12/11 Winter Meetings, Day 3 – UPDATED

* Jeff Samardzija’s agent was expected to meet Wednesday with Theo Epstein. The Cubs would like to extend Samardzija, but he will be a free agent after the 2015 season and is most likely to politely reject their offer. The right-hander, who would like to test the market at that time, has been the subject of trade rumors. The Cubs also could deal Samardzija in July.

The three-way trade between the Angels, the Diamondbacks and the White Sox may have had an impact on what the Cubs do with Samardzija. The Cubs were believed to be looking at lefty Tyler Skaggs as part of the package for the right-hander, but Skaggs was sent to the Angels.

* The Cubs are reportedly expanding their search for starting pitching. According to Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the Cubs are considering not only Masahiro Tanaka but also Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda and Korean right-hander Suk-Min Yoon. CSN Chicago also says the Cubs are looking at Jason Hammel, 31, who has pitched for the Orioles, Rockies and Rays. He has a 49-59 career record and 4.80 ERA. Tanaka, 25, was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season. The president of his team, Rakuten, arrived at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday. MLB and Japan baseball officials were hoping to resolve the posting system.

A source said Maeda most likely would not be posted until next year. Maeda, 25, was 15-7 with a 2.10 ERA for Hiroshima last season, striking out 158 over 175 2/3 innings. Yoon, 27, is a free agent who has been a starter and reliever with the Kia Tigers in the Korea Baseball Organization. He has battled injuries.

* Major League managers and general managers met early Wednesday to discuss instant replay, among other things.

— Carrie Muskat


The idea of moving Samardzija reminds me of the loss the Cubs suffered by failing to keep Greg Maddux.

Are you saying that losing Samardzija would be just like losing Maddux, or that since the Cubs lost Maddux for nothing they should trade Samardzija so they don’t lose him for nothing in two years? If it’s the first one, then I’m sorry to say that it’s nothing like losing Greg Maddux. Maddux was the NL Cy Young Award winner that year and was willing to stay in Chicago, but the cheap Cubs didn’t want to even offer him a contract for fear of getting in a bidding war with other teams. Jeff Samardzija is coming off a year where he finished with an ERA in the low 4s and despite saying he wants to be here, has turned down previous contract extension offers. Maddux is a sure Hall of Famer, Samardzija can’t even call himself an all star right now. If it’s the second one, then I agree, the Cubs should try to move him so they don’t lose him for nothing. Whether they move him now or wait until the summer depends on the offers they get for him.

He’s no Maddux! He’ll develop okay as a middle of the order starter and the Cubs will pay a premium next year to keep him.

Both sides seemingly want him to stay. We’re seeing alot of manuevering.

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