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jeff samardzija gatorade showerThis week will probably feature a heavy dose of Jeff Samardzija trade rumors. Such is the nature of the beast. Before we get there, though …

I’ve long been on the side of preferring to sign Samardzija to a reasonable extension. It’s easier to keep the front end arm you already have than to try and find one out there, and Samardzija feels like a good bet for the next four to five years. Say what you will of the Cubs’ timeline for competitiveness, but I’m quite certain they’d like to be popping out 90+ win seasons at some point before 2018.

But, as you know, there’s a significant problem in getting Samardzija to sign a reasonable extension right now: he’s already made more than $15 million in his career. The incentive to sign a team-friendly, life-changing extension isn’t there for Samardzija, who would prefer to bet on himself for the next two years and then try and score big in free agency. For that reason, some folks argue that the Cubs have to bend upward in their offer(s) to Samardzija, if they want to get him on a long-term team. Indeed, in a piece about the extend/trade Samardzija situation, Jesse Rogers argues, in essence, that Samardzija’s career earning level is a reason to step up the offer to Samardzija, closer to the free agent level dollars he’s looking for.

I do not agree with the folks on that side of the fence. Those big career earnings are a reason for Samardzija to bet on himself. That is not reason for the Cubs to give him more money. His value is his value. A reasonable deal is a reasonable deal.

The Cubs still control Samardzija, cheaply, for the next two years. The fact that he has personal reasons for wanting free agent level dollars in those two years as part of an extension is not a sufficient reason to give them to him. Heck, to my mind, it would be folly to guarantee Samardzija free agent level dollars in years 2016, 2017, and 2018 of the extension, too. Why in the world would the Cubs agree now to guarantee Samardzija the very prices he’ll hope to seek in two years? So very many things could go wrong in those two years, and, even if they don’t, the Cubs will have as much chance as any other team to bid on Samardzija at free agent level prices.

In other words, the fact that Samardzija might want a free agent level contract right now is not a reason to give it to him. It is, sadly, a reason to trade him.

With apologies to Samardzija – and with complete and total respect should he wish to keep betting on himself (good on you, man, go get yours) – the Cubs’ extension offer should top out at five years and about $61 million. It can be spread out however the sides would like, but it is, essentially, $5 million in 2014 (arbitration expectation), $8 million in 2015 (arbitration expectation), $15 million in 2016 (maximum reasonable rate – borderline free agent level), $16 million in 2017, and $17 million in 2018. If Samardzija wants a higher rate for the bought out free agent years, then maybe a three or four-year extension is in order instead. That’s probably less palatable to the Cubs, in terms of asset planning, but it would come with a lesser guarantee.

So, in the end, I come right back to where I’ve always been: a reasonable extension for Samardzija is the best option for the Cubs (and, hopefully, Samardzija). If that’s clearly not possible, the Cubs should do what they’re already doing, and listen to what’s out there in trade. Unless a clear-cut, fantastic offer comes, let Samardzija start 2014 with the Cubs, and re-evaluate in July.

  • sans

    I can’t blame Jeff Samardzija for desiring the amount of money that he does – let’s be honest, IF he were a free-agent, he’d be getting it. I also can’t blame the FO for balking at that amount – however high it is. This is going to be an interesting situation to watch unfold.

    I’m betting on a mid-season trade; not ruling out an extension.

  • mdavis

    very solid article Brett. I read Rogers’s piece this morning and agree with you, those aren’t really the reasons to increase the offer. It sounds to me Shark is asking for too much, he wants to be paid for what he could be, not for what he is. Hopefully some team gets antsy and puts together a strong package for the Cubs and they get good MLB ready value for him. we’ll see.

    • Boogens

      I agree. With the market being what it currently is it’s hard to see that the Cubs could get a better package by waiting. However, they will be exposed to risk if they go the trade deadline route. If they can’t extend him now then they should trade him now.

  • Eric

    If trading him is the only answer, and it doesn’t shake out in the Winter meetings, I wouldn’t wait longer than the trade deadline. Maximum value will be reached at that time.

    • CubFan Paul

      “the trade deadline. Maximum value will be reached at that time”

      Maximum value is now

      • Boogens

        Agreed – you’re right.

        • Chad

          Disagree, right now there are many many options, we’ve seen the Fister disaster and not desperate teams. At the deadline the options are far fewer, teams are more desperate (see Garza deal), and Shark has the opportunity to pitch very well from April to July.

          There is obvious risk of injury or poor performance as well, but that could help the cubs with an extension if they so choose.

          • YourResidentJag

            And yet teams interested in Shark just keep getting added to the list of interested teams.

            • Nick

              I think the argument is 2-3 desperate teams > 10 not-so desperate teams (that have all of free agency available).

              I would say it depends on the year, and is not always true, but I could see it happening.

          • On The Farm

            I would argue that the Fister trade is the exception, not the rule. Right now teams are just as desperate to acquire pieces to start the season a contender. Maybe a team like Texas or before the Fister trade, the Nationals, demand isn’t as high because they have lots of SP already and they are just looking for a boost. However, take a look at the other teams connected to the Cubs. The Blue Jays are already all in. They traded a lot of pieces to get Dickey. While their farm system looks promising, a bulk of that talent is short season and low ball pitchers. Nothing that they can use in their current window of opportunity other than in a trade. The Jays are desperate to look like they are trying to make a move to try and get into contention and if they don’t add a piece now they might be out of it by the July Deadline.

            Same with the Dbacks. They are playing against one of the best teams in the MLB. They don’t have the luxury to sit back and watch the moves the rest of their division makes. Further, the Dodgers could trade for Price or try and sign Tanaka. In order to keep pace with them they need to acquire their own SP.

            I think the Fister trade was botched (or rushed) to the point the Tigers thought they had to take the Nationals price so they could make more moves.

            While there are a lot more SP options, there are also a lot more teams looking to add a SP and considering how Samardjiza will come with two affordable years is much more attractive to some teams who are only looking for a good SP on a short term basis to begin with. Signing a FA will be expensive and mean the team will have to commit a certain amount of years to that pitcher. Samardjiza doesn’t come with that burden. I think the optimum market value is preseason, not midseaon.

            • YourResidentJag

              In addition, maybe some teams are smart (unlike the Mariners) and see the cost of Price exorbitant, Garza an injury risk, and Santana as overvalued for the price.

              • On The Farm

                And another GM might take into account the injury history of all four of them and go with the “safer” bet.

          • Stevie B

            Who thinks we would have gotten more for Garza during the winter meetings than we got at the deadline?

            Put me down for deadline…but I am of the opinion a lot of folks want a trade now…..due to complete boredom and frustration of the state of the big league club.

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        All things being equal, maximum value is now. But things aren’t always equal. It’s a bit of a gamble, but the supply-demand dynamics might tip more in one’s favor at the trade deadline, depending on who you expect to be in the race and how things fall. Right now, everyone and no one is in the race. Every player is available at the right price in a way that is probably not quite true at the trade deadline when a team in contention rarely stomachs losing a blue chip by way of trade. So the supply is a bit smaller at the trade deadline–typically–and the Cubs figure to be in a position to sell at the deadline if necessary.

        And, possibly, the Cubs could be betting on Shark to have a breakout 2014. Half a season of the same Jeff won’t diminish his trade value too much, but if he breaks out, it could increase his value greatly.

  • Nate

    The problem is, if I were Shark I’d do the same thing. So, if I were Theo, I’d trade him now if you can get a haul. If not, you still can later if he performs. I like Shark. Hell, I wanted him as the Bears slot receiver when he decided to play baseball but this may be turning into a gots to go situation.

  • YourResidentJag

    Unless a clear-cut, fantastic offer comes, let Samardzija start 2014 with the Cubs, and re-evaluate in July.

    Waiting until July won’t increase that offer. It’s like saying a win in Sept is greater than a win in April.

    • Chad

      If Shark came out and pitched like an ace and a team needed a pretty good pitcher, but still didn’t want an extension, I bet his offers would be better than they are right now.

      • YourResidentJag

        So, then counting on that ace status to return to say a resemblance of what it was in chunks over the last two seasons, isn’t risky going towards the summer deadline? I think you answered my question here at least to a certain degree.

      • YourResidentJag

        Plus it’s early in the Winter Meetings. How do you know what the full extent of offers might be???

      • On The Farm

        Looking at the last three seasons, Samardzija has been a better second half pitcher than he has been first half pitcher. Also, I didn’t run the numbers, but taking a quick glance at month by month (over the last three years) his June numbers are one of his worst statistical months of his career. I am not saying every June he is going to have a bad month, but what we have seen over the last three years is that he tends to post better numbers as the season goes on. Teams may try and capitalize if he has a slow start to the season.

  • itzscott

    This is a pretty interesting situation….

    I have no issues with the Cubs extending Samardzija although that wouldn’t be my first choice.

    A complete rebuild from the ground up is a rebuild from the ground up. I don’t see the need to add a few more wins next season when even that won’t get the Cubs any closer to where we all would like to see them be.

    The Cubs missed out on what they could’ve received in return for Dempster and as much as we all liked the return from Garza, it still wasn’t as good as it could have been had he not been injured the year before.

    The haul that could be gotten for Samardzija would be at a different level (he’s healthy and controlled for 2 years) and could catapult the Cubs to where they want to be and pretty much complete the rebuilding process. From there it would be fill in a few holes here and there and then be patient while all of these prospects develop and start filtering in.

  • fortyonenorth

    There’s been so much Shark talk over the last year that I can’t remember what we actually know (based on the statements of Jeff and the FO) and what is purely conjecture. I’ve read stuff here on BN over the weekend about Jeff wanting “TOR money” and “elite money” etc. Do we know that? The one thing that sticks in my mind is that Jeff as consistently said that he’s comfortable with his financial position and doesn’t need to make a hasty move. Brett–I agree with your financial projections, but they don’t take into account (rapidly) escalating player salaries. That $15 million for 2016 isn’t going to be $15 million by the time 2016 rolls around–it’s likely to be $20 million plus. Unless the Cubs front load the payments on a contract extension, why would Shark want to agree to $15 million now when he can get much more than that (all other things being equal) when the time comes? The downside risk of injury and/or regression don’t seem to matter to him. If the bottom drops out of his playing career, he’s still set for life.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t want to say you missed the point, but that’s all pretty much exactly the argument I’m taking on in this post. It doesn’t matter to the Cubs whether Samardzija believes he can stay healthy, effective, and advance in the next two years. There is no compelling reason for the Cubs to project what they think top free agent starters will make in 2016 and then pay Samardzija today accordingly. You pay him the arbitration amounts and then a reasonable free agent rate in today’s dollars for the future guaranteed years – otherwise, you’re getting NO value in the deal and simply assuming ALL of the risk. It’s foolish.

  • Rebuilding

    I’ve said it before and I guess I’ll say it again. Basing anything on his 2.8 WAR last year is pointless. You can run on all the numbers you want, but Samardzija himself, many Cubs fans, seemingly several MLB clubs, and possibly even the Cubs themselves look at last year as a down year and view him as a 3.5-5 WAR pitcher. Whether they should? Who knows. The talent seems to be there, but there also seems to be something missing for him to get to that level.

    So how much is a 3.5 WAR pitcher worth right now – $21 million a season – 5 WAR is worth $30 million. Let’s just use $21 million though: that is $5+$8+$21+$21+$21 = 5/76. That does not include buying out the arb years at a premium or WAR inflation five years from now

    People need to stop asking what is the absolute bare minimum we efficiently sign Samardzija for and start asking: (1) Should the Cubs sign him at all – does he have the ability to be a TOR arm and (2) if they really do want him, what is a mid-point of his efficient value, his opinion of what he’s worth and what the other teams in baseball think he’s worth (that will prob get you close to an extension he would actually sign)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That is the question. It’s not about bare minimum – it’s about signing him to a deal that provides value. If it provides no value, why sign it?

      • Rebuilding

        Are you talking surplus value or just value in general? If he does pitch to a 3.5 WAR and you pay him $21 million you’ve gotten value but no surplus value. I assume you came up with $61 million based on his 2.8 WAR…don’t you think that’s unrealistic given how the market views Samardzija (and he views himself and how the Cubs possibly view him) – don’t you think 3.5 WAR makes more sense?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Just value (surplus value is ideal, but that will be baked in by way of his arbitration years). The $61 million comes from the numbers laid out – the two arb years, and modest raises for his free agent years, starting at a $15 million baseline (which is about what he’d get annually in free agency were he on the market now).

          For a WAR calculation, you have to keep in mind that you’re trying to project what his WAR will be in 2016, not 2014 or 2015. Putting it somewhere around 2.5 to 3 WAR (given that we’re talking about an extension, not a free agent contract) for the purposes of this contract seems pretty reasonable.

          • Rebuilding

            Well, I think that’s where we will have to agree to disagree. I think very few people are valuing Shark as a 2.5-3 WAR pitcher, including the Cubs. Thinking he would get $15 million as a FA in this market leaves me scratching my head. That’s below what he was worth last year in a universally agreed “down” year

          • aaronb

            I agree with this premise Brett. The answer in my mind is to buy out a 4th year of free agency. 4/60 for those years. 5 and 10 for his last two arbitration years.

            6/75 sounds reasonable to both sides.

        • Rebuilding

          Or put another way, no team in baseball is talking about putting together a package including a top pitching prospect for a 2.8 WAR pitcher. I think many teams (maybe even including the Cubs) think he has untapped potential that takes him to another level. I’m sure Jeff believes that himself. So using his 2.8 WAR last year does nothing to actually guide what an extension to him should look like except provide a number for a lowball offer (you said 5/61, the Cubs offered 5/55)

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I still don’t understand why – in this discussion, and the previous discussion – you insist on guaranteeing a guy free agent dollars two years before he reaches free agency (and it’s a pitcher, no less). Forget the WAR calculation for a moment. Convince of that initial premise. No team in the history of baseball has guaranteed a guy free agent dollars multiple years before he actually reaches free agency (when he could be in his decline phase, by the way). Why do you seem to be insisting the Cubs do it now?

            The argument you’re making is why Samardzija shouldn’t sign any kind of extension. And that’s a perfectly reasonable position for him to take. It’s not a reason for the Cubs to up their offer beyond what is reasonable.

            • Rebuilding

              In my example above I accounted for the arb years. First two years $5 million and $8 million. I just go up a lot higher than you do in years 3,4,5.

              I just don’t get how you can say we should look at Samardzija as a 2.5-3 WAR pitcher going forward. I don’t even think the Cubs value him that lowly. People are intrigued with his “potential” even though he is 29

              • Rebuilding

                Going back to our discussion the other day you brought up Matt Harrison. One difference I think between Harrison and Shark is that Shark has actually shown flashes of being a dominating, #1 starter. He has the raw stuff to get there. There were a couple of games last year where he looked as dominating as Darvish or Kershaw. I think there is a premium in that (How much is that premium? I think it’s safe to say you have to go to at least 3.5 WAR). Much like Max Scherzer finally putting it al together last year

                • CubFan Paul

                  You’re not supposed “to go up a lot higher” in arbitration extensions

                  That’s what this whole post is about.

                  • Rebuilding

                    For the FA years? Why not? I kept the arb years at exactly Brett’s numbers.

                    • Rebuilding

                      And again, I’m talking about what it would take to actually get him to sign an extension

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “For the FA years? Why not?”

                      …because it’s an arbitration extension, not a fair market extension

                    • hansman

                      An extension like this is supposed to do two things:

                      1. Give the club a discount on FA years because:
                      2. The player gets a ton of guarranteed money during the arbitration process.

                      If Samardzija blows out his elbow/shoulder this year and can never pitch again, the Cubs non-tender him next offseason and walk away.

                      With an extension, the Cubs give up that flexibility and, in turn, the player gives up a few dollars on the FA side of the coin in exchange that, should he be hit by a bus tomorrow, he still gets paid.

                      For most arbitration players, they have made, maybe a couple million when they sign the extension so it is a life changing thing, hence their willingness to drop a few dollars.

                      The FO won’t want to set a precedence that a player can just hold out for FA dollars and they will eventually cave. For a player like Samardzija they might be more willing to add on a few extra dollars but he will NOT get FA value out of an arbitration contract.

                    • hansman

                      “For the FA years? Why not? I kept the arb years at exactly Brett’s numbers”

                      So if you pay him arbitration dollars through arbitration and then, what amounts to, the max of what he’d see in free agency, what is the point of signing him to an extension now? The Cubs would be taking on an astronomical amount of risk in that scenario with very little reward.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      This.

                    • Rebuilding

                      I understand that Paul. But you are looking at it from a Cubs-centric point of view. Just for arguments sake let’s say he is a 3.5 WAR pitcher making years 3,4,5 “worth” $21 million. He would give a discount to get those years guaranteed now but not all of the way down to $15 million. Especialy when I could see (1) him and the mket valuing his “potential” at over 3.5 WAR (2) the fact he has never been injured (3) WAR inflation for pitchers is going wild. An extension valuing those FA years at $21 million seems completely reasonable and is why the numbers 5/75 have popped up in the media

                    • Rebuilding

                      @Hansman – Why do you insist on reiterating things I obviously already know. I know how extensions work, I know how arb extensions work. I’m saying even in an arb extension his out FA years are worth $21 million a year for the reasons I listed. It’s really not that hard to figure out

                  • Sandberg

                    Yeah, but you still haven’t made any convincing argument why the Cubs should extend him at full market value.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Because I don’t think $21 million is full market value. I think that is the discounted value, based on potential and WAR inflation

                    • Sandberg

                      Ahh, I see now. We’ll have to agree to disagree, because I still don’t see any reason for the Cubs to take on all the risk of Shark reaching his full potential.

                    • Rebuilding

                      No, I agee with that. I’m playing devil’s advocate for what I think it would take to actually re-sign him. I think whatever that number is is likely too high

              • caryatid62

                If people paid for “intriguing potential,” Gregg Jeffries would have been the highest paid player of all time. Furthermore, contracts to pre-arb players like Rizzo, Longoria, et. al. would be much more exorbitant. There’s a reason why players are being locked up before free agency these days–it’s because the teams find the deals friendly, and the players are insured by the security of the contract length and dollars relative to what they would be making pre-arb. Samardzija doesn’t need the security, so he doesn’t necessarily need to accept a team-friendly deal. Meanwhile, the team doesn’t need to raise it’s offer because it is not negotiating against a market.

                Citing other people’s view of his potential is not a reason to pay free agent prices, especially when, in two years, they’d have to pay it anyway. With two years of control, the more prudent course of action is to let it play out.

                • Rebuilding

                  People pay for potential all of the time. Are you going to deny that? And it’s relevant IF your actual goal is to re-sign him, not figure out his baseline value based on a down year

                  • caryatid62

                    I’m going to deny that they pay FULL FA PRICE for potential. It just doesn’t happen.

                    If your goal is to re-sign him, the most you will pay him is a FA price against the market. There is no reason to do that now, because his price can only be lower (than full FA price right now) in two years.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Isn’t that the point of “potential”? That FA price might be a lot higher two years from now actually. You are better to try him to an extension now after a “down” year

                    • caryatid62

                      He’s said he’s not willing to take a reduced deal, and a full FA sized contract is just silly.

                      You are also just as likely to see him flop or get injured in the next two years, as pitchers are usually likely to do. You’re taking on that risk, which, coupled with the control you have, is unnecessary.

                    • Rebuilding

                      And that’s why I’m for trading him

                    • Scotti

                      “There is no reason to do that now, because his price can only be lower (than full FA price right now) in two years.”

                      This is simply wrong. The price for pitchers could (and should) go UP, not down. Teams are locking up their best pitchers. Samardzija is prime example of that. He is a top pitcher on the trading market despite not yet reaching his full potential. Not too long ago that type of pitcher was on the secondary market at best.

                  • ClevelandCubsFan

                    You bet according to risk. Just like in Vegas. When you’re playing Texas Hold Em and have an Ace, you don’t bet the house figuring there is potential of two more Aces to be turned over. But you bet a little higher than if you were hold a deuce.

                    So you’re on the right track when you look at median value for a guy like Shark and then pay him accordingly.

                    Let’s say the Cubs project him as 3.5-5 WAR. The median there is about 4.25 WAR. But I’d argue they see him as a 3.5-5.0 WAR guy IF HE STAYS HEALTHY. This is the difference between projection and probability. Pitchers are high injury risks, and injuries can destroy their WAR since it tends to take them completely out of the picture.

                    In other words, and I’m just spit-balling here, let’s say I was an insurance company that insured against lost WAR and I was underwriting the Cubs’ investment in Shark. Maybe we agree that healthy he’s a 4.25 WAR pitcher. But there’s injury risk, and when we factor in probability, maybe we figure of all the guys like Shark in the world, they’ll probably end up being effectively 2 WAR guys on average. So we’d price the policy based on a 2.25 WAR number–not 4.25.

                    Another way to think of it is, say you have a 25 year old pitcher who miraculously is entering free agency and put up 10 WAR last year. He wants a 5 year deal. For this example, we’ll assume his advanced metrics back up his incredible year. You can project him as a legitimate 10 WAR pitcher going forward in his prime. But are you going to pay him based on 10 WAR for 5 years? $250+? I highly doubt it. Because you assume some injury risk. Said pitcher might walk away with $200m and be very happy.

                    Now, if we have Shark for $13m over the next two years, how much is it worth us to sign him for 3 more from 31-34?

                    I’d maybe got a little higher than Brett. I think 15, 17, 18 would be fair. Think 5/63. I might be persuaded to go 5/65. Some of this depends on what the FO thinks the market will do. Maybe toward the end of the offseason they see salaries getting out of control and figure 5/70 will look really good in 2 years. But right now I don’t see it.

                    • Scotti

                      “But are you going to pay him based on 10 WAR for 5 years? $250+? I highly doubt it. Because you assume some injury risk. Said pitcher might walk away with $200m and be very happy.”

                      A) a pitcher like that doesn’t sign for 5 years–that would be the miraculous part. B) Since your example guy is a free agent, you pay him what the market will or you lose him. That means you pay him for all 10 WAR and then some.

                  • caryatid62

                    “The price for pitchers could (and should) go UP, not down. Teams are locking up their best pitchers. ”

                    I think you don’t understand what I’m saying. Due to inflation, OF COURSE he will make more gross money. However, since it’s all relative to the market, paying him RIGHT NOW as if he were a free agent is equal (within the market) to what you’d pay him as a free agent in two years. The point is that you shouldn’t pay a player a price at the top of the market when you don’t have to, whatever the number associated with the top of the market is at that moment.

              • hansman

                If we can expect that he would ink a $15M per deal in free agency, then you are paying him FA dollars 2 years before he gets there. Doesn’t matter when you actually pay that money, you are still guarranteeing $15M per year.

                Considering we could, probably, sign him to a 3/63M deal when he hits FA and, potentially, sign him for less or let him walk if he pumpkins out, why lock ourselves into that this early with so much downside to that extension.

                • Rebuilding

                  Lot of assumptions there. I think there is a much upside to a 5/76 deal with him as downside. Two years from now 1 WAR might = $7 million. I also don’t think it’s impossible to imagine him putting up a 4 WAR season in the next two years. Now you’re alking $28 million a year in those last 3

                • Chad

                  Exactly, worse comes to worse for the cubs, they just give him a monster deal in 2 years and have paid him cheaply for those 2.

                  • Rebuilding

                    And those next 3 years possibly cost them $10 million more a season

                    • hansman

                      It is just as likely that Jeff suffers an injury and they lose out on a $21M season or he never does quite live up to the peripherals and you could get him for $15M a season in 2 years.

                      I get what you are saying. Hedge future potential cost now. There is just too much downside in offering FA money 2 years before you have to.

                    • Rebuilding

                      And that’s why I’m for trading him

  • Patrick G

    Shark will not sign for cheap and doesn’t make sense for him. He will be 31 by the time he is a free agent and will likely make only 1 huge pay day in his career(although he’s been paid pretty well throughout the years). If he were to sign a team friendly contract, he’ll likely be 34-35 by the time that contract ends and probably be on the decline. He’ll likely be traded and seek free agency once his contract is up and cash in on a long term deal

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Something to keep in mind: don’t assume that “reasonable” means the same thing as “team-friendly.”

      • Patrick G

        That is true. The Cubs could pay him a healthy amount that he will likely receive in free agency but feel the Cubs don’t want to go that high but I could be wrong. I would love to keep him but don’t mind trading him if he won’t sign and get a nice package for him

  • Frank

    If he’s bent on becoming a FA and getting the big $$$ some teams are throwing around, more power to him. If the Cubs can get a haul for him in a trade, more power to the Cubs.

  • YourResidentJag

    Looks like Bruce Levine will be covering the Winter Meetings for the Score.

  • Chad

    I think he would take the 5/55 if he had an NTC.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Source?

  • North Side Irish

    I’m still hoping for an extension. I’d be OK with overpaying a little, but no chance I give him the NTC. He’s close to 10-and-5 rights anyway, so that shouldn’t be such a big sticking point for him anyway.

    If they do trade him, Toronto is mentioned as a possible destination. BP has an article today debating Stroman vs. Sanchez, both of whom have been mentioned as possible returns. Pretty split vote, but still a lot of writers who think Stroman ends up the in bullpen.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22376

  • http://BN Sacko

    Holy..I totally agree with this article and the (Brents) contract idea. Just thinking historically doesen’t it seem that when 2 sides finally agree..key word finally..something happens badly in the near future most times to the ballplayer. I don’t see them trading Shark unless we get something real sweet cause we are already looking for starting pitching.

  • Senor Cub

    “…they’d like to be popping out 90+ win seasons at some point before 2018.”

    WHOA! I must have missed an update, I was thinking 90+ win season 2016, now this has been pushed back? That’s 5 years later then anyone initially thought with this FO.

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      “Some point before 2018″ doesn’t mean in 2018. It means [before]. Using the plural of season(s) means multiple 90+ win seasons [before] 2018, placing these seasons, at the least in 2016 and 2017.

      So I don’t think you missed an update! :)

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        By the way, I didn’t mean for that to come off super assholey, Senor Cub. But re-reading it, I totally came off super assholey. My b.

        Still, I think Brett was saying the Cubs would like to start putting those seasons together by 2016 at the least.

  • Dan W

    Big market MLB teams throw money away on big contracts every year. Always have, always will. Because there is no way of knowing how a players health, ability, etc is going to progress in the next 3-5 years. Other MLB teams who have been MORE successful in the last 100 years, all agree that Shark is the TOR arm, and are willing to trade away part of the farm to get him. Now the Cubs are a big market MLB team, regardless of what the FO is feeding us. Signing Shark is what I would call, “the price of doing business”. Quality starting pitching in the big league is harder and harder to attain, let alone afford. You save some money on your cheap farm talent, and MAYBE you waste a little money on a future superstar like Shark. But I say it’s all a gamble, and the odds of Jeff being a #1 pitcher in the next 3-5 years are better than him not. Can you imagine in the next two years the kids coming up are tearing the cover off the ball, but we can’t win because we have yet to attain the quality starting pitching that we would need to go with it. That’s how people get fired………. Sign Jeff to a 5 year 65-75 million contract, and roll the dice like all the other BIG market MLB teams would.

  • waffle

    The cubs are open to extending him, but are FINE with running out those 2 last years. They are making an offer to assure him big $$$ earlier than he otherwise would have. Their price for being so nice? A team friendly contract, but hardly pauper money.

    LOTS can happen in 2 years. We have no idea what type of talent we will see from the minors by then (both pitching and position). We might be quite good, Jeff might be quite average, and letting him walk even that much more palatable.

    The wildcard here of course is trading Jeff. I don’t think that is the FO’s first preference? But if someone comes along with a killer offer, they’d be happy to consider it.

    To me is seems that the FO is in a good position regardless of the outcome

    - Jeff takes the team friendly offer? Fine! Cool
    - Jeff nets us a haul from someone who blinks. FIne! Cool
    - We get jeff for 2 more years at a sweet rate with 2 more years to potentially move him or sign him. Fine! Cool

    The FO has a MUCH stronger hand than Jeff and I suspect that have made that clear.

  • oswego chris

    my thoughts haven’t changed…those two years we have him on the cheap are very valuable…I would have to be blown away…

  • Dan W

    Also the Cubs should be finding out what the White Sox are wanting for Chris Sale (signed through 2019). And start winning big time by next year……………….

    • RD

      They will want 3/4′s of the big 4 and then some so I am not even going to try and imagine possibilities.

    • Chad

      1 starter, even of Chris Sale’s talent, is not going to make this club into a winner, and with his contract it will take a lot. Some have said even more than to get Price, so don’t think the cubs will be interested in that one as it would cost too much of the farm to get that done.

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      Do we think the Sox would kick the can around if we offered Samardzija and Castro for Sale and Trayce Thompson?

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        Or is that too little for the Samardzija/Castro tandem? I’m having trouble gauging.

        • beerhelps

          not enough for the Sox I would think.

      • Stinky Pete

        Other pieces notwithstanding, I can’t see the Sox giving up Sale for two years of Samardzjia. They won’t be good either of those years so unless they think they can flip him for more, I doubt they see value in him.

  • CubsFanSaxMan

    Say goodbye Jeff. Some team will give the Cubs what they are looking for and Jeff will be packing his bags. Meanwhile the Cubs will have several prospects for the future. I know that prospects are a crap shoot, but that seems to be “the way” right now. Go for it.

    • Jeff

      Sadly, the Cubs are a crap shoot…lol. Not all these prospects are going to become perennial All-Stars.

  • waffle

    I also think some team will blink. There are alot of teams out there and only one needs to fall in love w/ his upside and GRIT.

    This FO does not strike me as sentimental (but he’s OUR player! We have to sign him!) or weak kneed (I think he means it…what should we do?….oh crap..offer him more $$$$, see if that works).

    Outcomes (just a swag)
    50% he gets traded
    25% he signs a team friendly contract
    15% he gets traded sometime in the next 2 years
    10% he rides out the next 2 years

  • dAn

    IMO Samardzija is wise to hold out for a while before signing. He pitched like a TOR guy in the second half of 2012. His opposing BABIP spiked upwards last year, but his peripherals look very good and his stuff wasn’t noticeably different. He gives you innings and goes deep into games, has tremendous stuff, and is a fierce competitor. He’s a great breakout candidate for 2014, and he believes in himself. If he has a monster year in ’14 and ends up in the Cy Young conversation (maybe somewhat unlikely, but not out of the question), and becomes one of the top 5-10 pitchers in the league over the next couple of years, he’ll be in for a massive payday from a team like LA or NY when he hits free agency. Even if it’s not a sure thing, why would he give up the chance to land a massive contract? There isn’t much in it for him to sign after an off year when he still has untapped potential.

  • waffle

    but remember…

    if he does have a breakout year we just find ourselves in the same position but with the FO having an even stronger hand in terms of trading him/what he is worth.

  • Murky Waters

    Ive considered Sammy a friend for years before he was drafted by the Cubs . And I am 100 percent a fan of him as a person. Good dude and humble . But I relate this to the Beat situation with Cutler . Yea both guys have a ll the potential in the world . But they’re not 22 anymore . They’re in their late 20′s. When do we realize what we see is what were gonna get ?

  • Cheese Chad

    The cubs main objective is to put the best overall 40 man roster on the payroll to win a title. Shark has to decide what part of his main objective is to get his or get a little of his and win. Bottom line.

    • brickhouse

      The Cubs main objective is to put together the top mlb roster. Clearly they aren’t executing this objective and have shifted resources to putting together the top minor league roster. Seeing that resources aren’t available to the major league team I don’t blame Samardzija and would want to go to a team trying to win now and not in some distant timeframe.

      • Cheese Chad

        I agree mostly. Being that is a 162 game season (closer to 180 with playoffs). A team with depth and quality at the top has a better chance of winning. I should have interpreted that better.

  • Murky Waters

    Bears*

  • Edward

    Think he would agree to a reasonable extension (5/60) with an option year or two tacked on and some substantial performance based incentives? Gives him some security, but also allows him to earn the huge payday he wants. Not ideal for the Cubs, but not much risk either.

  • CubsFaninAZ

    I believe the Cubs and DBacks will make the trade. Dbacks need the innings and have the offense to turn sharks numbers around. They also have alot of studs in the minors and archie bradley getting a shot at the rotation this spring, they need a Shark to be a solid 2-3 guy, honestly I think thats all Shark is. Shark for Tyler Skaggs, Delgado, and Adam Eaton. Id take that in a heartbeat for him. Cubs get 3 MLB ready, cost control efficient players in return. Win win for both teams to make this deal. I think Towers is just waiting in the weeds to see what turns up elsewhere. New posting system might make them players in the Tanaka sweepstakes as well. He’s just watching the Cards unfold and if nothing better pops up , they’ll pull the trigger. And as I sit here in AZ , I can tell you the Dbacks system is loaded with pitching and thats what we need, as well as an everyday center fielder. This deal would be the best option for the Cubs.

  • Stevie B

    I’m of the opinion, based on the bazillion articles I’ve read, that at some point, most believe that Jeff is set to break out and become that #2 or #3 (which I argue he already is), and that’s were his trade value comes from.
    If I’m the decision maker, and I think he’s going to be an ace, you know, the TRUE ace of the staff, I get the deal done. You can stockpile pitching prospects for YEARS and not get your Verlander or King Felix.
    At the end of the day, it’s decisions like this that determine who gets a ring and who doesn’t.

  • OlderStyle

    Good on ya, Brett. I’m in full agreement on this assessment. It just doesn’t make sense for the Cubs to totally pony up on Shark’s demands right now. For a reasonable deal? Sure, but why would Jeff give the discount when he can plan on getting PAID in two years? I can understand the position of both camps and I believe if the right team hits the threshold for a trade to happen, then the FO will do it and I will totally understand. I’m curious as to what the actual street value of shark currency in prospects.

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