Keeping Samardzija Long Term Remains Cubs Goal

Theo Epstein remains hopeful the team and Jeff Samardzija can agree to terms on a long term extension according to a report from ESPN Chicago. And during an interview with David Kaplan on Tuesday morning, Jed Hoyer said he thinks they’ve made it clear, the Cubs’ goal is to keep Jeff Samardzija.

Jeff Samardzija is on record multiple times in recent weeks stating how much he would like to stay with the team and sign a long term deal. Samardzija admitted to having an emotional attachment to the organization during last Friday’s press conference. But despite the fact he wants to badly remain a Cub, Samardzija understands the process and knows this is a business.

There is a gap right now between the two sides on Samardzija’s value. Samardzija would reportedly like to be compensated like he was a free agent pitcher while the Cubs see him as a pitcher that has a lot of ability and upside but one that has yet to put it all together for an entire season.

Jed Hoyer discussed where the team stands with Samardzija on David Kaplan’s new show Tuesday morning. The Cubs need pitching and the team loves the way Samardzija competes. Hoyer thinks Samardzija said it perfectly during the press conference that there is a gap in the negotiations between the two sides. Because if there wasn’t, the Cubs would have already signed him to a long-term extension.

Hoyer indicated the two sides continue to talk and he sees that as a positive. The Cubs really feel Samardzija’s best days are ahead of him. And in Samardzija’s case, the Cubs would be paying him on future performance not past accomplishments.

ESPN Chicago reported Tuesday “there hasn’t been a breakthrough in the long-term talks” between Samardzija’s camp and the Cubs.

Theo Epstein spoke with Jesse Rogers about Samardzija, and like Hoyer, the Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations “remains hopeful for a deal.” Epstein explained the gap in value that exists between Samardzija and the team.

“Sometimes there is going to be a natural gap where a player values himself for what he can do and the team has to factor in a little bit more of what he has done. It doesn’t mean we’re tremendously far apart, but if you are apart you kind of table it for another day and see what happens.”

Jesse Rogers reported Tuesday that if the two sides are unable to agree to a deal by July, then Samardzija will likely be traded because if the Cubs wait until after the season to try to lock Samardzija up again “it’s believed he would wait to test the open market after 2015.”

Another possible hurdle could be the Cubs policy of not including no-trade clauses or no-trade protection in a player’s contract. Rumors have suggested Samardzija would like a no-trade clause included in any long-term extension. Samardzija’s original contract included a no-trade clause but that was voided when the team declined his option in the Fall of 2011.

The rumors and speculation will continue until an extension is agreed upon. Jeff Samardzija could help his situation with a quiet, productive spring that he carries into the regular season … and at least into the month of June.

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