Report: Samardzija and Cubs Far Apart in Talks Over Long-Term Extension

According to a report from Jon Heyman, the Cubs would like to lock up Jeff Samardzija to a long-term deal and Samardzija would like to remain a Cub, but the two sides are far apart in negotiations over a long-term contract. The Cubs have been unsuccessful in two attempts to lock up Samardzija and now those talks appear to be on hold according to Heyman.

Jon Heyman reported that Jeff Samardzija turned down an offer from the Cubs well above the five-year and nearly $30 million deal that Derek Holland signed with the Rangers last spring. Heyman explained there appears to be a big gap in the talks.

Jeff Samardzija has stated publicly that he wants to remain with the Cubs but would like to see how things pan out after a full season in the starting rotation. Samardzija reportedly has an excellent relationship with the Cubs’ coaching staff and front office.

Carrie Muskat asked Samardzija about Heyman’s report shortly after his outing against the Rangers on Saturday. Samardzija said he and the Cubs are on the same page. Samardzija was surprised by the report and said that everything is the same that it was before camp began.

Samardzija went onto explain

“We were under the assumption that in the offseason, we’d talk, nothing serious, we were just going to discuss things, but once Spring Training got going, they had things they needed to do and I needed to get ready for the year. There really hasn’t been any talks. We were on the same page. Everything can handle itself in a couple years.”

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  • Ripsnorter1

    What’s the hurry? Samardzija has had exactly one year with enough control to be a ML pitcher. ONE YEAR. If you look at his body of work in previous years, it isn’t ML quality. Yeah, in 2011 he had a 2.97 ERA. But with 50 BB in 87 IP, he’s was always pitching in trouble. It used to take him 50 pitches to work 2 IP. He turned it around for the first time ever in 2012–56 BB in 174 IP. His career MiL WHIP is 1.430–not good. So last year was a first.

    Now, sure, I expect Samardzija to continue to pitch well. BUT a track record with such a short run of success–and most of this is based on his last 7 starts of 2012–along with the fact that he is still under Cubs’ control next year even if he refuses to sign a long term deal–ought to allow for the Cubs’ to sit back and see what happens in 2013.

    Do you think I’m nuts?

    The Cubs had a pitcher who had 7 fantastic starts to end a season–who was asking for the sun, the moon, and all the stars in his contract. Most everyone expected 17-20 wins from him the next year. After all, he had fantastic stuff–like Samardzija. Instead they got exactly 5 wins. And now many don’t expect Garza to be worth much in a trade. Others wish they had the 5 prospects they dealt for him back in our system. The Cubs are thanking God that they didn’t sign him long term.

    • Tony_Hall

      Samardzija is under control for 3 more years before he is eligible for free agency. So there is no hurry.

      But, the cheapest time to try and do an extension and get some cost control for the next 3 years is sooner rather than later. They are trying to buy out his 31, 32 maybe even 33 year season now in exchange for a guaranteed contract, versus going to arbitration each year then having to bid against 29 other teams in free agency.

      But with any arm, would you want to give more than 3 years right now after 1 season of starting…probably not. He is also confident enough that he understands that he can make more if he pitches well.

  • J Daniel

    Rip, you are nuts but I agree with you. There is no hurry. But I suspect the Cubs think he is going to be really good and by signing him long term now it will be a cheaper deal than if they wait and he wins 17 games. Both sides know this. Jeff also took a pay cut last year and am sure he remembers that as well.

  • tony

    I really wonder if he is going to be a good starting pitcher for years to come. Shark still has a long way to becoming a #1 starter !

    • Tony_Hall

      Big difference to being a good starting pitcher and a #1.

  • Theboardrider

    Turned down a deal much bigger than Holland’s? Wow! That means he’s asking for a lot. Holland at this point is a better pitcher and still young. If the Rangers called tomorrow and wanted to trade straight up I’d probably jump on it.

    • Tony_Hall

      Holland and his 4.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP and 7.4 SO/9……

      Samardzija and his 3.81 ERA and 1.219 WHIP and his 9.3 SO/9….

      I would have turned it down as well. 5 years $30M, that is $6M per year even if it was higher, he will do better than that in arbitration.

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