The Chicago Cubs could be interested in bringing back right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports.
The 30-year-old spent more than six seasons with the Cubs after they selected him in the fifth round of the 2006 amateur draft. He made 208 appearances for them, including 83 starts, posting a 3.97 ERA in 666 innings, striking out just less than a batter per inning. The Cubs traded him to the Athletics in 2014 in a deal that netted them Addison Russell among others,
After finishing out the 2014 season in Oakland, Samardzija was moved to the White Sox in 2015 where he had a 4.96 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 214 innings over 32 starts. He also had a 4.23 FIP, walking 49 and striking out 163. The numbers were a steep drop off from his 2014, when he earned an All-Star appearance and had a 2.99 ERA in 219⅔ innings, striking out 202 with the Cubs and A's.
Heyman projects Samardzija to receive a deal in the range of five years, $85 million this offseason, which would be similar to the extension the Cubs offered him and he turned down when he was still with them. The contract projections for Samardzija at Fangraphs are of a similar nature.
The Cubs are not the only team in the hunt for Samardzija, who does have a qualifying offer from the White Sox and will cost the team that signs him a draft pick, as Heyman reported that the Yankees had him on their radar last month.
The market for Samardzija looks to be growing, and he will likely get at least the money that he turned down from the Cubs in 2013, perhaps even from the same team.