12/4 Jeff Samardzija — UPDATED

During an interview Wednesday night on Chicago Sports Talk Live, Theo Epstein said the chances of Jeff Samardzija being in the Cubs Opening Day rotation are “pretty good.”

Samardzija has been the subject of trade rumors since July, and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick wrote Wednesday that the Cubs will do some “serious listening” at the Winter Meetings to teams interested in trading for the right-hander.

In the show Wednesday night on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Epstein repeated that the Cubs are hoping to sign Samardzija to a long-term deal. The pitcher is arbitration eligible.

“He’s our best pitcher and I’m really bullish on his future,” Epstein said on the Comcast SportsNet Chicago show. “He’s a guy who is a difference making starting pitcher for a long time.”

Epstein did say they want to get the most out of their assets, and although one way is a contract extension, another way is to trade that player for “mulitiple young impact assets.”

“With Jeff, I still have the belief that he can be the guy, he has the exact makeup we’re looking for,” Epstein said.

Samardzija is under team control for two more seasons, has shown that he’s durable, he’s a power pitcher, and he’s only 28 years old. The Cubs would have to be blown away by a package to deal Samardzija, who is arbitration eligible and projected to get a $4.9 million in 2014. Many teams looking for starting pitching consider him to be a better alternative than the free agent pitchers still on the market.

What could influence the Cubs decision on whether to part with Samardzija is if they can fill that spot in the rotation with Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. According to a report on Wednesday, Japanese baseball officials are willing to accept the $20 million maximum bid, which would be part of the new posting rules. Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for Rakuten this season.

Stay tuned. The Winter Meetings get underway Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

– Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

A Samardzija & Soler trade package could bring in high pitching prospects……

Marlins looking for a third baseman…….Olt or Villanuava would look good in a Marlins uniform in exchange for a Marlins pitching prospect.

I really have to disagree Cubs Talk. The Cubs have Sweeny, Bogusevic, Lake and Scherholz in the OF. Lake the only one going to be a regular the next few years. Then you want to throw Soler, the best OF prospect in the system in on a trade?

Granted, I was not impressed with Soler or Almora and their injuries this year. However I think they need at least another year before throwing them in on trades.

Yes its nice to have Pitching, in fact, it is needed. Last year the Cubs were 26th in hitting as a club. The pitching was not great, especially the Bullpen, the defense was 20th, that also dont help the Pitchers.

I know it will take awhile, but Pitching is on the way in Black, Johnson, Edwards, Ramirez, Underwood, Vizcaino, Blackburn, Beeler, Hendricks, Loux, Loosen and more. Of course they wont all make it. Of course you keep looking for pitching.

But to give up a top OF prospect, I sure hope not. You want to throw in somebody, Jackson & Vitters could use a change of scenery.

soler isn’t the best OF prospect…. albert almora is far and away better… some (which i don’t agree ) have almora as our #1 prospect. ALso you could include Bryant as an OF but Im still hoping he can make it at 3B. Soler also has VERY LITTLE trade value to any team. The contract he has hinders that value a regular prospect would have. Soler isn’t going anywhere.

We would disgree on the Cubs #1 OF prospect, but its cool. I realize the experts have Almora rated above Soler and with that fact, you are 100% correct.
I have to base my opinion on what I see. The fact is, I didnt see much out of either one. Thats why I stated they need another year.
If my memory is correct, Almora got hurt before the Class Championship game? I know he got hurt before the AZ Fall League Championship game. Also thinking he got hurt after a few games his Draft year of 2012.
Soler also was injured, then suspended.
So my opinion of either is not very high at this point. However, next year hopefully they show they can play a full year.
Bryant wants it and wants it bad, he is going to be in the Majors before either one of the OF’s. And he plays 3rd Base very well. At least thats my opinion.

Get what you can, this team is not going anywhere soon and he could have an average season 2014…so go for it…

Samardj is only 28 yrs. old and has not even begun to reach his potential in my opinion! While many others seem to have already “written 2014 season” off I will look forward to the 2014 season as one in which we have every chance of VAST improvement! We have a new manager, we have a new coaching staff – why write them off before they have even shown us what can be done? And I think Samardj should be a part of the Cub’s “new chapter”.

i agree in a way… Shark honestly doesn’t have the mileage most 28yr olds have on their arms… I would say he is more like a 26 yr pitcher… Shark still has the ace POTENTIAL but this next year needs to be a big year for him or he might never be more than a good #3. Also we need to realize that a new coaching staff can only do so much. Money needs to be spent on acquiring ML TALENT…. end of story… its expensive to be good these days… heck even billy beane is spending money this offseason. LOOK OUT!!!

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