The Chicago Cubs and Jeff Samardzija have been trying to work out an extension for quite awhile now. The main issue for both parties is the money and the length of the possible deal as the right-hander wants to be around when the Cubs are ready to contend. But he has reportedly expressed his intention of not taking a “home discount” just to stay with the franchise.
Taking into account that Samardzija already rejected a reported five-year, $55 million offer a few weeks ago, the Cubs need to make a greater offer to retain the ace of their staff. Even though Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer might have to overpay for his services – Shark is looking to receive an ace-like contract even though he hasn’t pitched like one consistently – the right move is to extend him.
The former reliever is the most talented pitcher on the team in terms of raw stuff, and he has shown repeated flashes of brilliance these past two years. He is also keen to stay with the franchise, and he’s arguably looking to get paid big time in what could be his first – and only – mega-deal of his career as he will be 29 next year.
An argument could be made to say that Samardzija hasn’t pitched like an ace and he won’t be cheap to extend, but the Cubs’ biggest weakness is top of the rotation talent. Out the whole group that will form next year’s rotation, he’s the one with the most chances to grow into a top starter. He’s also very competitive and he pushes his teammates to give their maximum effort, an attitude that can only benefit a team looking to turn the corner.
With an inflated market and extensions that seem to get higher each year, the Cubs should act quickly to extend Samardzija. It’s definitely a situation that could turn out very beneficial for both parties down the road if an agreement is reached.