys a chance involved,

          • John_CC

            I’ve gone back and forth with Maholm. He’s no better than a #4 but really a #5.  His WAR is decent, so who knows…he’s probably on Theo’s radar.  At least he wouldn’t be able to beat the Cubs 3 or 4 times a year.

  • Anonymous47701

    Possible Trade Idea

    3B/1B Pablo Sandoval

    for RHP Trey McNutt, INF Blake DeWitt, 1B Justin Bour

    • cubs1967

      so you trade junk for the giants best hitter when they can’t hit yet??

      not gonna happen. Sorry.

      if the cubs decide Rami is done; then pursue Headley from Padres.  he’s elg for arb so padres may move him; he’s good defensively and has high OBP.  no power………….but could be good till if when ever vitters is ready.

      • Anonymous47701

        Chase Headley? I wouldn’t count on that. The better options would be Chris Davis, David Wright, and if the Orioles are willing, Josh Bell. Can’t replace Ramirez with just Defense, you need some form of Power. If not Sandoval then the next should be Chris Davis.

        • Anonymous47701

          And if “Chris Davis” doesn’t happen then try trading for David Wright.

        • cubtex

          Sure…Chris Davis if you want 150 K’s and a ton of errors at 3rd. He would be a great pickup

          • Anonymous47701

            I think i’m picking up sarcasm.

          • texcubnut

            No sarcasm here. I watched Chris Davis when he was with Texas. I just wasn’t impressed with him. We need to look at other options.

          • Anonymous47701

            What About going for David Wright, he might be a better option.

          • cubtex

            I agree. He is from my area. Way too many holes in his swing.

        • cubs1967

          wouldn’t count on Headley becuz why??………..jed hoyer and jason mcleold just spent 2 yrs there…………need to connect the dots.  padres-small market-headly elg for arb, hoyer saw him for 2 yrs, he’s a positive UZR fielder, .374 OBP, could hit 15 homers in wrigley after leaving grand canyon petco, is under 30, padres have james darnell and an AA kid to replace him.

          david wright…………mets are gonna want a handful for him starting with brett jackson and he’s owed alot of money.

          i’ll take headley at 3rd if rami is done and fielder at 1b, left handed bats cubs always seem to lack.

  • Michael

    With La Russa out, wonder if Chicago will go after Dave Duncan. Also Indians declined option on Sizemore, like to see the Cubs take a flier on him at a reduced rate, if that is even possible…

    • J Daniel

      Absolutely worth the look.

    • Tony_Hall

      Duncan has said he will be back with the Cardinals next year.

      I like the thought on Sizemore, but he will be more expensive than you think.  The Indians almost picked up his $8M+ option.

      • paulcatanese

        Tony, thats really a surprise about Duncan, I thought for sure he would hang it up as well, but he’s a good man and I will be happy that he is not closing out. Baseball needs good men like that.

  • paulcatanese

     I wonder how its going to come down between Theo and Qua, kind of like a 20 year old manager at McDonalds letting a 60 year old employee go. Got to be tough for Theo.

    • John_CC

      I like your analogy, Paul.  But I think it will tougher on Qua than Eppie.  Theo didn’t get where he is by worrying about hurting the feelings of inadequate employees.  

    • texcubnut

      Business is business, Paul. Let the Theo/Sandberg era begin.  You know, even if Joe Madden openly says he wants to come to the Cubs, I hope mgmt. goes with Ryno.  He knows the personell and….I don’t know, I just have a feeling it’s the right  thing to do at the right time.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    For those hoping for Sabathia … He signed an extension with the Yankees. From Buster Olney: Sabathia’s contract extension – 1 year, $25 m. for 2016, and a $5 million
    buyout. Total guaranteed, five years, $122 m.. $25m option ’17

    • John_CC

      wow.  $25 million in 4 years!  holy crap. guess that’s the price to keep him for next couple years.

  • matthew8510

    isnt this cute  what a pic  ofzam and ozzie 
    http://mlb.mlb.com/players/ozzie_guillen/index.jsp

    • paulcatanese

      Is that for real? Looks like Ozzie is begging for money. Dont think thats a site I will follow.

    • Dorasaga

      That saved my day, haha.

  • texcubnut

    It looks as though Bud Selig is going to get involved in the compensation issue for Theo. Neil, do you know how long this process will take? I would imagine not more than a few days tops.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Epstein and Cherington are trying to avoid Selig getting involved. If the two cannot decide before tomorrow afternoon, I would think by the end of the week at the latest.

      • texcubnut

        Thanks, Neil. Hope it gets done by the clubs tomorrow. Then we can get on with much more important business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

    Question:  If we can reduce Jeff’s salary by 20%…Why not do that with every player in this situation?  Kind of sucks that he has to take it (the lower salary)  I’m shocked this is the first time I’ve heard this happen for non-arbitration eligible players.

    • paulcatanese

      I think that 20% reduction in salary was pretty prevalent in the 30s,40s,&50s, I can recall it being implimented to some but dont
      remember who without some research, and before free agency
      and arbitration.

    • Tony_Hall

      It only applies for players under control (0-6 years).  A contract is a contract.  MLB Players contracts are the envy of all professional sports, for this very reason.

      Very few players fall into this hole in the system, to be able to have their pay reduced by up to 20%.

      Actually it applies to arbitration eligible players as well.  You can’t offer them more than a 20% reduction.

  • Dorasaga

    By the way, I feel sorry for myself sometimes:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/cubs-fans-will-need-patience/

    Granted, the chart clearly shows those Red Sox inheritance from 2002 really underperformed for Epstein e Co. in 2004. I don’t expect the current 40-man on this Cubs roster to resemble that company in anyway. I still don’t know how many more to dig out from such misery since the Hendry era.

    I’ll be clear, again, Hendry is not a sucker or anything. He’s an old man who knows his way. But I don’t have any respect for mediocre management. The problem with them is you never figure out if you should act quickly against or not. Fire them all or not. Change or not. One day they are good and tough to beat (2008 before they meet their Man-ny foes from LA). The other day they cry for mommy (in Hendry’s case, “we need more money then well be two-three moves away from contending.”)

    So you see, I feel sorry for myself to be a fan of this kind of situation. It’s not even about the Chicago Cubs anymore. It’s a sad feeling why I’m part of this Cubbie Occurance. I really am.

  • Anonymous47701

    What About signing Kelly Johnson to Play 3B in 2012?