According to multiple sources, the Cubs have reached out to Samardzija about the possibility of exploring a multiyear deal with the big right-hander, who’s arbitration-eligible after making an impressive transition from the bullpen to the rotation.
‘‘I’m not going to comment on it, but [Samardzija has] had a great year, and certainly he’s a guy we hope is in a Cubs uniform for a long time,’’ general manager Jed Hoyer said.
The 27-year-old Samardzija, who is in his first year of arbitration, had a breakout season for the Cubs with his move to the starting rotation. The tall right-hander, who was known for his erratic command as a reliever, put up a 3.81 ERA, 9.3 K/9 and just 2.9 BB/9 in twenty-eight starts before being shut down in September. In nearly one hundred fewer innings than 2011, Samardzija walked only six more batters.
Samardzija did not have any comment about a possible contract extension but his agent said that the right-hander is "open-minded about entertaining any offer" that the Cubs might make. Samardzija made $2.64 million in 2012 and is looking at a nice raise through arbitration if the two sides do not agree to an extension before the arbitration deadline.