The Chicago Cubs have reached an agreement on a one-year deal with pitcher Jeff Samardzija to avoid arbitration, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The contract will pay him $5.345 million in 2014, and prevents the Cubs and Samardzija from going to potentially nasty arbitration hearing, which would have taken place on Monday.
Jeff Samardzija settled at $5.345M for '14, above midpoint. #cubs— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 8, 2014
The 29-year-old right-hander had originally filed for $6.2 million, while Chicago had submitted a $4.4 million offer. The $5.345 million agreement falls just above the midpoint of the two deals, which was $5.3 million.
Samardzija has been the Cubs de facto ace over the past couple seasons since moving from the bullpen before the 2012 season. In 61 starts over the past two years, he has posted a 4.10 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 5.8 WAR, and 9.1 K/9 over 388.1 innings. He is set to enter free agency at the end of the 2015 season, though the Cubs have shown an interest in extending the former Notre Dame football star. However, he has also come up in some trade rumors this winter, particularly with the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks.