The Cubs are listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija and according to the Sun-Times, there is an expectation in the industry that the Cubs will trade Jeff Samardzija this winter.
The front office would like to sign Jeff Samardzija to a long-term, team friendly contract, but the two sides are not thought to be close on an agreement. And if the two camps cannot agree to a deal soon, the Cubs could trade Samardzija in order to maximize his value.
The Diamondbacks and Nationals are two of the teams with reported interest in Samardzija but there figures to be a rather long line of teams willing to acquire Samardzija if he is indeed available.
Kevin Towers is thought to be very high on Samardzija and he has been trying to add him to Arizona’s rotation since last July. And teams that are not able to land Masahiro Tanaka, David Price, Matt Garza or Max Scherzer, if the Tigers make him available, might turn to Samardzija as a way to strengthen their rotation.
Samardzija is under team control for two more seasons and is willing to go year to year with the Cubs instead of signing an extension. Plus, Samardzija would like to see a commitment from the team they are trying to win before he signs a deal that will not include a no-trade clause.
Gordon Wittenmyer reported “two years into the Epstein-Jed Hoyer Era, the perception is creeping throughout the game that the Cubs are more Tampa Bay Rays than Los Angeles Dodgers – without the winning percentage of either to show for it.” Wittenmyer spoke with a long-time National League GM that said if the Cubs trade Samardzija they are saying they are not trying to win.
The Cubs believe in Samardzija’s ability, even coming off an inconsistent season. Samardzija has the stuff and 200-inning, 200-strikeout pitchers are not easy to come by. Samardzija is on record stating he would like to stay, and win, with the Cubs.
Jeff Samardzija was 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in a career-high 33 starts last season. In 213 2/3 innings, Samardzija gave up 210 hits with 214 strikeouts and 78 walks.
Jed Hoyer told MLB.com that the Cubs see Jeff Samardzija as part of the team’s future.