Jeff Samardzija is Inigo MontoyaI had to scamper back up to my room from the Cubs Convention festivities, so I apologize for the brevity.

Today the Chicago Cubs avoided arbitration with their final two arbitration-eligible players, Jeff Samardzija and James Russell, who were each eligible for arbitration for the first time. Russell gets one year and $1.075 million, and Samardzija gets one year and $2.64 million, plus $125K in incentives. The Russell figure is pretty much exactly where I expected, but the Samardzija figure is quite a bit lower than I’d expected. Although he was arbitration-eligible for the first time, he actually made $2.64 million last year, so I’d expected a bit of a raise.

All in all, this is great news for the Cubs, who won’t have to worry about any arbitration cases and the attending ugliness.

Back to the Convention.

  • MichiganGoat

    I was expecting something close to double that for Shark

  • cubchymyst

    Does the low number reflect that if extended Shark might be cheaper than initially thought?

    • brickhouse

      The projection I saw was 2.9 million so this was pretty close when you consider the incentives

  • THEOlogical

    I’m quite shocked that Shark took the deal. Maybe his agent helped him realize that if he goes out there and throws out huge numbers again, he’ll be in line for a huge payday. And knowing that the Cubs have money to spend, and love his work ethic and makeup, he’d easily get that payday from the team that drafted him.

    • Wilbur

      I definitely could see that conversation happening, but I like others wonder why the low figure this year. All I can say is interesting!

  • Mike

    My guess, regarding Shark, is that they will work on some kind of extension with him, if, or more likely when, he shows that 2012 was not a fluke year. I think the Cubs will reward him handsomely sometime mid-year, or sooner, with an extension.

  • Stevie B

    Theo : “Jeff, sign this and if you produce, come mid to late season, we’ll make it worth your while”
    Jeff: ‘Where’s the pen?”


  • Mick

    Once Carlos Villanueva’s deal becomes official, the Cubs opening day payroll will be $103,295,000. That’s not counting Soler or Concepcion’s contract.

  • Ben Peoria Cubs Fan

    I was under the impression the Shark’s 2012 contract was at 2.64 million due to him getting a 20% paycut from his 2011 figure. The last year of his initial contract signing. I recall many people freaking out with the headline that his team option was not picked before last year.
    Since he was under team control the Cubs signed him for the least they could pay him i.e. 20% paycut per union rules.
    This being his first year of arbitration his past salary would have little to do with his next annual salary, but rather determined on past players salaries with like numbers.

    • dw8

      this too!

  • dw8

    Even though Samardzija made a bunch of money last year, this was still his first year of arbitration, so maybe that has something to do with his low total. Generally guys earn about 40 percent of his free agent value. I understand that this is still low in comparison to the 40 percent rule, Shark was still working on his first deal (a major league deal) kept his prearb salary artificially high.

    These are just conjectured guesses, obviously.

    • Kyle

      That sounds like the reasonable explanation to me. Samardzija is still a first-year arbitration guy with very little in the way of track record. That doesn’t line you up for a big payday, no matter how awesome you actually are.

      • Jeremy

        I think what Shark got in arbitration is pretty reasonable. He had a season deserving of this payday looking at his numbers. Good decision by the Cubs brass.

  • cubzforlife

    Shark in conversation to self, “let’s see beautiful downtown condo, check, plenty of money for the ladies, check, twenty seven hair brushes, check, two million more, check! where do I sign?” check.

  • dreese

    Thanks Brett for the speedy update

  • Clark Addison

    Maybe he figures the Cubs overpaid him the first five years, so he agreed to a sweetheart deal.

  • Austin

    Was it just me or did Ernie look bad tonight? From where I was standing it looked like he lost a LOT of weight.

  • 100 Years of Tears

    Does anyone else have a wife that can hang with sports writers? Didn’t think so. Meagan pretty much kicks ass.

    • 100 Years of Tears

      It’s good to be the king.

  • North Side Irish

    MLB Trade Rumors ‏@mlbtraderumors
    Cubs, Diamondbacks Discussed Justin Upton #mlb

    Haven’t we already had this conversation?

  • 2much2say

    They could move Barney to sort with Baez in the wings. Castro for uptonand sign Kelly Johnson for 2nd.

    • http://bleachernation frank hutch

      That would be a horrible trade. I want nothing to do with upton unless its for garza and not baez castro almora or soler. Arizona wouldn’t go for that. So no deal

      • Mike

        Agreed. Castro is too young, valuable and under control for too many years to make a stupid trade like that for upton.

  • FFP

    Winter 2006 Bronson Arroyo (and his Samson-esque long locks) gave Boston a “hometown” discount right after playing a nice guitar duet with Theo onstage at a fundraiser. By March Arroyo had been traded to the Reds for Wily Mo Pena (the worst right fielder I’ve ever seen).

    I like Shark. I’d like to keep him. This contract worries me.