Samardzija Rumors Stay Hot as the Winter Meetings Approach

The Cubs are listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija while talking to his camp about a long-term contract extension. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will seriously listen to offers for Samardzija next week during the Winter Meetings and if they do, the amount of teams interested in trading for Samardzija should increase.

Bruce Levine reiterated on Thursday that Samardzija’s camp turned down a five-year, $55 million extension and at least one other offer from the Cubs that is thought to be higher five years and $55 million. Theo Epstein told Levine on Thursday that nothing has changed with the contract negotiations with Samardzija.

The Cubs have maintained they would like to lock Samardzija up long-term. Theo Epstein called Samardzija the Cubs best pitcher and he thinks Samardzija “can be a difference-making starting pitcher for a long time.”

Epstein spelled out the Cubs’ options with Samardzija on Wednesday. Epstein said, “Now, obviously, when you’re in this situation, you have to factor in: How many years of control do you have left? And is there a way to extend that – to make an asset that’s still medium term and turn it into an asset that impacts you for the long-term? The simple, best way to do that is with a contract extension. The second-best way to do that is by trading the player for multiple younger-impact assets.”

Theo Epstein and the Cubs want Samardzija to be a Cub for the long term and Samardzija wants to remain with the Cubs as well.

According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs and Samardzija’s camp continue to have an open, amicable line of communication. But will the two sides work out a deal before the front office hears an offer they simply cannot pass up?


Shi Davidi caught up with Alex Anthopoulos on Wednesday and the Blue Jays’ GM admitted there are three starting pitchers he has targeted and those targets are not free agents. Davidi reported Anthopoulos would be “pushing hard to swing a deal” next week at the Winter Meetings.

Davidi thinks that is reasonable to expect that Jeff Samardzija is one of his targets, “given that the Blue Jays have pursued him in the past.” Anthopoulos indicated there are starting pitchers in play the public is not aware of but the Blue Jays pursuit of a starter will not be done at any cost. Anthopoulos is looking to add at least one starter this winter but would not rule out adding two pitchers to his rotation if the opportunity to do so presented itself.

Jim Duquette mentioned on Thursday he thinks there is a big enough market for Samardzija that he could see him traded at some point this winter. Duquette sees the Kansas City Royals as a fit but did not say if he was told if the Royals are in the mix for Samardzija. The Orioles, Blue Jays and Diamondbacks are the teams Duquette has heard connected to Samardzija.

According to multiple reports and outlets, the asking price on Samardzija is thought to be very high right now. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are believed to be asking for at least three top prospects for Jeff Samardzija.

Stay tuned …

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  • Vivid_Reality

    “Truth be told, Shark isn’t even the first pitcher I would trade from our rotation. I would ship out Travis Wood first if Shark would sign an extension. Anyway, I offer Shark 5/55 with a deadline at the beginning of the winter meetings. If he doesn’t sign, send him on a plane ride out of town.”

    “I should have mentioned that 5/55 covers his two arbitration years. My thought was that 2/10 is a slight discount on his last two arb years and then 3/45 for his free agency years.”

    I think I jinxed it…

    • cubtex

      I actually agree with you on Travis Wood. I feel he has reached his ceiling and only one way to go from here….and it isn’t up. Sell high on Wood….right Mr. Hall?

      • bpot92

        If wood can locate his cutter and fastball and mix speeds he could still be that #3 or good #4 on a payoff team in my opinion. He had the best cutter in baseball for starters last year and if he can get ground balls and limit hr he could be decent for a playoff team

        • J Daniel

          I would have to disagree with you on being a #3 and think that a #4 is a stretch. IMO, i think he is an excellent #5 on a really good team.

          • bpot92

            If he pitches like he did last season, a #3 isnt out of the question, but that would be a good #4. However it is likely he regresses so a 4/5 on a good team is possible

          • Michael Massey

            That is always the question, isn’t it?? Wood isn’t old, so why should he be expected to regress?? Pitchers become better with age when they learn how to pitch , that doesn’t go away, it gets better. Wood doesn’t have “A” or ” A+” stuff, the idea he is going to forget how to pitch or stop learning is somewhat silly. I am not suggesting he will get a lot better, but there really is no reason to think he can’t maintain or get a little better as he learns how to be a better pitcher. Now, as for trading him if the Cubs can sign Shark, I think wait. He has had one season as a quality starter. he doesn’t have the quality arm for a top of rotation pitcher, he has to PROVE he can do it, and one season doesn’t prove anything. If the Cubs sign Shark, the Cubs would be better served to let Wood pitch, at least til the trading deadline. If he continues to pitch well, as he SHOULD, his value will be higher and then a trade will make sense. Now, a trade will simply not get a good enough return . It isn’t like Wood always had the top potential and such, it is a small risk to wait on him

      • Tony_Hall

        No, not the way it works. He is a long term asset. No reason to trade him.

  • gary3411

    Sure doesn’t seem like Samardzija wants to be a Cub long term. He has already made close to 15mil with a chance to cash in 55 more before the age of 30 on ‘his’ team and he’s turning down good, good offers.

    John Danks accomplished much more than Jeff Samardzija did when he signed his extension and he was only 1 year from FA (a hugee difference).

    I don’t have time this morning, but maybe someone can scrap together a makeshift list of starting pitchers who signed extensions with 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years left before FA and I’d be willing to bet NOBODY signed for more than 55mil who is worse than Samardzija and PLENTY signed for less while accomplishing much more than him to that point.

    • Sonate

      Have to agree. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t enough “play” in the offer that Cubs couldn’t/wouldn’t kick in another $5 million or so. But I can’t see Theo going to 5yr/$75 on Shark. Shark has just not (yet) proven himself to be in that class.

    • Michael Massey

      By the way it is looking, I think Shark sees himself as a top of a rotation starter and wants to be paid as one. The Cubs offered Anibel Sanchez a 5yr/80 million dollar contract last winter , who turned them down to go back to Detroit. Maybe he wants to be paid according to that offer?? Personally, he may have the “stuff” of a front line starter but he hasn’t proven it yet, so I don’t blame the Cubs for not offering it. I don’t see the rush in trading or signing him. Unless the Cubs get an offer they can’t refuse, what is the hurry ?? IF he does develop, sign him, if he doesn’t, either trade him or let him go. They still have 2 years. I wouldn’t roll the dice yet nor would I give him away

  • Ripsnorter1

    If Theo trades the Shark, he’ll have to acquire a starting pitcher, or else
    we will be using AAA starters at the ML level again.

    Jake Arrieta still issues too many BBs, has great stuff, but he’ll be headed to the bullpen if

    he doesn’t move his game up a level. 7 wins (that’s one less than Ed Jackson in 2013)
    is about what one can expect here.

    Edwin Jackson–he can win 10 games in 2014, but he’ll lose more than he wins.

    Travis Wood–another 9 win season, but with a 4.34 ERA instead of 3.11.

    Rusin–has no wipeout pitch. RHB hit him. 5 wins? 6 wins? That’s all I can see.

    Samardzija–is this the year he finally puts it all together? If so, 3.35 ERA and 13-15 wins.
    Or if traded, who fills this hole?

    Villanueva–shouldn’t be a regular starter. He’s much more effective out of the bullpen: 3.08 ERA.
    Unless of course, you like his 1-7 4.50 ERA as a starter.
    FORGETABOUTIT.

    Who’s left to start?
    Brooks Raley? 5.14 ERA. Walks too many.

    Promote from AA?

    • Sonate

      This is my concern too. Unless they can get a ML starter in return for Shark, the FO pushes the “turnaround” back by two years. I agree with your pitcher’s assessmens except I’m a bit more optimistic on Wood (ERA at 4.00). Does Theo know something about Vizcaino’s recovery that we don’t?

      • Tony_Hall

        Yes he does.

        • Sonate

          Intriguing and tantalizing Tony. I won’t press you for specific sources, but how solid is your info on this?

          • Tony_Hall

            Common sense

          • Ripsnorter1

            Translation: he has great faith in Theo, and that is the source of
            his statement.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Don’t expect Vizcaino to step into the starting rotation immediately
            after missing 2 years (!). I would not expect him to break camp with the team
            in the bullpen after missing 2 years.

            Here’s common sense: his arm strength will be diminished after sitting on a shelf
            for 2 years. Even bullpen arms often go down to the minors in order to gain arm strength
            so that they can move into the rotation.

            Here’s common sense: don’t expect too much too soon from Mr. Vizcaino.

          • SirGladiator

            Don’t forget that he’s already throwing pretty hard, I think 98mph, in the off-season. Even if he didn’t build his velocity at all between now and opening day (which of course he will) he’d be good to go for any team in baseball. I suspect he will start in the pen, and eventually move either to the rotation, or become the closer, later in the year.

          • mutantbeast

            If Viz does come back anytime this year, Id be surprised if he pitches anymore than once every 3 games, likely wont pitch in back-to-back games and probably wont close until proven healthy. Viz, even if healthy, probably is 2 yrs away from being a 200 inning plus starter.

          • Tony_Hall

            Vizcaino is going to pitch out of the bullpen this year and as you said, not likely to break camp with the team.

          • John_CC

            Translation: Rip is in a particularly feisty mood lately.

          • Denver Mike

            What sources do you need? Are you more knowledgeable about your profession than I am? Unless you are a pump engineer then I would be willing to be that you do.

            Does Theo know something about Vizcaino’s recovery that we don’t? Of course he does, because A) we know very little, if any, accurate information about it, and B) it is his job.

          • triple

            I’m glad that at least you know what Tony means by “common sense.” I thought most of us would, but I guess we are just blind Theo supporters.

          • Sonate

            You took my remark too literally. One way a trade of Shark does NOT push us back two years is IF Vizcaino is healthy and can slot into Shark’s spot in the rotation. None of us believe that this is the situation. Ergo, a trade of Shark pushes the “turnaround” back by two years (absent Theo pulling rabbits out of hats or spending LOTS of $$$.)

          • Tony_Hall

            Trading Samardzija does not push back anything 2 years, with no knowledge of the return or subsequent moves that are made.

          • John_CC

            What do YOU know about Vizcaino’s recovery that we don’t?

          • cubtex

            He ran into Vizcaino at

            a run down motel in North Carolina and heard a sound outside his window. It was Vizcaino pitching to his 3rd cousin. Sonate went outside and asked to catch a few pitches. He asked him to throw a couple of curves and called Theo and said he is 100%.

          • John_CC

            LOL!

          • Sonate

            Sadly, I probably have fewer sources than virtually any of you!! :)

        • John_CC

          At least we all sure hope so. Unless a lot of folks are posting from the Dominican…

    • Michael Massey

      Arrieta is young, it is called PATIENCE. Just love your confidence in Wood, glad you are a fan . Villanueva isn’t going to be a starter , don’t sweat it . Shark is a question, so we do have to see. Rusin improved greatly from 2012 to 2013, if he makes similar strides he can be the “Travis Wood ” ( come out of nowhere) in 2014 , if he starts. It is December, I would start being concerned in February

      • Ripsnorter1

        I thought 9 wins for Travis Wood was pretty generous, considering we have
        even less offense right now than we did last year.

        Arrieta is 28 on March 6. Nothing baseball young about that. My scouting service says this is
        the year he must turn it around or else he’ll be a AAAA player.

        The real issue with Russin: no strikeout pitch. Can he develop one? Idunno.

        • Michael Massey

          I don’t get the negativity towards Wood, but whatever. Pitchers who have to learn to pitch , for the most part, don’t lose it the next year. Wood didn’t use smoke and mirrors, he was a solid pitcher last year and there is little reason to think he can’t follow it up .
          Arrieta , for a pitcher , is still young. Pitchers , again, for the most part, do not hit their prime til their late 20′s -early 30′s. Patience IS the key . He does have the arm, now it is up to him and the Cubs to bring it together .
          As for Rusin, I agree he needs to keep stepping forward. I am not convinced he needs a strikeout pitch , though one would be handy. Tom Glavine won 300 games and he didn’t have a strikeout pitch ( his career K’s per 9 innings was just 5.32 ). Now don’t misunderstand me and think I am saying Rusin is a Tom Glavine , I am not. I AM saying good pitchers can win without a strikeout pitch .

          • Ripsnorter1

            First, I agree about patience.

            2nd, Wood: I just expect that last year’s growth will be met with this year’s adjustments against him. The league will think all winter about how to hit him, and he’ll regress some. This is normally how things work out in MLB.

            Arrieta–we shall see about him. At least I think we can agree that he’s not a lock to win 12 games.

            Rusin/Glavine: Glavine had a nasty slider. Rusin doesn’t have a slider.
            Rusin has an 88 mph sinker.
            His cutter is just 85 mph.
            He has a 4 seam fastball at 88 mph.
            His changeup is 79 mph.
            He has a 78 mph curve.
            He rarely throws a 80 mph slider.

            Rusin lacks the punchout pitch. Glavine’s slider was beat down into the ground by hitters for a ground out.

          • Michael Massey

            Good post , since we do agree with patience , I’ll comment on your other points, ok?
            2) Wood ,you have a valid point however, last year was not his 1st year in the majors, was it?? It was the 1st year he had his “act together”, so to speak. Of course the league adjusts , they are professionals , they better or they won’t be professionals for long , wouldn’t you agree?? So Wood has to continue to learn to pitch. He didn’t improve his stuff, he LEARNED how to pitch better. I am going to repeat myself later with Rusin but pitching can be compared with having a successful business. The first 3 keys to being successful to both are : LOCATION, LOCATION ,LOCATION. Wood keeps pitching , he will be fine
            3) You are correct, I do agree he is not a lock to win 12 games. He was inconsistent with the Cubs, IF he can become a consistently good ( notice I said GOOD , LOL ) pitcher , then 12 wins are POSSIBLE given the Cubs roster
            4) PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, do not misunderstand my point about bringing up Tom Glavine in with Rusin. Glavine is a future HOF’er and was a solid pitcher who , while he didn’t have awesome stuff, he did , as you point out , had some nasty pitches. My SINGLE point was that Glavine was not a strikeout pitcher , which Rusin is not either. That doesn’t mean a pitcher can’t be useful or pretty good. Again, as I said with Wood, and I emphasize, no matter how good an arm a pitcher has or how great of stuff he has, if he can’t throw strikes and hit his spots, he will not succeed. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION , ( as well as changing speeds) are the key to pitching. Wood showed that last year, Rusin showed SIGNS of that. Arrieta has to learn that in order to fulfill his potential.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Do you think Samardzija was insulted by Theo’s $55 million offer for 5 years?

    I mean, Ed Jackson hooked $52 million for 4 years, and who do you think Samardzija
    thinks is the better pitcher? Plus Samardzija might think that this next contract is his only
    shot at a major payday. Five years from now Samardzija will be headed into his age 34 season….Samardzija
    will be 29 on January 23. This is probably his one and only shot at a big, big contract–and his ego insists that
    his contract must be huge.

    • BosephHeyden

      Look at it like this: before last year, he had two pretty good seasons. 2011 he showed he was putting it together as a reliever and last year, in his first year as a major league starter, he put up some really good numbers.

      Last year, the selling point could be made that he did really well to start, but then pitching for a team that wasn’t making an effort to get better in the short term got to him. He vocalized it, and his performance showed he was frustrated.

      So, here’s a starting pitcher that’s going to be 30 before he hits free agency, BUT he’s only going to have four years of major league starting to his arm. And the one year he was told that he was going to be a major league reliever the entire year, he put things together and had a pretty good year.

      And the big key is that he’s at least been consistent. June’s a problem month for him, so you do what you can to cover that. And, so long as the team looks like it is trying to win, he wins. Teams will see that (heck teams DO see that, which is why they’re trying to trade for him now), and they will pay him more than $11 million a year. It won’t be a long term deal, but I don’t think he wants one. It’ll be a short term deal for a lot of money that, honestly, I don’t think this FO is willing to dish out (whether or not they should will be up for debate when that time comes).

      But Samardzija, I don’t think he was insulted, but I know he knows that when he hits free agency he’ll get more than $11 million a year. Barring a major collapse, he’ll get a noticeable amount more.

    • cubtex

      No doubt. Players have egos. Do you think Shark would accept a contract south of EJax’s?

      • John_CC

        It’s only South in AAV. More years, more gross money. Shark is overestimating his value. Due you think it could be due to the $10Million bonus Hendry gave him because he was an All-American football player??

        And as I just wrote in response to Rip, there is a difference between being a 29 year old with two years of arb. left vs. being a proven inning eating FA (Jackson averages 196 IP per year over 10 years).

        • cubtex

          Proven innings eater with almost a 1.5 WHIP. That contract bit Theo in the arse and that is why Shark will be dealt.

          • John_CC

            And Shark has proven more? 65 total starts and a 1.36 WHIP?

            Plus this is NOT about the Theo getting bit in the ass for the EJax contract. It is about Samardzija, remember?

          • cubtex

            Theo called Samardzija the Cubs best pitcher. Should the Cubs best pitcher be paid less than the Cubs 4th starter? That is my point

          • John_CC

            I know Tony is the math wizard around here but…55 > 48.

      • J Daniel

        Not even close! Feldman just got $30 for 3… Shark will be $80 for 5.

        • Tony_Hall

          Zero chance of that unless he waits 2 years for FA.

          • J Daniel

            That is what I meant and if he pitches well it will be a lot more.

      • Michael Massey

        You have to understand one vital point, comparing hark and EJax is like comparing apples to oranges. No, I am not crazy, please read on . I know they are both starting pitchers, AND they are both right handers of similar age, but there is a huge difference between them, EJax was able to get on the free market , Shark won’t be able for 2 more years and THAT IS HUGE. The Cubs are competing with themselves when it comes to Shark, it isn’t like he is going to tank it , his future compensation is depending on his performance. The Cubs can be patient, at least for a year, to see if Shark takes the next step up. If he does, then Shark has more leverage and can demand more.
        With EJax, it was an open market, all teams could have competed for his services , thus his price was higher. Now we all know all 30 MLB teams didn’t vie for EJAx , but enough teams DID to jack his price up , even if it was just “phantom” teams .
        Using EJax as a marker to compare for Shark isn’t right. There situations aren’t the same.

    • John_CC

      He can think all he wants, the facts are that at the same age he has pitched about a 1/3 of the innings as Jackson: 558 to 1444; his ERA is not that much better: 4.20 to 4.47; he is under team control for 2 more years vs. being a FA.

      Shark’s ego is huge, we know that. To think you are better than 5 years and 55 million is too bad. He’s already made more money from the Cubs for very little ML production than he should have.

      I think it might be fitting if ended up in KC, where he won’t be making the playoffs, he won’t be getting an extension close to what the Cubs are offering him, and he’ll be living in KC rather than Chicago.

      I go back and forth all the time with him. I just can’t decide…

      • cubtex

        Seriously John. If you were Shark who has room to grow as a starter since he has only 1/3 of the innings as EJax as you have pointed out, and already a much better starter…would you sign a 11 mil per year contract for 5 years?

        • John_CC

          Yes, I would.

          • cubtex

            you must not have much confidence in your ability. Shark does and knows he will do much better in FA in 2016

          • John_CC

            I would sign a 5 million per year for 11 years!

          • CubbyDenCritic

            John_CC…..with that offer, you will never be MLB GM……Shark’s agent will hang up on you before you would finish your sentence.
            A guy who pitches 200 plus innings and strikes out 200 batters will get a serious contract from various clubs at free agency time…….before then, Theo will get serious trade offers for Shark.

          • John_CC

            I am talking about ME!

          • cubtex

            lol.

          • davidalanu

            He’s pitched 200 inning one time. And when he did, he put up a 4.34 ERA. Let’s not pretend that he’s a perennial 200 inning, lock solid starter, because he’s not. If he pitcher 200+ again this year, and keeps his ERA in the low to mid-threes, then maybe he’s worth what he’s asking. At this point, though, no. He simply hasn’t shown that is is what he’s trying to get paid to be.

        • daverj

          Calling the offer a straight $11 million per year and comparing it like that to EJax’s contract is a little deceptive. Shark has two more arbitration years in which he will end up with far less than $11 million per year. EJax’s contact was obviously all free agent year. While we don’t know exactly what Shark will make in arbitration, I would estimate that he’s being offered about $14 million per season for each of his free agent seasons.

          • cubtex

            he is 2 years away from free agency.

          • daverj

            Yes. So if you were the Cubs’ GM, how much would you offer Shark on a 5 year deal (knowing that you have him for 2 years at arbitration numbers and are only buying out 3 years of free agency)?

          • cubtex

            Theo called him the best pitcher on the team. You are buying out 2 years before he would be able to cash in big time in free agency. I don’t blame Shark one bit for not signing a 5 year 55 mil contract.

          • cubtex

            he will get more than a 3 year deal in 2016 I imagine. So if he plays his hand and waits. He could be the #1 pitcher available in free agency. You never know what the market will be. He could get a 4 year 90 mil deal. Then he would have played his cards and won.

          • daverj

            You might be right. There are lots of potential outcomes for Shark if he waits two years to sign … some better, some worse.

            But I’m curious as to what you think the Cubs should offer Shark now under the circumstances?

            Shark’s demands must be weighed against the alternative which is years of team control during which he could be traded or let go at the end of 2 years with a likely supplemental pick coming to the Cubs.

          • Michael Massey

            Shark doesn’t have the control to force a trade to a winning team. If he doesn’t sign, he does have a choice to choose in free agency. The Cubs should be in no hurry to sign him to a contract that overly favors Shark. The contract that was “leaked “, 5yr/55 million, sounds right for now , especially since he simply hasn’t proven he IS top of a rotation pitcher. I think he is very capable , but potential doesn’t mean wins. Now if Shark holds off from signing and pitches a real good or better year, ( assuming he isn’t traded) then the Cubs have a big decision to make .

        • Tony_Hall

          If I was Samardzija, I would not sign and wait out being a FA.

      • Todd

        I don’t think it is ego as much as he is sick of losing and the next 2-4 years look bleak. He could get $55++ from anyone, I think that is what he is after, a winning organization, either by trade or FA.

      • Michael Massey

        You guys are comparing apples to oranges, even though both Jackson and Shark are pitchers. The fact is one was a free agent with a good body of work behind him while the other still has 2 years to go before free agency , has started for just 2 years and only pitched over 200 innings once, last year. NEITHER pitcher has an outstanding record, though Shark does have a very solid strikeout per 9 innings ratio. The “apples to oranges” part is that for Jackson, it was an open market where EVERY team could compete for his services , where for Shark, it is just the Cubs. That changes the entire situation. The Cubs were bidding against 29 other teams ( realistically far fewer, but still there were other teams ) for Jackson’s services, so he had leverage and could ask for more money. Shark has little to no leverage. He can ask for any amount, but there is little to nothing to coerce the Cubs into accepting, the Cubs still have 2 years to hold on to his rights. THAT , my friends is the difference and why it is apples to oranges.

    • cc002600

      it is not apples to apples comparision for Ejax and shark right now in terms of money. Shark is not a FA, so if gets 55 / for 5 years, he is essentially getting more money upfront than he would if he didn’t sign extension, because he isn’t getting $11M in arbitration this year. EJax was FA when he signed his deal – big difference.

      • cubtex

        Yes but he will be a free agent in 2 years so he could play out his hand and gamble that he will cash in later. If he just maintains his same level at 200 IP with a K an inning he will get a hell of a lot more than 4 at 52 that EJax got last year.

        • cubtex

          and he can choose to go to a winning,playoff team.

        • cc002600

          Correct. But that is 2 years from now. but right now, you cannot compare the 2. Its apples and oranges. Different situations. That was my only point. He could blow out his arm next year too, and he could end up nothing….you just don’t know.

          • cubtex

            that is right. that is your argument with every power pitcher. so…..I am sure you want to trade Shark since he will break down.

          • cc002600

            yea, but he doesn’t have the mileage on that arm. If they extend him, I would be ok with that, as long as its not more than 4 or 5 years.

          • cubtex

            matt harvey didn’t have a lot of mileage either. Nolan Ryan had a ton of mileage. Arodys Vizcaino didn’t have a ton of mileage. There isn’t a formula dude.

          • cc002600

            Dude, don’t use exceptions to the rule to make an argument. There are ALWAYS exceptions. That’s like saying since it snowed one day in May 25 years ago, we should start the baseball season in June.

            Nolan Ryan was a freak of nature. Its about managing overall risk. And its just common sense that the chances of a power pitcher breaking down are greater than a finesse guy. Doesn’t mean it will happen, but the chances are greater.

          • John_CC

            Shark ain’t no Matt Harvey. If he were, this wouldn’t be a conversation.

          • mutantbeast

            Tom Seaver. Nolan Ryan. Jerry Koosman. All 20plus big league seasons, all came out of the Mets 1960s farm system. Someone taught them the proper drop/drive mechanics. The Cubs need maybe to study what they did back then.

          • mutantbeast

            He will still be 32 in 2yrs. And what about his legs? Playing WR in college has to take some toll on the legs, and Spellcheck , as a power pitcher, has to incorporate leg drive into his pitches. He doesnt have Nolan Ryans mechanics to last 25 yrs as a big leaguer.

          • Michael Massey

            A LOT of pitchers on a LOT of teams have arm troubles, not just the Cubs. When Mark Prior was coming up, all I heard was how great his mechanics were and then all of a sudden they were not so good. What reading I have done suggests there are a couple problems that lead to the pitching breakdown. (please don’t ask what I have read, I didn’t write them down) . One was poor mechanics , the overuse of the slider , and the “babying ” of pitchers. I remember growing up , in the ’70′s and graduating in high school in 1983 , that aces of the staff NEVER pitched under 250 innings, in fact , the good ones pitched 300. I remember Fergie Jenkins won 20+ games 6 seasons in a row and won the Cy Young once . ( he was my favorite pitcher ) Only the 4th starter averaged about 200 innings a year, the top 3 were well over 230 , with the ace just sucking innings like a Hoover. Now, pitchers get over 200 innings , it is a ‘red badge of courage” . I think pitchers are trained to go about 120 pitches , max. They reach a point and they start getting injured.

        • John_CC

          Big gamble. Two years of MLB pitching can be a lifetime.

          • cubtex

            For some. I think Shark is very confident in his ability. You can’t play WR for the Irish at a high level and be projected as a top draft choice in football if you are worried about getting hurt.

          • John_CC

            Shoulder and elbow injuries to MLB starters are a way different animal than an ACL to a football player. Confidence in ability has zero to do with arm injuries.

      • daverj

        I did not see your post when I made the same point. My apologies.

      • Michael Massey

        It is apples and oranges when you try to use EJax as your base for your salary comparison for Shark. You are correct that the contract leaked out ( if correct ) is more money overall , but it is less per year ( 12 million to 11 million ) It is simply impossible to compare a free agent’s salary to a player under a teams control . ( of course there are exceptions, I do not mean the lower level free agents that sign for the minimum and top young players still controlled by their teams )

    • Tony_Hall

      That is about right for the next 5 years for Samardzija. No insult, but only 3 years are FA years, and his arbitration numbers won’t get too high.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    as someone pointed out, Shark has been paid well for years without producing much of note…to the tune of $15m.

    I don’t feel sorry for him if he feels slighted at getting another $55m.

    This is ALL based on potential. And at 29, this is just getting silly.

    Just take the offer and say thank you, or go away.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      before Shark walks, he will get traded.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Did I not say to look for Kansas City to make a push on Shark!…….we heard Cubs numbers for Shark….what are his numbers?…..maybe the issue is a no trade clause…..which I suspect.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I am so glad to hear Vizcaino is doing well……I thought we got a bum deal…….I know if Ruben Amaro was our GM, he would be crying to Selig about how the Braves gave us damage goods………should see Vizcaino by June or July after he builds up innings in Iowa.

  • 07GreyDigger

    The winter meetings should be interesting. I don’t imagine Theo would just give Samardzija away like Dombrowski did Fister. They don’t have to trade him. Remember that’s the key.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Cano to the Mariners!

    • John_CC

      WHAT?! Holy crap! That is just awesome. Now they are going to go hard at Price, trading Walker in the process, but end up with one of the top starting 3 in baseball!

      (sorry to be so excited but the M’s are my “regional” team as far as broadcasts go)

      • TheWrongGuy

        I don’t want the M’s to after Price hard. I want another team to jump in after Price and the M’s trade Taijuan Walker + to Cubs for Samardzjia +.

        • cubtex

          hahaha. We could only dream. Walker for Samardzija would never happen.

          • 07GreyDigger

            It might. If the Mariners are dumb enough to sign Cano when they have no other offense, why not make that deal?

          • J Daniel

            There is always a team DUMB enough, in any situation (trade or FA), to make it work. Just have to keep searching but don’t have to look far.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree I can dream.
            M’s GM is on his last leg and is making a BIG push to get his team into the play-offs(sorry I’m being Mr. Obvious here). I read earlier in the week that while the M’s are after Cano they are also seeking another starter for their rotation. So Price is an obvious 1st choice trade piece on the market. I would guess Samardjiza is the second choice versus spending a lot more money on the FA market. So yes I can dream with a touch of reality. And even if they don’t offer Walker the M’s have an excellent minor league of pitching arms.

          • cubtex

            I imagine the Rays would take Walker for Price today!

          • TheWrongGuy

            maybe but Prices’ contract versus Samardzjia’s contract is no comparison So yes the Rays would like but they will want more than Walker. But with Cano’s contract who looks better for the M’s Shark or Price.

          • cubtex

            they were talking about this on mlb radio yesterday. The consensus was that IF the Mariners offered Walker for Price or the D Backs offered Archie Bradley for Price…there would be a deal immediately.

          • John_CC

            It could be really interesting because the M’s have been stocking their farm for years. So if the Cubs really wanted to take advantage of Jack Z’s desperation mode, they could package Shark and get Walker.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Agree’d. That’s all I am saying John_CC.

          • daverj

            Price looks far better for the M’s than Shark. No chance the M’s deal Walker for Shark.

        • John_CC

          That’s a long shot! But if TB says that Walker is not enough … it could open the door.

    • cc002600

      It absolutely blows me away that there are teams still still dumb enough to give out megadollars for 10 years to a guy who is already 31 years old. Wow.

      I guess they didn’t learn anything from the AROD or Pujols deals, and many, many others.

      Glad it isn’t my money. :-)

      Cubtex, how’s that Yankee lineup looking to you now ? LOL

      78 wins – book it !!!!

      • cubtex

        Again. I would take alot of your money. I actually thinks this helps the Yanks. They can go out now and get a Choo and sign an Infante for 2B and still have money left for a starter.

        You don’t honestly think the Yanks are done after McCann and Ellsbury do you????

        • J Daniel

          Exactly what they should do and I applaud them for not budging off of their offer which I am sure Cano and JayZ thought would happen.

          Man, these teams just don’t learn.

        • John_CC

          haha! Now that is a good one! Man, that is worse than any of us putting a rosy glow on Theo’s work. It’s good for the Yankees to lose their best player so they can sign ANOTHER 30+ year old OF? They have Ichiro, Soriano, Wells and Gardner in their OF. Which of those fading players are they going to trade to fit Choo? Gardner is the only trade-able player in their OF.

          • cubtex

            Hmmmm. John. Did you forget about Ellsbury??? lol

          • John_CC

            I did!! So that makes 4 30+ year old “stars” in there OF and Choo would make 5.

            Brilliant “roster management”!

          • cubtex

            quit thinking like a small market team. they play to win each year. they will eat contracts and do this all over again. they will pay luxury taxes. they don’t do say…oh no, we can’t add another big contract until we get rid of Soriano’s and Zambrano’s etc. they add and add and won’t stop until they win a WS.

          • cc002600

            They don’t have much money left under the luxury tax. I read where they are close to signing another broken down old player. Kuroda for $16M :-)

            189M payroll for 78 wins !!

            yea, baby

          • cubtex

            are you really willing to back up that 78 win talk? you keep mentioning that number. Seriously dude, I am willing to place something material on that number.

          • cc002600

            I don’t bet

          • cubtex

            I don’t do a lot either but that was a sure thing :))) I couldn’t get anything like that anywhere

          • TrevorPetersma

            I’ll bet you twenty bucks I can get you gambling before the end of the day! I don’t know how, but I’m gonna get ya.

            (And yes, I still think that movie is hilarious.) :)

          • John_CC

            It’s not just about “eating contracts.” Unless you mean they just going to designate one of Soriano, Wells, or Ichiro – or yes, of course just trade them away and eat the entire contract ala Cubs and Soriano.

          • cubtex

            John. You need to look at what the Yanks are paying those guys.

            Vernon Wells 2.4 mil on the hook for next year only. Angels are paying the balance.

            Ichiro- 6.5 mil for 1 year

            Soriano- We know the Cubs are paying most of the salary.

        • cc002600

          No, they are definitely not done. But here’s the thing, I’m thinking Cano to Infante is slight dropoff (LOL). They have nothing at 3B. They have 40 year old OF’s and SS. They have 1 good starting pitcher and no closer (call me crazy but I’m thinking any closer they get will be drop off from Mariano Rivera, but what do I know ?).

          Dude, you can’t fill all these holes through FA. Where the heck would Choo play ? They already have tons washed up OF’s on their team.

          78 wins, baby :-)

          • cubtex

            they don’t care about eating contracts. don’t you get it?

          • cc002600

            Sure they do. Every team has a limit. Haven’t you noticed how inactive they were in free agency over the last few years ? They were way over luxury tax and wanted to get below it. Why do you think they dumped Burnett ? Nobody can spend forever.

          • cubtex

            189 mil is a lot of money to play with. They could have the AROD contract off the books( I think they will)

          • John_CC

            That’s the wildcard.

          • cc002600

            well, if they sign Kuroda for 16M, they will be at 155M committed for about 8-9 players with AROD. Good luck.

            And here’s the other problem – besides mostly garbage, what is left to sign in FA ?

            78 wins

          • cubtex

            so they will have 35 mil left to spend not including the 25 mil that they could have if ARod contract is written off. That is almost the entire Cubs payroll.lol

          • cc002600

            Nope, not really true…they don’t that much to spend on FA. That $155M does not include all the arbritration elgible guys and the 1-3 year guys. It adds up quickly, my friend. That 155M is only about 10 guys. Good luck with that.

            78 wins !!

          • cubtex

            NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter’s new contract has increased the Yankees’
            luxury tax payroll to $97.71 million for seven signed players next year.
            That leaves New York with about $80 million to spend on the rest of its
            roster if the team wants to get under the 2014 tax threshold.

            This was from an article a month ago before Ellsbury and McCann were signed. Yea……They are hurting. I wish the Cubs had their problems!! LMAO Cubs won’t even have 80 mil for 25 players. Hahahaha

          • cubtex

            be careful with that mostly garbage talk. One or 2 of those garbage guys could be on YOUR CHICAGO CUBS roster for next year :)

          • cubtex

            You really have a thing for the Yankees. Here is what you don’t understand. This year off the books. Cano, Rivera,Granderson and maybe all or part of AROD. Quite a chunk of change.
            They signed McCann and Ellsbury.
            Off the books NEXT year, Wells only 2.4 mil since the Angels are paying almost all of it. Sori 5 mil since our Cubs are paying almost all of it, Ichiro 6.5 mil(about a David DeJesus salary) Kuroda on a 1 year deal 16 mil, Jeter also on a 1 year deal. Texeira will be off the books the following year. Are you following me???? So they will have $ and more $ to spend this year(at least another 35 mil) and several more mil in 2015.

          • cc002600

            Yea, thanks I know how do math. Here’s what YOU don’t understand. You cannot buy your way to a championship. You can’t have guys making $15-20M at every position. They DO NOT have any good young players to offset this wasteful spending on 30-something FA’s. There are only a couple really good difference-making players that are available in FA each year. Sorry, but you can’t build your team on that.

            And forget about what they are “only” paying for Wells and Sori, etc….That has been taken into account. That’s interesting, but I’m telling you they have about $155M committed to 10 guys for next year (assuming they sign Kuroda). If you don’t believe me, check Cot’s contracts website. So when you add in the arby and 1-3 year guys, there isn’t much left to spend. Are YOU following me ???? LOL

          • cubtex

            you are exhausting. we will talk at the end of the winter when the Yankees roster is complete and then you can tell me how bad they will be. LOL.

          • cc002600

            Deal

            :-)

            It’s fun getting under your skin

          • Tony_Hall

            I think that ARoid should be suspended and the Yankees should have to donate his salary to Little League Baeball programs and NOT be given a break on the luxury tax.

        • Tony_Hall

          LOL!

    • Michael Massey

      Giving a 10 year contract to ANY player in their 30′s is insanity. This contract will hurt the Mariners far more than it will help

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Scott Feldman signs with the Astros.

    • cubtex

      Good for the Stros. They added Fowler and Feldman. Twins added Nolasco and Hughes. Cubs are frontrunners for #1 pick next year! Yes!!!!

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Astros will also have #1 pick (pitcher) in 2014 and Appel.

        • cubtex

          Yes. They will draft Carlos Rodon. The consensus #1 pitcher in the draft. Unfortunately…the Stros are closer than the Cubs are to being competitive

      • CubbyDenCritic

        you mean 2015.

        • cubtex

          yes

      • Ripsnorter1

        Feldman will be a bust in 2014, I think. Less than 10 wins, and an
        ERA over 4.40.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    With all the pitching heading to AL West, it is possible that the Angels could be a last place team in a year or two……even with Pujols and his big contract.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    If Seattle lands Price without giving up their top pitcher….and signs Garza, I believe they have the edge in the AL West.

    • cubtex

      they need to add another bat. A Nelson Cruz would look good hitting behind Cano.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    This JZ rapper guy will now will now get other players to join his group…..I think Scott Boras just wet his pants……..Seattle will get hitters to make a run.

    • J Daniel

      I hope he crapped them to!

  • cubtex

    With the Astros trading for Fowler and signing Feldman(yes he isn’t great but) They are obviously further along than the Cubs. The Cubs are still adding AAAA pieces. The Stros have Appel coming. They have Carlos Correa, George Springer,Jonathan Singleton, Lance McCullers and if they draft Carlos Rodon…this team is coming a lot faster than the Cubs. They are not waiting for all the prospects to come up at once. They are adding pieces with the prospects.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Cubs have guys too. I just don’t see where the Astros are better than the Cubs. I’d say they are about equal.

      • cubtex

        pitching

      • cubtex

        Cubs will not have an Appel or Rodon.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Astros don’t have Rodon though and just because he’s the consensus #1 pick doesn’t mean that they’ll draft him either.

          I meant from this season going forward. Who’s a better team? The Cubs or the Astros. Considering both teams are relying on prospects who haven’t come up yet. That makes them equal

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Just a thought…….how about this type of a trade with Seattle…..
    Samardzija
    Soler
    Schieroltz
    for
    Walker
    Hultzen
    Pike
    Gohara
    Discuss if this is good or bad for the Cubs.

    • cubtex

      In a heartbeat!

    • bpot92

      I just dont see why Seattle would ever do that. I dont know much about Pike or Gohara but Hultzon and Walker are two really good SP prospects

    • daverj

      Great deal for Cubs. Terrible deal for Seattle.

    • John_CC

      Seattle is in win NOW mode. While Soler would sweeten any pot, I don’t think Schierholtz and prospect a couple years away is enough.

      Now add Castro instead and ask for Franklin or Ackley on top of Walker +

  • John_CC

    4 and $60M for Granerson, he’s 32 and coming off an injury and poor season. So much for “buying low” gotta love them Mets!

    Choo is definitely looking to NYY for something between this and Ellsbury, and much closer to Ellsbury.

    The insanity continues. What will be left to do during the winter meetings? I think there will be a lot of bar time …

    • 07GreyDigger

      If before the winter meetings is any indication, lots of trades.

      • John_CC

        I think that the winter meetings just don’t mean the same thing these days…all the instant communication has sort of made it just an event.

    • Sonate

      Did a new TV deal infuse the clubs with more $$$ to spend (foolishly)?

      • Denver Mike

        The Mariners agreed to a $2 billiion / 20 year deal with Root Sports and DirecTV in April. That’s a mere $76 million extra per year through the first ten after they pay Cano’s salary. So yes, it sure did.

        I have stated several times how I truly believe the lack of additional revenue like the Yanks, BoBox, and Dodgers of the world, the Cubs will not be signing any monster salaries. But deals like Cano’s go to show that you need more than just the money, you need the brains to use it wisely, and I’m not too sure the Mariners have both. Time will tell if the Cubs do.

  • Bredstik

    From Rotoworld:

    Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that there is “mutual interest” between the Cubs and John Axford.
    Axford was non-tendered by the Cardinals earlier this week, but his agent, Dan Horwits, said Wednesday that his client has already received interest from 14 teams. Not only is Axford an intriguing bounce-back candidate, but the team that signs him would also have control of him through 2016. That kind of interest could lead to someone giving him a shot as a closer, and it sounds like the Cubs could be that club.

    • Bredstik

      More from Rotoworld:

      Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that the Cubs and Royals are among the teams interested in free agent right-hander Joba Chamberlain.
      According to Feinsand, nothing is imminent with either team. Chamberlain is fresh off a dreadful season in which he posted a 4.93 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and 38/26 K/BB ratio over 42 innings. Presumably he would work in a middle relief role with the Royals, but could be a candidate to work his way into save chances with the Cubs if he performs well.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you for posting. I hope you are following me on Twitter as well.