2/14 Samardzija hopes to avoid distractions

Jeff Samardzija doesn’t want to talk about a possible long-term contract with the Cubs or his name being mentioned in trade rumors.

“We’re not really going to talk about that,” Samardzija said Friday. “We’re worried about the season and getting ready to compete and win some ballgames. We don’t want any distractions, whether it’s with [contract talk] or with trade talks or this or that. For me, it’s a no comment.

“Like I’ve said before, [I want to] put no doubt in anyone’s minds about who I am and what I can be for this organization.”

This is Samardzija’s third season as a full-time starter, and his name has been mentioned in trade rumors because of the Cubs’ trend the last two seasons under president of baseball operations Theo Epstein to deal players for prospects. Samardzija avoided arbitration this year by agreeing to a one-year, $5.345 million contract. He will be a free agent after the 2015 season.

“The last resort is to go a hearing,” he said of the talks. “I felt like from the beginning, both sides were in agreement that we were pretty close.”

The right-hander is coming off his first season in which he totaled 200 innings and 200 strikeouts. He finished 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA in a career-high 33 starts. His goal this year? To improve his pitch efficiency and reduce the total walks.

One of the ways to do that is eliminate any outside distractions. Whether he’s traded or not, Samardzija, 29, is doing his best to stay focused on baseball.

“All I can do is increase my value as much as possible and I think in the end it’s going to help the organization no matter what,” he said. “It either helps the organization by keeping me here and proving that I’m that guy, or I increase my value and help them get prospects in return.”

Does he think he’ll be with the Cubs at the end of the 2014 season?

“It comes down to the team,” he said. “It comes down to where we’re at as a team. If me, [Travis Wood], [Edwin] Jackson, [Jason] Hammel, [Carlos] Villanueva, [Jake] Arrieta, so on and so forth do their job and show that we’re pretty close to where we need to be, especially as a pitching staff, which is what we can control as pitchers, a lot of times that changes the plan. [They’ll say] This is an important core group of guys and we can’t break this up.”

– Carrie Muskat

6 Comments

Pingback: Jeff Samardzija Fields Questions About His Future and the Cubs - Chicago Cubs Online

Lets hope this is the last time we hear about the Shark contract saga….and just play ball.

Shark makes himself out as a guy on the Food Stamp program…..the guy already cashed in on millions when he signed with the Cubs out of Notre Dame…..

Shark, don’t worry, you will make the big $$$$$ one day….but it won’t be with the Cubs.

Stop your b******* and go out and see if you can last beyond 5 innings / 115 pitches.

We agree on that Cubs Talk. He says, were not going to talk about that, then, keeps talking about it.
Just my opinion, but I would love to see him gone, just so I don’t have to read about him & his contract.
As Cub Talk states, just shut up, earn the money you are making.

Aloha Cubs Talk and Jasper Jiggs- I too am tired of this story, it is worst than what one would hear in the SF Bay Area at the time about Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum and their possibly long term contracts. In those cases we would read the speculation about what would happen but it usually was not coming from the player’s mouths but rather team officials or the media. In this case Jeff needs to restrain from the need to “speak-out or have the last word” and just go out and do his job for which he is being blessed to be paid for, when so many others are struggling in this poor economy. An attitude of gratitude would go far for him and aid in his maturity not only as a person but as a team player. I feel bad in what I am about to say, at this point I do not have a problem with management trading him away because the last thing you need is someone grumbling-murmuring and disturbing the chemistry of the team. Better to get some great prospects-utility players than to have a “fly in the ointment.” Mahalo.

Very well put K.g. Disturbing the team chemistry is exactly right. I failed to use that line, because: it seems the younger generation would not understand there is such a thing. For some, its all about Saber metrics and stats.
Saber metrics are a great tool, but so is putting together 25 personalities that can play & work together.

I have seen in the last three days on two other sites, Jeff Samardizja still talking a contract extension.
Jeff, you signed for 2014, please let it go and shut up. Nobody wants to hear your whining. You want a big contract, have a big year.
Just shut up please.

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