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jeff samardzija gatorade showerChicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija has been very good so far this year, which is nice both for Samardzija and the Chicago Cubs. Whether he sticks around as a long-term piece on an extension, whether he’s traded, or whether he departs a year and a half from now in free agency, performing well right now can mean only good things for Samardzija and the Cubs.

Being that everyone seems to know those things, and everyone also seems to know that Samardzija will be on the trade block this Summer if the Cubs aren’t in contention and there’s no extension in place, Samardzija is open to being candid about his situation. It’s quite refreshing.

Samardzija was on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday, discussing a wide range of topics, but, inevitably, his status with the Cubs came up. Is a trade coming later this year?

“I don’t know, I think it really depends on how this team turns out this season,” Samardzija told Patrick. “I think it’s looking like it, but I don’t want to say anything for sure because I don’t want to be traded. I want to play my career in Chicago with the Cubs. I love being there.”

And if Samardzija doesn’t want to be traded, how about that extension? Well, it sounds like the losing is something of a problem.

“I said that [you get tired of the losing] from the beginning. The only reason we’re at where we are now is because of that situation. It it’s a different situation, and we’re winning, competing for the playoffs every year, I think a deal is already done, and I’m there for a long time. But I want to win. I know how old I am. I know when prime years are, and when everything starts changing, and I’m right there. I don’t enjoy rebuilding. When you’re playing the highest level of your sport, every year should be devoted to winning that year, because you don’t know how long it’s going to last. You don’t know many chances you’re going to get to feel this way, and to feel good. I want to win. That’s my number one goal. I don’t care about anything else but winning.”

It may be difficult to hear those things, particularly if you’re inclined to hold out hope that an extension could still come, but it’s hard to argue with anything Samardzija says. At 29, I can understand a reluctance to hitch your wagon long-term to a project. Even if I believe the Cubs could be a paper contender by 2015, no one can say that’s a given. Hell, it might still be a long-shot at this point.

So, even as I completely approve of the direction the Cubs are taking, I also understand where Samardzija is coming from. The same has been true throughout extension discussions, where I can understand the position of both sides. The Cubs aren’t going to pay Samardzija free agent dollars on an extension when they’ve already got him under control through 2015; and Samardzija isn’t going to surrender his one shot at mega free agent dollars for a discount when he’s confident he’s going to be an even better pitcher the next two years, and he’s already made a lot of money in his career.

You throw in the rebuilding situation, and it becomes even harder. It’s just a tough situation. But if Samardzija keeps on pitching well, everything will sort itself out positively for all sides, in the end.

  • KHRSS

    Too bad the FO won’t make a serious attempt to sign Shark to an extension and it shows that the “timeline”is now 2017-19. If they were serious about starting to turn things around this would be the kind of player they would go after in FA.

    It’s also nice to see him mention losing, as many here have said at some point you have to at least try to win and create a winning culture but it does not seem part of The Plan™.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      “Too bad the FO won’t make a serious attempt to sign Shark to an extension ”

      And I stopped reading.

      • Patrick W.

        No, I’m sorry, you don’t understand. A FO should only evaluate and value a player based on what the player thinks he’s worth. You cannot claim to be serious if you offer a player a penny less than the player thinks he should make. Having your own value on a player that might be lower than what the player thinks he’s worth is silly. Every year I go into my boss and tell him exactly what he will pay me for the upcoming year and my boss always pays exactly what I want, because my boss is serious.

        • DarthHater

          You must work for a winning team.

        • Jon

          For the life of me, I can never understand why people compare their work/employment situation to that of a professional athlete.

          • DarthHater

            For the life of me, I can never understand why people take anything that Patrick says seriously.

          • Patrick W.

            Well in this case, I’m a very valuable member of my organization… really I’m like the Jeff Samardzija of my industry.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              So you have talent that you showcase every so often but then crap the bed every other day?

              • Patrick W.

                Every 5th day.

                • Fishin Phil

                  No run support for you either?

          • Patrick W.

            :::: adding this to the growing list of things Jon doesn’t understand ::::

          • Funn Dave

            I thought it was a pretty funny post.

        • benjamin

          He said he goes into his boss every year.

          No wonder he keeps getting raises.

          • Patrick W.

            Hahahah! It took me until now to get that. Well played.

      • Kyle

        Because it’s so dead on that nothing more needs to be said?

        He doesn’t fit the window. They don’t fit his window. Either side would take a lopsided deal, but they both know it isn’t going to happen. A trade is.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          The only thing I can think of now is that the Cubs will hold on to him through this year, sign a FA pitcher and hope that Baez/Bryant/Castro/Rizzo is good enough to get them a shot at the playoffs.

          If that doesn’t work, they trade Samardzija next July.

          • Kyle

            I won’t say that’s impossible. I will say pretty much none of the signs are pointing to them attempting that path.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            I actually really like this option, but like Kyle says, it’s not likely. I really want to bring in Shields on a 3-4 year deal. I know he’s 33, but he has stuff that will age well and the guy flat out knows how to pitch. Shields/Shark/Wood/Jackson/Arrieta is solid

          • willis

            But his value is probably going to be highest, especially if he keeps throwing this way, come this Summer and they can jump on a bigger package then they’d get next summer, IMO. I’d much, much rather see an extension instead of taking a few more steps backwards with prospects, but that isn’t happening. So, much like pulling a band aid off slowly or just ripping it off, rip it. Go ahead and maximize what you can get in these next couple of months. I don’t agree with it, but I think I’d rather go ahead and get it over with than letting it drag out, giving any of us hope that something will work out.

          • BWA

            If they do that, they risk being good and not trading him because they are going to make the playoffs, then losing him to free agency. The absolute latest Samardzija is either traded or extended is next offseason.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              When Theo or Jed reads this comment I think they will spit out their coffee laughing.

              Yes, that would be so God-awfully awful.

        • Steve

          Sorry Kyle, but I’m not buying your window sale. If Jeff continues on his current path, and we have nothing but time to determine this, we should make a concerted effort to keep him. Over pay? Sure, it probably will end up being just that.
          What are we looking for in regards to SP? Pretty much the 2014 version(to this point) of JS.
          Of course locking him up is a gamble, yet trading a somewhat known commodity for the unknown will endanger pushing that “window” out another 2-3 years from 2015/2016.
          If you are saying we won’t compete in the next 2-3 years, I’m afraid thats just too long for a big market team to take to rebuild.

          • http://bleachernation.com woody

            Is it just me or has anybody noticed that the tardiness of the rebuild is beggining to look a lot like the timeline for the covenent restrictions to expire? The first few years we were told that the money would be there when needed, but we needed to slash payroll as part of that process. And then the renovation revenues would be used when needed. Fast forward, no revenue from signage or TV and we learn in the past few months that the Cubs being the only big market team in our division would probably be spending less that those small market teams to service the debt, even though we are like the third or fourth most profitable team in baseball. I was under the impression that Theo being given a five year contract would bring the team into contention within that five year window.. Buy now with another fire sale likely mid-summer it seems legitimate to call all of that into question.

        • cubsnivy56

          It’s as simple as that, like it or not, he will be traded by July1

      • DarthHater

        Your loss. You missed a nifty use of the trademark symbol. :-P

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          Mmm…looks like I need to engage in a cost/benefits analysis.

          Ok, so my boss would…

      • itzscott

        Ditto

      • Rebuilding

        5 years/$55 million is not a serious offer. I said it during the offseason and was lambasted for it of course, but that is a laughable offer given what other pitchers are getting in this market. And yes, I know about buying out arbitration years

        • CubFan Paul

          “5 years/$55 million is not a serious offer”

          It is when the player has 2 years of team control left and limited success.

          “laughable offer given what other pitchers are getting in this market”

          Not on the arb-extension market with guys who have 1.5-2.5yrs of control left.

  • Jon

    Unfortunately another piece of collateral damage from fostering a tanking/losing culture. Over the years it wears on many players. Either they deliberately want out, or they sure as heck are not going to bend over backward to negotiate or meet you midway on a deal.

    If we deal Shark from some prospects that are still 1-2 years away, then we might find ourselves in the same postilion, talent on the pipeline but relying them to take a 90 loss team to the promise land.

    ‘Time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again”

    • ssckelley

      Getting prospects that are 1-2 years out for Shark would be a huge set back IMO. If they have to trade him the Cubs need MLB players or MLB ready in return.

  • Forlines

    It’s nice to see some of his thoughts on the situation. I can’t say I blame him for feeling the way he does, even though it would be a tough pill to swallow if he leaves.

    • blars82

      I agree, definitely nice to finally get his thoughts rather than speculation. I always seem to forget that professional athletes don’t like losing and don’t want to be part of a rebuilding project. That said, I hope his love for Chicago wins out and he stays for 5 more years.

  • MightyBear

    “I don’t care about anything else but winning.” Pure horseshit and I hate when pro athletes say this. I guarantee if he had to choose between winning a championship and making $0 and pitching for a last place team and making $100 million, he’d choose the latter.

    I have no problem with an athlete wanting to cash in AND play for a winner but don’t bullshit me and say the latter is all you care about. Everyone wants to get paid.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Ah, but you are forgetting athlete math. He’s in it 100% for winning. He’s in it 25% for the money, 20% for the women, and 5% for intangibles. And if you cannot be in it for 150%, then you lack belly fire.

      • DarthHater

        You left out family. It’s all about taking care of your family, man.

        • MoneyBoy

          And keeping them in shoes. Can’t forget those shoes.

    • Edwin

      “Everyone wants to get paid.” I mean, obviously.

      But if he actually said that, he’d be called a selfish asshole who only cares about himself and his own ego and doesn’t care about the team.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        Well I think it would have to suck to pitch like a 20 game winner and end up with a losing record because of lack of run support. Shark and Wood both pitched good enough to have been 15 game winners last season. And the way they have started this year they could be 20 game winners with the right team. But they will be lucky to reach double digits in wins. That has to get old after a couple of seasons.

        • davidalanu

          Yup, and as much as we can talk about how w/l records for pitchers don’t matter, I bet it still matters to them- even if they know better.

          Also, you can’t forget the players union in all of this. I think it was Jon Lester that mentioned a couple of days ago that even if he would have been inclined to take a well below market deal, he does still have the union to consider. He said he didn’t want his low-ball deal being that one that others are being compared to for arbitration/free agency. It’s a valid concern.

          • Jon

            All Star game considerations, and down the road, HOF voting still looks at W-L records, so yeah, it matters to pitchers.

            Hopefully someday that will change.

  • JulioZuleta

    Meh. Nice to talk about wanting to win, but being stuck on a bad team. Seems less admirable when you fail to place any blame on yourself. For 2013, Samardzija was BELOW MLB AVERAGE in ERA, WHIP, AVG, OPS, etc…

    In the second half, out the 52 qualifying pitchers in MLB (80 IP), he ranked 51 in ERA, 51 in WHIP, 48 in BB, 47 in H, 49 in OBP. FIP was better, but still below average. Basically, his second half was awful. He had a 5.11 ERA over his FINAL 22 STARTS (66% of his season).

    I realize he’s better than those numbers may suggest, but it bothers me that he won’t acknowledge that he was a huge part of the probelm last year.

    • JB88

      “I realize that he thinks he’s better than those numbers may suggest, but it bothers me that he won’t acknowledge that he was a huge part of the probelm last year.”

      Fixed.

    • CubFan Paul

      He’s better than those numbers. His catcher sucks (balls).

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Yes Castillo is bad at pitch framing, but you’re out of your damn mind if you think he is the main cause for all of those numbers. Can we blame all of the problems of the world on him as well?

        Crimea? Castillo’s fault
        Flight 370? Castillo’s fault
        Snow in April? Castillo’s fault

        • CubFan Paul

          “if you think he is the main cause for all of those numbers”

          Don’t put words in my mouth (please).

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            Don’t make asinine statements (please).

          • JulioZuleta

            To be fair, that’s kind fo the implication you get when reading your post. Maybe Castillo gets a little bit of blame, but Shark was a flat out bad pitcher last year, any way you slice it. His numbers got worse every month after May, and he lost velocity (around 2mph if I remember corectly) off his FB. Makes me wonder how well he would hold up deep into the season and into the playoffs.

            • CubFan Paul

              “Maybe Castillo gets a little bit of blame”

              Not from you or Tommy apparently.

              • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                Also if you want to quantify it in terms of Runs allowed/saved, last year Castillo was worth 19 runs saved (Fielding Bible), while his pitch framing was worth negative 16.7 runs allowed (Stat Corner). This would mean that having Castillo behind the plate actually HELPED Samardzija in terms of runs allowed.

                • CubFan Paul

                  “having Castillo behind the plate actually HELPED Samardzija in terms of runs allowed”

                  If only it worked that way.

              • JulioZuleta

                Hah. I’m actually the one that you quoted there saying “…Castillo gets a little blame.” SUre, he gets a litte, a very little. If you want to give him a lot of the blame, that’s your call. My point stays the same: Samardzija was awful last year, and I don’t respect him going on national radio and acting like he’s a victim.

                • CubFan Paul

                  “SUre, he gets a litte, a very little”

                  By the uninformed, yes.

                  “If you want to give him a lot of the blame, that’s your call”

                  Thank You.

                  “My point stays the same”

                  I wasn’t trying to change your mind, I was “just sayin’”

                  • JulioZuleta

                    Man, Imagine how good Feldman and Garza would have been without Castillo holding them back… And Travis Wood? Sheeesshh, Cy Young for sure without Castillo. And Arrieta and Strop…I mean I realize they both got way better when they came to the Cubs, but they would have gotten soooooo much more better if not for Castillo.

                    Also- you ignored that Navarro started almost 1/3 of Shark’s starts. And finally:

                    “By the uninformed, yes.”

                    -Inform us, please.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Imagine how good Feldman and Garza would have been without Castillo holding them back… And Travis Wood?…Arrieta and Strop”

                      I take this as you not understanding what exactly pitch framing is & how it translates.

                    • BT

                      I’m anxious to hear your take since your opening remark really seemed to indicate that you believed that Castillo’s pitch framing was holding Shark back.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “you believed that Castillo’s pitch framing was holding Shark back”

                      Bad pitching framing holds everyone back.

                    • BT

                      So then how did Julio’s comment indicate a lack of understanding of the ramifications of bad pitch framing?

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “So then how did Julio’s comment indicate a lack of understanding of the ramifications of bad pitch framing?”

                      ‘Sheeesshh, Cy Young for sure without Castillo’…That says it all.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      Haha. I stopped responding a while ago, because Paul never seemed interested in saying anything of value. But that made me laugh.

                • candyland07

                  Do you respect the Cubs tanking season after season? Yes the far right has a plan that requires the Cubs to tank . Team Epstein has produce the franchise worst record for two years and the third year looks no different. That being said Shark has options . He is a good player and he should value his career . Shark not signing with the Cubs is not about the money. Its about playing for a team that wants to win – not promises about winning in the future.

                  All good ball players want to win and good players usually have a choice in contract talks . At this point in Sharks career he want to control his future. He want to control the dollars and cents he feels he is worth. He wants to WIN or have a chance in winning.

                  If the Cubs trade Shark -its not about the money. its about the direction of the franchise. The Cubs should be able to afford Shark and also overpay a bit IF they wanted to.

                  All the Argument this ownership and front office double speak to fans will become real. Shark is the kinda pitcher a team that is in contention or feels they are about to be in contention WANT! His age, his raw talents and his leadership qualities on this team is valuable and because of Sharks personality and work ethic he will produce for many years barring injury.

                  Shark is the type of player that Cubs have been preaching when developing or pretending to after certain Free Agents, Young capable strong athletes that have the percentages of producing in later contract years. I wonder what shark will get in the open market and it will embarrass the Cubs – they are cheap in this instance.

                  • benjamin

                    Except that Shark isn’t that young, so no he doesn’t fit the development mold that the FO has been preaching. He is 29, not 25, and the window to sign him to a team friendly extension closed long ago. That isn’t to say that the Cubs should extend him or won’t (and personally I hope they do), but you’re not looking at the bigger picture here.

                    • candyland07

                      Their is no bigger picture. Teams that have financial restraints cant buy free agents they build through the draft . it a simple plan that poor teams have done .Poor team lose quality players cause the can not afford them.

          • DarthHater

            “Don’t put words in my mouth (please).”

            If you didn’t mean to say that Castillo’s sucking was responsible for Samardzija’s numbers being worse than his real ability, then what the hell were you trying to say?

            • CubFan Paul

              That was in response to Tommy blowing what I said out of proportion : ‘the main cause for all of those numbers. Can we blame all of the problems of the world on him as well?’

              as in, Shark could of ranked 50 in ERA, 50 in WHIP, 47 in BB, 46 in H, 48 in OBP

        • N8theGr8

          Placing sole blame for a pitcher’s performance on Castillo’s lack of pitch-framing acumen is an excercise in negligent hyperbole. That said, in the last game of the Cardinal’s series, Welington’s herky-jerky tendencies did, from my observations, almost single-handedly cause a rain delay, as well as necessitate an MLB ump to have to call upstairs to confer the official count later on in the game. Just saying…

      • JulioZuleta

        I agree Castillo could be a lot better, but he did pretty well for some of the other guys on the staff last year.

        I’m not arguing that he’s one of the two worst pitchers in baseball, obviously. My point is he was a very, very big part of the problem last year. For him to go on national media and be all “I just want to win, but I’m trapped on a team of losers” (paraphrasing), is kinda ridiculous to me. Guy should be a leader, owning up to his own struggles and talking about getting better as a team.

        • CubFan Paul

          “but he did pretty well for some of the other guys on the staff last year”

          He sucked at pitched framing for everyone.

          • JulioZuleta

            Sure, but several guys were able to put up damn good seasons despite that. Castillo being bad at framing pitches was not a very substantial factor in Samardzija being awful. Especially considering Dioner Navarro started 10 of Samardzija’s starts, and the trends stayed the same (mostly good in the begininng of the year, and bad in the second half).

            • CubFan Paul

              “Castillo being bad at framing pitches was not a very substantial factor in Samardzija being awful”

              According to you..

              • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                According to facts

              • JulioZuleta

                Prove me otherwise. Your comments have done absolutely nothing to further your point.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  Rationality and facts are no good here

  • IA_Colin

    I’d offer a little more than the Garza contract (5/65?). His velocity is going to decline and then who knows how long the splitter is going to carry him. A trade is pretty much inevitable by now. He could be back in the bullpen in the not so distant future.

    • Jon

      5/65? lol

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        I’d be perfectly ok with an Anibal Sanchez level deal 5 for 80, but that’s the highest I’d go

        • Jon

          A couple of things there

          1) I think the market has gone up significantly, even sense then.
          2) If this year is anything like last year, holy crap has Sanchez outperformed that deal.
          3) It really, really, really, f’n sucks that the Cubs were just played and we didn’t get him on that.

      • Patrick W.

        Yeah if I were Jeff Samardzija I would laugh at that as well. Factoring in the arbitration year 5/75 would be my first offer, and my last would be 5/90.

        • CubFan Paul

          Traded July 2014 for sure at those numbers

          • JulioZuleta

            If he turns down 5/90, he’s crazy. He’ll make 9-10 M next year in arb. 5-90 would basically be a 4 year extension, through his age 34 season, at $20M/year. For a guy who really hasn’t proven much. He may well turn that down if it was offered, but he’d be crazy.

            • Jon

              Keep in mind, he’s already been “paid” once with a big signing bonus. So he already has wealth, borderline generational wealth. His POV might be a different from a guy that has never made the big bucks.

            • CubFan Paul

              I read Patrick’s post as those were Shark’s demands, not the Cubs offers.

              • Brocktoon

                That wouldn’t make sense why Shark’s first offer would be 15M lower than his final offer.

                • CubFan Paul

                  Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

              • Patrick W.

                No if I were the Cubs, I would start at 5/75, and my absolute ceiling would be 5/90.

                • Patrick W.

                  Although that would be kind of funny …

                  Jed: Jeff, what do you want?
                  Jeff: 5 years, $75MM
                  Jed: Done!
                  Jeff: 5 years, $80MM
                  Jed: Wait…
                  Jeff: 5 YEARS $90 MILLION MY FINAL OFFER!

                  • CubFan Paul

                    Why would Theo&Co offer anything close to 5/75 (2015 and for freee agent years)?

                    That’s still $4M-6M more AAV than their actual stance.

                    • Brocktoon

                      They value him as a 10M/year player?

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “They value him as a 10M/year player?”

                      With 2 years of control left, yes.

                    • Patrick W.

                      I suspect that the market has changed that stance considerably. Also, at this point, I don’t think the leverage of control has the same power as it did last year when they were negotiating an extension. What does control buy them? They can trade him to whomever they want. That doesn’t change the situation for Samardzija one bit. So he gets traded. He just asks for the same ask in an extension from his new team, and if he doesn’t get it, nothing has changed. If the Cubs are valuing him at 5/50, they are undervaluing him for the market. He’s making $5.3MM in his second year of arbitration eligibility and he’ll conservatively make $9MM in 2015. That makes an extension signed after this year at market value very reasonable at 5/75 – 5/90. The market has changed dramatically. His stuff and his health and low mileage will get him $18-$20MM AAV on the open market, if he pitches well for the next two years. I’m guessing finishing his control years with $30MM earned already makes him much more willing to bet on himself. If he’s right, 5/90 will be a bargain.

        • ssckelley

          He would have already been extended at those numbers. I heard Shark wanted 5 for ~80.

          • Brocktoon

            If that’s the case, that should’ve been done 3 weeks ago.

            • Patrick W.

              I agree.

              • Edwin

                Yep.

            • ssckelley

              It comes down to how much is Shark worth out on the open market. I think at his age and his abilities I would think he could get between $15-20 million per year. The problem with that is you are paying for ability over value, Shark has not been a 3-4 WIN per year pitcher. His best season WAR, according to BR, is 1.8 which was 2 years ago. Even though he has TOR stuff you are getting end of the rotation results.

              • CubFan Paul

                “It comes down to how much is Shark worth out on the open market”

                He’s not a free agent…

                • ssckelley

                  Lmao, seriously?

                  • CubFan Paul

                    “It comes down to how much is Shark worth out on the open market”

                    Samardzija’s value to the Cubs have nothing to do with what he could get on the open market. Nothing.

  • Spoda17

    I agree with Jeff 100%. Not sure I would not have the exact same attitude.

    But… I have significantly changed my mind since the off season.. and there are a lot of ifs. But 2015 may be a huge year and the Cubs may have the opportunity to be very relevant.

    Consider a rotation with:
    Jeff
    High Priced FA
    Wood
    Arieta (I still think he is going to be awesome)
    Minor League Stud

    Lineup:

    Lake, CF (I think he will maintain his progress)
    Castro, SS (I think he is Back)
    Rizzo, 1B (again, think he is back)
    Bryant, LF (I know… but he is awesome)
    Baez, 2B (I think this is a given)
    Olt, 3B (don’t kill me on this, but I just like this dude)
    Kalish (or other, Bonifacio…)
    Castillo, C

    And a thick bench (which we already have). I think this line up with a stud FA pitcher… We keep Shark and start contending. An I think this is very realistic.

    • Kyle

      I can’t disagree that if pretty much every player we have becomes as good as we could possibly hope, and we add two or three other really good players, we’ll probably be pretty good next year.

      • Spoda17

        We don’t need them to be really good, we need them to be slightly above average. GMs comment all the time that a team with average players at each position will win consistently and be a playoff team.

    • Jon

      When I go to bed at night and dream about a contending team, Ryan Kalish is not part of that dream.

      • Spoda17

        I just threw Kalish in there, I think if not him, its easy to pickup up a good starter, if we don’t already have one.

        • Edwin

          It’s not that easy. Players aren’t just magically available at whatever position you need at the price you’re willing to pay.

          • Spoda17

            That’s not my point. My point is that if we only need to fill an average starting outfielder through free agency, I don’t think that will be that hard over the off season. I actually think we only need the TOR pitcher (keeping Jeff too), and fill out the lineup with the above lot, and the Cubs realistically could be contending next year.

    • Funn Dave

      Too bad they’re not gonna give up on Jackson.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        How can they give up on him? He’s under contract for two more years after this one.

        • Funn Dave

          That’s my point. Spoda didn’t included Jackson in his rotation.

          • Spoda17

            I plan him in the bullpen

            • CubFan Paul

              Because that’s realistic.

  • mjhurdle

    “The losing is tiresome and might cause me to leave” sure sounds a lot better and generates more fan sympathy than ” I want to be paid like an Ace but so far into my career have pitched like an inconsistent #2-3. I am confident that I can get to Ace status and I am holding out in hopes that i get there and really get PAID, but the Cubs want to pay me closer to how I have actually performed.”

    I have absolutely no problem with him betting on his ability, but i also don’t doubt that the extension or lack thereof will be 99% about the money.

    • willis

      The Cubs won’t pay him what he can make on the open market. And, the cubs won’t be in a position to win anytime soon. So, it’s dialed up to be a big trade sometime in the next couple of months. I hate that but you can hear him or read his quotes and just know the two sides are very far apart on money, but more so on direction of the franchise.

      • Jon

        “The Cubs won’t pay him what he can make on the open market. And, the cubs won’t be in a position to win anytime soon”

        And we won’t be in a position to win anytime soon unless we start paying some players, and we go around, and around, and around and around…….

      • Karl Groucho

        I’m generally an econ guy, but I do think this behavioral point is somewhat undersaid. I’d be inclined to think that inertia is a stronger force on a player — and thus inclining him toward resigning without playing as much hardball — if he’s in a situation he likes. A carousel of players on a team that’s really not trying to win? That’s certainly not going to encourage me to extend now unless I’m getting *more* than what I’d expect on the market, or at least about the same. If I have any faith in my price out there (and am not risk-averse re: my health), I’d likely test the waters.

    • Edwin

      The Cubs want to pay him as little as possible, based on whatever leverage they have.

      • mjhurdle

        I agree, that is how every single professional sports franchise approaches any contract, so I wouldn’t think this one in particular would be different.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    My feeling is that if we don’t extend Samardzija then we are pushing back being in contention to somewhere near 2017 or 2018. As it stands with Shark and a few prospects playing in 2015 I think we have a shot at respectability. Get those young guys a year of playing time and 2016 could be a year of contention. If we go into sell mode this year IMO we canprobably write off 2016 too. We aren’t going to go from cellar dwellers to champions in one year like Boston did. So my line of thinking is that if 2015 is another last place finish then the rebuild just gets pushed out another year away. The way I see it you can only use the pretense of rebuilding for so long until it just becomes obvious that you suck. An argument can be made to not waste money on free agents while you aren’t in a postion to contend, but to not spend money to keep the the talent that you do have in the organization is just plain stupid. I’m not going to rehash the argument about the ownership being cheap or cash strapped, but now is the time to deal with a guy while he is under your control and there are not competing teams bidding for services. As long as spending is restricted by covenents we are not realistically going to aquire the services of any big name pitcher if the Yankees or Dodgers want them.

    • Jrock1

      I agree with you. If Shark is traded, the rebuild takes a huge hit. I can’t see the Cubs spend money on FAs until the off-season before Theo’s contract is up which is not until 2016.

      • willis

        I agree as well. He’s exxactly what you want to be a big part of a rebuild. If you trade him for unknowns, it’s going to take more time to see if those unknowns develop. Trading him signals we all better be really patient going forward, with possibly even worse results to come.

        • benjamin

          I agree, but also feel like the bigger issue with extension talks must be time length and perks (no trade clause), and not dollar amount. If the Cubs could sign him to a market value 4-5 year extension without a no-trade clause, don’t you think Theo and Jed would have already jumped on it? If Shark is asking for 6-7 years or more plus a no-trade clause, that could once again hamstring the team with a large contract and an aging, declining player. The whole point of the rebuild was to get out from under those contracts and create a system where they won’t be necessary.

          Are there scenarios under which signing an aging player to that type of contract would be a good idea? Probably, yes. But at this stage of the rebuild if Theo and Jed don’t believe Shark’s window of peak performance fits the rebuild plan, why on earth would they extend him well passed it?

          Having quality players on the team is important for the rebuild, yes. But if securing them is going to put the long term future of the club at risk before the rebuild is even close to completion I have absolutely no problem with them opting to not extent Shark.

  • waittilthisyear

    shark is a guy i would overpay a bit for, considering the current payroll AND keeping in mind the financial restrictions that the organization currently faces. i see the future, and it involves a lot of pissed off cubs fans saying “why did we trade this guy” when he becomes a top 5 pitcher in whichever league he winds up in for the next 5 years.

    if he is traded, im sure the package will be substantial

    • JakeMac

      I appreciate the point and the sentiment here, but Top 5 pitcher over the next half decade? Seems like a huge stretch.

      • waittilthisyear

        top 5 “in his league,” so top 10ish. a stretch, but not huge, IMHO

  • Funn Dave

    “I want to play my career in Chicago with the Cubs.”

    “I don’t care about anything else but winning.”

    Sounding a bit conflicted there, Jeff.

    • Edwin

      Isn’t that the point he’s trying to make?

      • benjamin

        If it is, it’s not a very good point without the magic “winning wand” so many people seem to think Theo and Jed have been holding back.

        • DarthHater

          I think that wand only works if you kill it’s previous owner.

  • http://BN Sacko

    Does any really know how far apart they are? And if so what is it?

  • Justin

    In my opinion we all will be able to tell if the Cubs are trying to win in 2015 if Baez, and Bryant are promoted this year if they’re performing. And I am talking both of them hopefully by the end of July.. If the Cubs are going into next year playing clock control games with either, the chances of the Cubs winning next year are slim. I think giving both a taste of the majors this year is important for the 2015 chances. Just my thoughts..

    • Justin

      To clarify I mean both promoted to the majors. I think Bryant could handle skipping AAA.

  • http://CubbiesCrib.com GarrettFilsonFS

    Well, let me say I want to extend Shark. We need to he stockpiling MLB starting pitching especially a young-ish guy like Shark. But, I do understand trading him. That would give the Cubs a ton of prospects (depending on the return – which we assume is a lot), and would make the Cubs possibly the best farm in baseball.
    But, I really do hope Theo & Jed take into account the “timeline” when considering a deal. If Samardzija being dealt actually “pushes back” the rebuild, I would not take trading Shark too lightly. That would rub a ton of Cubs fans the wrong wrong way if it pushed it back to let’s say, 2017.

    But, if we can get a lot of near-MLB talent for Shark, i’d do it. That would be wonderful.

    • CubFan Paul

      “If Samardzija being dealt actually “pushes back” the rebuild”

      Yeah, they should cave and overpay.

      • http://CubbiesCrib.com GarrettFilsonFS

        I definitely don’t want the Cubs to rldrastically overpay. If Shark is askinh for way too much, deal him.

    • Kyle

      Opposite cause and effect.

      The timeline has already been pushed back, and that’s why they are trading Samardzija.

  • ssckelley

    I sure hope they can convince Shark to sign an extension. This team is going to get better with him. No way is this all about winning, I hate it when athletes say stuff like that. Sure they all want to win but at the end of the day they all want paid and I have no problem with that.

  • Medicos

    WOODY: I’ve been on BN for only a couple of weeks but contrary to my long time belief that a pitcher’s Won-Loss record was important in evaluating a hurler’s worth to a team, I’ve learned it isn’t very important according to experts on Bleacher Nation. You seem to have forgotten that.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      If you think win/loss records don’t mean much then tell me how many Cy Young winners have had losing records? The next idiotic metric that will come about is that win/loss records don’t mean anything for teams either. That would kind of negate the whole reason for playing wouldn’t it? How many pitchers with 150 career wins are in the HOF?

      • mjhurdle

        yep, nothing says that a pitcher did a good job than that guy that comes in for 1 pitch in the bottom of the 5th to get the third out with his team ahead.

        That definitely says the pitcher did a better job than that one bum that threw 8 innings of 1 run ball but didn’t have TWTW enough to avoid the L.

      • Patrick W.

        1 Cy Young winner had a losing record, 1 was .500 and a couple were 1 or 2 games over .500.

        9 pitchers (12.5%) in the hall have less than 150 career wins.

        • Patrick W.

          Wait, that includes Babe Ruth (who had 94 wins) and Dizzy Dean who had 150 exactly, so 7 of the 72 pitches have less than 150 wins.

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          I might have known that someone would actually look that stuff up Patrick. How many of them are from let’s say the post WW2 era? There were less games in a season back then too.

          • Patrick W.

            Well the Cy Young wasn’t started until 1956 so, all of them.

            5 of the 7 HOF pitchers are post WW2.

          • JCubs79

            Woody, you do realize that the game and the evaluation of players has completely changed in the last 20 years with advanced metrics. W-L are a meaningless statistic. It’s not debatable.

            • Patrick W.

              EVERYTHING is debatable in today’s society. The argument against the proposition that Win Loss records for pitchers is meaningless is not WINNABLE, but it’s debatable.

            • http://bleachernation.com woody

              I fully realize that for purposes of evaluation or determining value that metrics are very important. But at the end of the day a guy that plays on a losing team and has a losing record each year is going to be under rated and under appreciated for purposes of awards that would have legacy implications. Sure scouts and FO types .are looking for under rated guys with good metrics that they can pick up under value. That’s exactly the stategy Theo has been using to restock the farm system by flipping players.

          • Patrick W.

            Oh and pitchers pitched MORE games per season prior to the 5 man rotation. Sure, the teams play more games, but they used less starting pitchers for those games.

            • http://bleachernation.com woody

              Yes and thaat’s why there hasn’t been a thirty game winner since 1968.

      • Brocktoon

        Felix Hernandez won it in a runaway in 2010 with a 13-12 record over 21 game winner Sabathia. There were 14 pitchers with 15 or more wins that season.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        “If you think win/loss records don’t mean much then tell me how many Cy Young winners have had losing records?”

        Felix Hernandez is the most recent example, but this is a whole separate discussion about how award winners are selected.

        “The next idiotic metric that will come about is that win/loss records don’t mean anything for teams either.”

        This will NEVER happen. Not ever. As in, the universe will expand into nothingness and that useless door that someone built in Minecraft will open WAAAAAAY before that happens.

        “That would kind of negate the whole reason for playing wouldn’t it”

        You are right. It would. Thankfully, it will NEVER EVER NEVER EVER NEVER NEVER happen.

        “How many pitchers with 150 career wins are in the HOF?”

        I bet there are some relievers in there with fewer than that. Although, this ties into my earlier response.

        You aren’t understanding what statistics in baseball are about. Each one should be able to answer some useful question. Pitcher Wins answers: “How many times has a pitcher left the game with a lead and happened to have had that lead hold until the end of the game?”

        When was the last time you asked yourself that question?

        There is correlation between good pitchers and high Win totals and there is some degree of causation between the two.

        If you want to be able to effectively evaluate how good a pitcher is, or how good they will be in the future, wins aren’t able to tell you anything reliably. They said more 50 years ago when guys were pitching more complete games, but today, there are SOOOOOO many stats that tell you SOOOOOOOO much more about a pitcher.

        It’d be like complaining that you can’t find a modern car that has a crank starter. Were they useful at one time? Yes. Could you still start a car with them? Sometimes. Is there something infinitely better to use? Yes.

        • Brocktoon

          Stole my follow-up. Wins are a relic of a time before modern reliever usage. And even then they were obviously highly dependent on your supporting offense.

  • itzscott

    Samardzjia’s pitching well now, which everyone knows isn’t going to last if history is any indication, and his value is at its peak.

    Trading him anytime between now and the trade deadline would be a good thing for the Cubs.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      From what I have seen this year Samardzija has completely revamped his approach. His emphasis so far this year has been more about efficiency and less about strikeouts. So far it seems to be working.

      • Edwin

        He is getting less strikeouts, that’s for sure.

  • Sandberg

    There’s no reason to extend Shark now unless he’s going to take an undermarket deal. If we’re going to pay market price we can wait until next year. The dumbest of all the options is to extend Shark now at market value. Makes… no… sense.

    • Brocktoon

      We have less leverage next year.

    • Jon

      Unless you believe he’s going to continue to get better.

      • Sandberg

        The money he will accept already has that factored in. The bottom line is there is about a year and half before Shark hits free agency. Plenty of time to get a market value deal done.

        • CubFan Paul

          The Cubs want a below market deal now, not overpay next year for last year’s asset they could of had for cheaper.

    • CubFan Paul

      “If we’re going to pay market price we…”

      We can do better.

  • CUB5

    So much talk for someone who has only been in the majors consistently for 3 years. The way he talks you would think he’s Andy Pettitte or something. But after so many duds like Marmol and over-the-hill guys like Lilly moving on, I guess I should be happy with him. Viva Le Mustache!

  • blars82

    Let’s not forget too that Samardzija’s only a career .113 hitter with an OPS of .330. In comparison, Yovani Gallardo has a career .206 average with an OPS of .592. Trade him now! J/k, but I really expected more out of him as a hitter knowing he’s such a good athlete.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Seems a foregone conclusion that Samardzija is traded. His market attractiveness improves by the week too. Baseball is littered right now with hi-end arms who have gone down with injury (Tommy John the flavor of the month). At some point a contender is going to bite on Samardzija.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Someone please give me your explanation, why trading your best pitcher who is just coming into his prime and becoming a team leader, is the way to improve your team. I find it to be subtle lunacy. What other teams are talking about sending away their most talented?

    • mjhurdle

      My explanation:
      Shark has been inconsistent in his career. He wants to get paid like a top pitcher, but his track is full of potential that he hasn’t reached yet. He also has already made a good amount of money, and is probably more willing to wait for FA as opposed to lower his $$$ demands.

      IF (big IF) the Cubs feel that he will always be the guy that flirts with being an Ace, but never quite gets there, then they will trade him now while other teams still are in love with the potential he offers and they can get a really good return for him. That makes more sense then paying #1 money for someone you are not sure will ever be anything more than an average #2.
      If the Cubs feel that the Shark we have seen at times (and both starts this year) is the real Shark, and that he is now becoming a true TOR pitcher, then they will pay the money to lock him up.
      Shark is willing to wait, so why shouldn’t the Cubs wait it out to see if they can be more confident as to what he will be going forward?
      Just my take on it

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        If they had an over and under line in Vegas for Sharks performance I would bet the over. I just think he’s a big strong guy that is finally making the transition from a thrower to a pitcher. I think that even if he eventually loses a little on his fastball that his pitch arsenaal will get him through. And I don’t see his velocity going down anytime soon. The new reality is that the top arms in the game are commanding 30 million a year and Samardzija is now a 20 million a year guy. Give him ten for his last arb year and 20 million a year. Because that is likely what he will get in FA. Whoever was offering him 5/55 had their head up their ass. I see him getting a nine figure contract in FA so if you can get him for say 6/90 right now then do it.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          “I just think he’s a big strong guy that is finally making the transition from a thrower to a pitcher.”

          The same thing was said about him last year at this time. Then a big chunk of fans couldn’t give him away fast enough this offseason.

          • http://bleachernation.com woody

            I think I saw you uncle Grinch at the mall today.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              He was at the Mall? Asshole…I asked if he wanted to go with me and he said he had other plans.

    • Karl Groucho

      Trends show that he’s likely to get worse from here on out; even if that doesn’t happen within a year or two, by the time we’re becoming perennial contenders (knock on wood) he’s already 31/32 an quite likely to be on the decline. If we can get a crop of youngsters who will be just starting their service time/available as reinforcements (as the Cards always have) around then, we are able to postpone our use of that value, as opposed to using a lot of it now.

      That takes banking on the development of those players, of course, and it’s unlikely that everyone we get back performs at a high level in ML. But the org has to have faith in its scouting and development. It has to just be about trading now assets (which we don’t really need) for later assets (which will hopefully be of great use).

      • Karl Groucho

        It’s not like we’re talking about Jose Fernandez or even Joey Votto (e.g. older but still MVP quality) here — we’re talking about the sometimes-best pitcher in a spotty rotation.

  • kj1

    What could the Cubs get in return if JS is traded? Do we know the Cubs wish list?

  • Medicos

    I’d love see Shark signed to at least a 4-5 year contract. If not, Hoystein should get the rights to at least 2 young pitchers and a promising catcher. With so many teams experiencing pitching injury problems, JS would be a great addition to any contending team’s roster.

  • Medicos

    ADAM DUNN just hit HR # 443. Hard to believe but this guy is just 34 and in outstanding shape so someday he might wind up the HOF in Cooperstown.

    • Jon

      Outstanding shape?

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      He’s really Dunn it this time.

  • cannon

    Why does Jeff have to “talk” to Patrick. We have too much talk radio in Chicago – to busy or good to talk to Jeff.

    Jeff knows he gone – this is a sub 70 win win for the next two years – Cubs will not pay him because they will not not win. We all heard this story before. Hello Matt.

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