Arbitration is Looming for Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs

As previously reported, Jeff Samardzija’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday in St. Petersburg. And while the two sides are reportedly trying to agree on what Samardzija should be paid for the upcoming season, Bruce Levine indicated Friday the Cubs and Samardzija remain $100,000 apart in the negotiations.

Jeff Samardzija has been at the Cubs’ facility preparing for Spring Training and according to a report from Carrie Muskat, Theo Epstein “was in Arizona this week to get settled in the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility in Mesa.”

The Cubs have not gone to arbitration with a player since Ryan Theriot in 2010 and before Theriot the last Cubs player to go to arbitration was Mark Grace in 1993. Muskat reported, Theo Epstein “has never gone to arbitration with a player.”

When the arbitration numbers were exchanged, Samardzija and the Cubs were $1.8 million apart. Samardzija submitted a $6.2 million figure and the Cubs filed at $4.4 million. Samardzija ended up making $2.765 million last year ($2.64 million base; $125,000 for completing 200 innings). The $2.64 million base that was agreed upon was the same as Samardzija was paid in 2012.

If the two sides are as close on a deal as Bruce Levine has reported it would not make any sense for Samardzija to go to arbitration. While some claim an arbitration hearing is just part of the business of baseball, most players that go through the arbitration process one time say they will never do it again.

Sports Illustrated ran a report Thursday about the arbitration process and pointed out “most clubs, like the Cubs, will do whatever they can to settle with a player before his case is heard.” The report explained, “Preparing for hearings, which are held in conference rooms in either Florida (in even years) or Arizona (in odd ones), is both distracting and time-consuming.” Teams would rather focus on other things.

The Cubs and Samardzija can agree to terms on a contract and avoid the hearing right up to the time the two sides enter the room.

Bronson Arroyo

While it is unknown the level of interest the Cubs had in signing Bronson Arroyo, the former Red Sox and Reds starter agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday … and for now eliminated a possible destination for Jeff Samardzija in the process.

Kevin Towers has been trying to pry Samardzija away from the Cubs since last summer and while the two teams could rekindle those discussions during the season, the D-Backs appear to have enough depth in the rotation, for now, with the addition of Arroyo.

According to multiple reports, Arroyo agreed to terms on a two-year contract that will pay the veteran starter a guaranteed $23.5 million. The deal includes a club option for a third season worth $11 million that has a $4.5 million buyout attached to it. Arizona will pay Arroyo $9.5 million in both 2014 and 2015.

News, Notes and Rumors

According to Roch Kobatko, the Orioles remain in the mix for RHP Suk-Min Yoon.

The Cubs were connected to veteran reliever Mitchell Boggs during the Winter Meetings. The Cubs signed Jose Veras instead and on Friday the White Sox signed Boggs to a Major League contract. The former Cardinals’ hurler will be paid $1.1 million if he is on the 25-man roster. Boggs has one more arbitration season left before he becomes a free agent following the 2015 season.

Howard Megdal posted his list of baseball’s 10 best giveaways for the upcoming season.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • cubtex

    Shark wants to be paid and thought of as a #1 or #2. Theo is asking for prospects from other teams like he is a #1 or #2 but they don’t want to extend him in the same way. Other gm’s know this. They either have to lower their asking price on trades or come up on their offer to extend him.

    • Tony_Hall

      They actually don’t need to do either. They should agree near a midpoint for 2014 and let the season play out and see what is being offered in June/July.
      Why settle when you have 2 more years of control?

      • cubtex

        true. you can wait it out and his value might go up, or it could get lower. I think teams see him as a #3 ceiling. I don’t think that will change in 1/2 a season.

        • Tony_Hall

          This will be his 3rd full season starting. This is the year most players become who they are as a player. I don’t see him being a 1/2 but a solid 2/3 as his potential.
          They can ride out this whole season and even go into 2015 and trade him at the deadline 1 1/2 season from now.

          There is no reason to lower their demands and taking what is offered unless someone overpays like the Rangers did for Garza.

          • cubtex

            Teams see how they are treating Shark in arbitration and salary extensions yet he is asking for a package that is inconsistent with how they value him in house. I hope they can extend him somehow because I don’t think they will get back anywhere near what Theo is asking for.

          • Tony_Hall

            How they are treating him in arbitration is in line with his numbers.

            His projected arb number was $4.9M. The Cubs put up $4.4M which is about right for teams to do in this case. Samardzija overshot his ask by going to $6.2M. Teams see it all right, that Samardzija thinks he is worth a lot more than he has proven so far.

            Arbitration years is a percentage of what they are worth on the open market based on their stats and comparables. based on Super 2, Arb 1, Arb 2, Arb 3 and Arb 4 years.

            No one thought he would get what he received for Garza either.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        trade value will be higher at July 2014 then in July 2015……a team this year still will have another year with Jeff, so they will give more this year then next year.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Supply & Demand……and a little Panic from a Buying GM…that is what it will take to make Shark’s trade value climb.

  • Eugene Debs

    Just pay the dude. We found $2+million for Darwin Barnet, so lift up the cushions and find some cash. If Barney is worth $2+ million, Jeff is worth $6 million.

  • paulcatanese

    The postcard of Wrigley Field in the 40’s is what I remember, a beautiful place to behold.
    Not the Brooklyn Dodger place they are trying to go to now. Signs all over the place, Rooftops that detract.
    The future look is not that great for the park, much better off to move and do it right the first time, future fans can appreciate the new park for years/

    • CubbyDenCritic

      if the Roof Top Owners keep pushing to slit their throats with lawsuits……it will happen.

  • Neil

    It appears Paul Maholm and the Dodgers have a deal in place Maholm reported to Glendale this morning according to reports and is apparently taking a physical.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Hollywood is much better then getting a 40 man spot on a last place team.

  • John_CC

    The $100k difference being reported is insane. There is no way they are quibbling over what is essentially chump change to both sides.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    This is a BIG year for Shark…..
    he is 29, and if he wants to be paid like an “Ace” , he needs to pitch like one this year……no excuses ….even if Shark lost 18 games this year, his ERA needs to be in the 2.50 range to be looked at as a Pitcher with “Ace” stuff……Villanueva had better stats then Samardzija did in 2013…..and Villanueva was a good “Trooper” who went back & fourth from bullpen to a starter….we heard no “bitching” from Carlos……
    I think that $100,000 separation is all B.S……this is more about Theo’s ego against Shark’s ego…….Shark’s ticket is already printed to leave the Cubs……….Theo will exploit the trade market demand when July comes around……Shark trade return will be far better then what the Cubs got for Garza…….. ……when the Cubs win their World Series with all these prospects who helped us to win……….the farthest from the minds of Cubs fans will be Jeff Samardzija.

  • Neil

    Jeff Samardzija settled at $5.345M for ’14, above midpoint. #cubs

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Okay Jeff, you got your money….now prove you are an “Ace”……or just another #4 pitcher.