Cubs trade rumors: "Strong preference" is extension for Samardzija

Norm Hall

Although the Cubs are listening to offers on Samardzija, their preference would be to sign him to a long-term extension.

Following a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that the Chicago Cubs are listening to trade offers for right-hander Jeff Samardzija, a Cubs source revealed that while there has been lots of trade interest in him, the team's strong preference would be to sign the 28-year old to a contract extension. It is unclear if the sides have recently discussed an extension, but they did have talks last offseason.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum also threw water on the flames of Samardzija trade rumors, telling MLB.com's Carrie Muskat that he would be surprised to see the young ace traded before the deadline.

Chicago has been the most active team on the trade market, shipping Scott Feldman, Steve Clevenger, Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano and Guillermo Moscoso to contenders in recent weeks. They are expected to continue their aggressive selling until Wednesday's trade deadline, and have movable assets like Kevin Gregg, James Russell, Dioner Navarro and Nate Schierholtz still on the roster. While a Samardzija move would bring the Cubs a major haul of strong prospects, he is under team control through the 2015 season, and would likely be more valuable to the team as a veteran workhorse at the top of the rotation.

While the source did not disclose which teams were showing interest in Samardzija, a Rosenthal report from earlier in the month revealed that the Diamondbacks had strong interest in him. Other pitching-needy teams like the Pirates, Red Sox, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Athletics could also show interest in the coming days.

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