Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija turned down a five-year extension early this offseason but still has hopes of getting a long-term deal done with the club in the future, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:
Jeff Samardzija turned down a five-year extension from the Chicago Cubs this offseason, though he still wants to be a Cub for life.
"We were talking, and we both have the same interest in mind," Samardzija said Tuesday before the first spring workout... When we feel like we’re on the same page with that, we’ll get it done."
There were rumors in early November that the Cubs had reached out to the right-hander about negotiating a long-term extension, but this is the first time anything has emerged about any sort of offer being made.
Instead of a long-term contract, the two sides settled Samardzija's first year of arbitration with a one-year, $2.64 million deal right at the filing deadline in mid-January.
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Following four largely mediocre and walk-prone seasons in the Cubs' bullpen, the 28-year-old Samardzija jumped into the starting rotation in 2012 and immediately thrived. The tall right-hander's serious troubles with the base on balls disappeared almost completely, leading to a solid 3.81 ERA and 3.21 K/BB ratio in 174⅔ innings over 28 starts.
The Cubs pulled a page out of the Nationals' book and sat the right-hander for the last month of the season so that the heavier workload would not lead to arm problems. Samardzija will have no innings limit this year and the right-hander hopes to surpass the 200 innings mark and put himself in line for a bigger long-term deal.