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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  • raymondrobertkoenig

    If the rumored figures (Cubs offering 11 million per season, Samardzija asking for 18) are accurate, I have to believe the gap is too wide to resolve and Samardzija will be traded

    • Brp921

      I can’t see the Cubs agreeing to 18 million a year by mid season.

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  • Eugene Debs

    Pitching is expensive. Good pitching is really expensive. Great pitching is ridiculous expensive. You can’t go higher than “good pitcher” with Samardzija.

    • GaryLeeT

      He’s worth 14 per, tops.That’s still a big gamble for somebody, I don’t think, has what it takes, between the ears, to be more than a #3.

  • Ripsnorter1

    S-M-O-K-E S-C-R-E-E-N.

    Look, either Theo is telling the truth or lying when he said, “I spent every available dollar in 2012 and 2013.” If that is the truth, what you have is an owner wringing every available dollar out of the Cubs budget to pay off this albatross. And that means Samardzijz just isn’t going to get paid here. What’s the payroll, $78 million, including the $15 million the Cubs are paying Soriano to hit HRs for the Yanks? And does that include Sveum’s last year on his contract as well?

    Meanwhile, Theo is “going after” Tanaka. LOL
    “We are going after other to FAs.’ Hahahahaha.
    Gotta love that Hammels signing. We are going to see him making souvenirs for Waveland Ave. fans.

    It’s just a bunch of smoke. They are riding this team to the very bottom of MLB and a #1 pick in 2015.

    • Cubbiemacg

      I’d rather have number one than sixteen or even eight so why does it matter ley them”tank” and they’ll have no excuse next year as they can’t go any further from the bottom is not like we ate the first team to have this strategy

      • GaryLeeT

        But they are the first major market team to employ that strategy. Could anybody imagine the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, or Phillies tanking a season, (let alone 3 in a row) for a high draft pick?

        • Vivid_Reality

          Those three teams all have substantially more financial flexibility. They also haven’t recently found themselves in as dire situation as the Cubs were three years ago. The major league team was littered with bloated contracts and useless players. The minor league scouting and development was almost useless. Hendry threw money at the problems, which everyone seems to want to do again, and that got us absolutely nowhere. Hard resets don’t happen overnight and we really didn’t have any other choice.

          • GaryLeeT

            And boy do I lament the fact that a major market team doesn’t have an owner with deep pockets. That’s why I wrote the comment. Now, ask me how I would have felt if some owner had come in, and Dodgered up the Cubs?

          • Tony_Hall

            You would rather have a 500 team that you feel hope every year, then a rebuild that takes time, but puts the team in a better position long term? That is fine if that is what you want, but being a 500 team that we think is only 2-3 moves away every year is not what I want. I want a team that is able to contend for a World Series every year and feel that the Cubs will be there. Dodgered up can work in some cases ( it helps that the timing of their TV deal that pays a boat load of cash was right when they bought the team), but if the ownership group for the Dodgers had bought the Cubs, the restrictions of the deal from Sam Zell would not have allowed them to use the same plan they are using in LA.

          • GaryLeeT

            No, they both end up in the same place, but it just takes them longer.

          • Tony_Hall

            But how long will they stay there?

            One team will have to keep buying it, the other will only have to buy a little, as they have a system for developing players to fill most of their needs.

            Read the article I posted on the newest article.

          • GaryLeeT

            You know my (and other’s) position on this. Winning, and rebuilding do not have to be mutually exclusive. A well funded organization, run by the best minds in baseball, could do both at the same time.

          • Tony_Hall

            I have never said that that way isn’t possible. Just that that is not how Tom Ricketts has chosen to do it for this franchise. He has chosen to rebuild this franchise from the ground up because that is what he believes, based on the situation, the facilities, the farm system and the financial restrictions he had to agree to, was the best way to proceed with the Chicago Cubs.

          • Tony_Hall

            Also, read the article I posted if you think you can do both at the same time is so easy. It is about the Angels, how they have tried to spend their way to winning and are now using a very familiar “way” to fix things. Ironically, they have the worst farm system and have no top draft picks in their system from recent years due to all that spending on free agents.

          • Tony_Hall

            Gary – You really need to abide by Neil’s rule and stop editing your posts and adding so much more to them. Just add another post.

            And you also need to spend some time on the info that is out there and been shown on here about the restrictions that Zell placed on Ricketts and that MLB has on debt ratios, which contracts are considered.

          • GaryLeeT

            I might edit words here and there if I don’t like the spelling or sentence structure, but I NEVER flip my opinion with an edit. PERIOD PLease, Please, please show me where in Rickett’s purchase agreement, where there is hard cap put on player payroll.

          • Tony_Hall

            MLB has rules on long term debt and payroll counts. The Cubs are past the threshold for long term debt, so adding huge payroll is not possible.

            You added to this post, it wasn’t just a spelling or sentence structure you changed.

          • GaryLeeT

            And it is illegal to pay off the debt?

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes it is against the agreement with Sam Zell.

            I will try and find you an article that explains this, but if I remember right it was 5 years before Ricketts could restructure of pay off the debt. This was done to save the Tribune huge amounts of money in capital gains.

          • GaryLeeT

            Even so, the deal was done when there was a $145 million payroll, so we know it can go at least that high. Plus, I am sure you could do something like put a player’s future payroll obligation into an escrow to satisfy any ratio issue.

          • Tony_Hall

            And Ricketts said that it was unsustainable. And no you can’t escrow future payroll.

            I know you want to keep saying Ricketts can just put in the $20, $30, $40, even $50M needed to get the payroll up and put out a respectable team, but why, even if it was allowed by the deal and MLB, would he do that? Make the team 500 and get worse draft picks for all that money. If it meant making the team a World Series contender, it might be something to consider, but what team has ever done this with a team that wasn’t already a playoff level team, when an owner has for a short term allowed the team to go that far over what they can budget for payroll.

          • GaryLeeT

            Really? You should have payed closer attention to what I wrote, because I am not going to re-list all the benefits of maintaining respectable team.

          • Tony_Hall

            Really! When you buy a MLB team you can do it your way. Now the Cubs are owned by Ricketts and he is doing it his way. Of course he also has all of the information and we only have bits and pieces. Maybe that is why he has made the decision he has made.

            Here is a short article that talks about the financing from 2010.


          • GaryLeeT

            Sorry, there is no law, or agreement, that says he can’t take some of his own personal money, and put it towards payroll.

          • Tony_Hall

            I give up. You will never understand.

          • GaryLeeT

            You are right, I will never understand, because I put my own money back into my company all the time. I may buy a new vehicle with my personal money, then repay the loan, at a time that easier for the company to handle.

          • Tony_Hall

            And so have I.

            This was one of the most complex business deals. It is just not that simple. That is why the Ricketts have done some of the business dealings (like buying property around Wrigley) seperate from the Cubs.

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is a Kaplan article that digs into it a little. I have read one that dug much deeper, but it goes over most of it.


        • Richard Hood

          Your memories are a little shakey. The Phillies in the late 90’s did exactly what the Cubs have done the last 4 year.

          • GaryLeeT

            This era.

          • GaryLeeT

            The Phillies need to do it again, but are they?

        • dicepaul

          ’89-’92 The Yankees lost 359 games resulting in three top 10 picks ’90-’92 and the #13 pick in ’93. They used real good scouting in ’90 to find Posada in the 22nd round, Pettite in the 24th, and sign Mariano as a amateur free agent. In ’92 they drafted Jeter with the number 6 pick.

          • GaryLeeT

            This era, not 20+ years ago. The Yankees need to replenish their farm system now. Are they tanking the team?

          • dicepaul

            Pettite and Mariano just retired and Jeter is set to retire after this year, obviously we are talking this era. The Yankees lost a lot of games, scouted well, and drafted well to get a solid core. You said about the Cubs: “They are the first major market team to employ that strategy”.The strategy is the same no matter what the year is.

          • GaryLeeT

            Did you even read my amended statement? I said “these days”, as in “today”. And I asked you a question that you did not answer.

          • dicepaul

            Yes I could have seen the Yankees doing this if they didn’t have the revenue stream provided by their media deal which helped them sign Ellsbury, Tanaka, Beltran, and McCaan. Comparing the Yankees(with a media deal) to the Cubs(no media deal) is comparing apples to oranges. If the Yankees fail in 2014 and need to replace 2 starting pitchers, SS, and 2nd base at the end of the season I could see them trading Beltran and/or McCann to help replenish the farm system. If the Yankees finish around .500 then yes they tanked the team.

          • GaryLeeT

            That was my whole point. The frustration of having a large market team that has to act like a small one.

    • dicepaul

      Brett Taylor at Bleacher Nation was was dead right when he wrote “I suspect that folks will take Epstein’s comments to support whatever pre-existing beliefs they already held”.

  • The Dude Abides

    I wish we could get the players in return Samardzija thinks
    he’s worth.

    Time for him to put together something on the field that
    matches his bravado off of it.