According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs “have quietly reached out to Jeff Samardzija with a new contract offer.” The report states the extension would keep Samardzija with the Cubs for as long as Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have said publicly over the last two years the Cubs need more Jeff Samardzijas and not less. If Gordon Wittenmyer’s sources are correct, it should not come as a surprise that the front office is making one last attempt to sign Samardzija before the only option is to trade him.
Gordon Wittenmyer reported the Cubs “offer is believed to be for the same five years previously discussed” but more than the total contract of $60-65 million. The two sides have reportedly been $20-25 million apart on a five-six extension.
The Homer Bailey contract (six years, $105 million) appears to be the starting point on an extension for Samardzija, along with assurances from the Cubs on when the front office plans on being competitive again. Ken Rosenthal thinks Samardzija would probably want an extension closer to the six-year, $127.5 million contract Matt Cain signed with the Giants. The report from the Sun-Times mentions “management style and stability” as being other possible issues. Samardzija was believed to be asking for some kind of no-trade protection before he signed a long term extension as well. If Samardzija signs an extension with the Cubs, at some point he will receive 10-5 rights and would have a say so on where he would be traded, that is unless he was traded before the clause kicked in.
As Wittenmyer previously reported, the Cubs have “already had preliminary trade talks involving potential players who would come back in a deal” for Samardzija with at least two teams including the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays sent Russ Boye, one of their most trusted scouts according to the Toronto Sun, to Miami to watch Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija pitch the first two games of the series. And the Cubs recently sent Tim Wilken to watch Blue Jays prospects.
Welcome to the rumor season …