The Chicago Cubs will not be going to an arbitration hearing with any of their players this winter.
On Saturday, the Chicago Cubs and starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija agreed to a one-year contract worth $5.345 million. Samardzija was the last remaining arbitration eligible player on the Cubs roster.
Throughout the winter, rumors have put Samardzija at the front of trade discussions involving the Cubs. Ideally, the Cubs would have signed Samardzija to a long-term contract extension by now, however, the starting pitcher has been reluctant to sign any offer that the Cubs have made. Samardzija’s reluctance to sign a long-term contract extension has led the Cubs to gauging his interest around the league. There seems to be a consensus that the Cubs will trade Samardzija prior to the July 31 trade deadline.
Samardzija will start the season as the N0. 1 starter in the Cubs starting rotation. A role that the 29-year old pitcher occupied last season.
With the Cubs in 2013, Samardzija posted a record of 8-13 while making 33 starts. In those 33 starts, Samardzija consummated an ERA of 4.34 and a WHIP of 1.35. Samardzija had a FIP of 3.77 last season and an ERA- of 112
In a rotation that is questionable at the bottom, Samardzija will be depended on by the Cubs in 2014. Depended on in the sense that he could have a productive first half. The benefit to that would be that Samardzija would have either pitched the Cubs into being a relatively respectable team; or pitched himself into being one of the biggest trading chips in the Majors come trade deadline time. Chances are on the latter option.
Samardzija, along with the rest of the Cubs pitchers and catchers, will report to Spring Training on Thursday.