2/8 Cubs, Samardzija settle

The Cubs and Jeff Samardzija reached agreement on Saturday on a one-year, $5.345 million contract, and will avoid arbitration. A hearing was scheduled for Monday in Florida. The Cubs had offered Samardzija $4.4 million, and he filed for $6.2 million. The Cubs’ Opening Day starter last season, the right-hander finished 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA and reached 200 innings and 200 strikeouts for the first time in his career.

– Carrie Muskat

14 Comments

I think it was in the best interests of all involved that arbitration was avoided.

Good,seems like ill well when arbitrate, gotta like Jeff

Not certain what that last comment means. Do know that Jeff is very fortunate to be receiving those multiple millions, as he’s barely an above average starting hurler.

Aloha Folks-
This has been a hard one to read as well. Everyone here wants our Cubs to do well but we also understand that this is a “merit-based” system and the money that these folks are trying to get for “future services rendered,” is really amazing. Look at another power pitcher that we had not too long ago, Mark Prior. He was in a different place not only wins, era, strikeouts than Samardzija before that injury he sustained in 2005 and came back to early from. Still when you look at his stats, if the injury had not occurred and say he finished the season like he did in 2003, one could make the argument that he get a certain amount for his services. I just wonder after the Cubs lost in the “Tanaka-sweepstakes,” if Samardzija thought now is the time to strike while the iron is hot and I am come at a much “cheaper” price? I am not saying that this is his motivation but for a team that did not do well last year including himself the past couple of years, the money being asked does not line up with what he has done thus far. Maybe Theo and company are hoping that he has a good year, not a break out year, so that it will be easy to trade him at the deadline and get something good in return. If he has a break-out year, than it maybe harder for them to justify to the fans why he was traded. Either way, I am not sure if Samardzija helped his cause out for staying with the Cubs through this season only time will tell. This is going to be another rough season and we as Cubs fans have to be able to support them and endure the pain at the same time. Gunbatene! Mahalo.

To the posters above saying Jeff is “barely an above average starting hurler” or saying that the “money being asked does not line up with what he has done thus far”, I disagree.

Jeff had a strong year last year, in my opinion. 200+ innings and 200+ strikeouts is no small feat, and that is certainly above average performance. His 4.34 ERA was deceptively high, as his FIP was 3.77 and xFIP was 3.45, suggesting he was the victim of some bad luck. Finally, his WAR was 2.8. That means he was almost 3 wins better than your average hurler. According to Fangraphs, his performance last year was valued at $13.9M and $13.5M, respectively.

So personally, I am not upset that that he asked for $6.2. It his is right to ask whatever he feels that he is valued, and based purely on performance, his value compared to the market is actually much higher. I think setting right about in the middle seems quite fair, and really quite a bargain. I think Jeff is a great pitcher and competitor, and I am excited to see him pitch next year.

Source: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=3254&position=P

i agree Jeff is better than average… always have…. but you don’t know WAR… 2.0 is average… anything below that is below average.

You’re right, petrey. Thanks for correcting me.

I was one of the posters above and I stand by that statement. It was in the best interests of all involved that arbitration was avoided.
There is no question that stats tell the value of the player on the field during the course of the year.
My problem with Samardizja or opinion is really based on articles read. Like most on here, I am not privy to conversations with him or Management, so I dont know what they are saying or thinking.
I do know this, if I were in Samardizjas position, and I loved being a Cub and loved Chicago as he states: Then knowing I am already set for life and wanted to stay a Cub. I would sign a contract. If I chose not sign, I would not be pointing out my feelings to the media. It looks like he is using the Fan Base to increase his salary.
All the fans really want is Baseball, just do your job, pitch games, earn your Millions and shut the F up about it.
A normal guy trying to find a $100.00 to take his son to a ball game, does not understand the greed Samardizja.

Aloha Jasper Jiggs- I was one of the above posters too. Many of my colleagues from our college baseball team have had the pleasure, working for the Oakland A’s. Sure, the movie came out and everyone wants to be a “Moneyball” type of organization but even my friend’s with the A’s will agree with what you said above. The A’s have had to do creative things because of the lack of funds but it also took some of the joy of the game away from them, just looking at the “metics.” I love statistics and the different computations that one can analyze. But in the end, we are humans not just numbers and as you pointed out above, for Samardzija he really needed some good advice-maturity in this matter as it relates to the Cubs. This is not easy what Theo and crew are trying to do after decades of doing things differently. Not to say that Jeff is not valuable but if he is unable to go along with the plan that the organization has laid out there, then he should be honest with management and cut ties. It is hard for me to say this because I believe in a merit system, that folks should be compensated for just services. And who knows, the Cubs might be thinking that because they got him for a decent price that if he is traded, any team would be willing to pick up his remaining tab plus throw in some prospects. Anyhow, I think Jeff could have gone about things differently but since I nor the other posters here were in on his conversations, we can only speculate what has been discussed. This is not going to be an easy season but I hope the new manager and the rest of the organization gets out in front, take the bull by the horns and make sure that the folks on the roster are supported as well as to let the fans know of the moves the organization hopes to make. Mahalo and Go Cubbies.

^Sorry, meant to say that his performance last year and the year before* was valued at $13.9M and $13.5M, respectively.

Jeff will be a blur in Cubs fans minds when the Cubs win their World Series.

Did you all see that Paul Maholm signed with the Dodgers for $1.5 million. That is a bargain. Liked Maholm very much when he was Cubs’ property.

If your team can score runs it will change the way a pitcher pitches. If you put Samardzija on the Cardinals he wins 17 games maybe. Would make a great #3 on a playoff team. I will have to leave it up to the FO but salary wise i would rather have 5 Samardjizas at 5.3 than 5 Jacksons at 12 million,think about that. Please no Jackson 5 jokes!

Jeff won by $45,000.
I trust our rebuilding process. I’m sticking by good and bad. And that’s why we’re real fans- we don’t float with the “hot team”. It’s easy to like the Cardinals and Yankees, they’re always good. It seems fake.
I think we’ll have a couple breakout youngsters this year :)

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