And the high drama continues on the North Side of Chicago.
Word out of spring camp is that the Chicago Cubs could still move Jeff Samardzija by the time Opening Day rolls around. This shouldn’t come as any sort of surprise, given that new manager Rick Renteria has yet to name a starter for the season opener, due to the fact that he doesn’t want to be “locked in” to anyone. Perhaps he’s aware of the goings on in the front office at this point.
The drama between Samardzija and the Cubs is well-documented at this point – perhaps a little too well-documented. The two sides tried to come together on a contract extension and ultimately failed, as Samardzija likely believes he deserves to be paid as the ace that he is with the Cubs, despite the fact that he may not be in that type of role if he were moved to a contending team.
With talks ultimately failing, each side has taken to the media to do some of their negotiating, on the side of Samardzija in particular. Having publicly questioned the direction in which the team is going, while also declaring that his loyalty can only go so far, it’s very likely that Samardzija is doing his best to work his way out of town, and the Cubs would probably be more than happy to oblige.
For the right price, of course. That’s the issue with moving Samardzija. He has an additional year of team control and moving him makes little sense if you’re not going to get the return you want. The team was patient in dealing Matt Garza and ended up getting quite the package in return, which included potential starting third baseman Mike Olt and top pitching prospect C.J. Edwards. Shark’s upside is arguably higher and he could bring about an even better return, which the Cubs are obviously attempting to get.
There isn’t a wide availability of starting pitching on the market. You have Ervin Santana out there, but he wants to be paid more than Ubaldo Jimenez. David Price isn’t going to get moved at this point until the trade deadline at the earliest. Jeff Samardzija represents the best options for teams looking to add an arm to the front of their rotation. It’s just a matter of who’s going to get serious about it and pony up the prospects if a deal is going to take place before the regular season gets underway.