6/18 Samardzija talks ongoing
There are reports that Jeff Samardzija rejected an $85 million contract offer from the Cubs. However, Samardzija and the Cubs are keeping conversations open, and have not ended discussions.
Scouts have been following Samardzija closely this season, and the Blue Jays had two representatives in Miami Tuesday night for his last start.
How is he dealing with all the trade rumors and contract chatter?
“Numb would be a good word,” Samardzija said Tuesday. “I’m just out doing my job. I feel good. I’m really excited, compared to these last two years of starting, I feel really good where I’m at with my routine and my arm feels great. … I’m going to keep doing my job and I’m not too worried about that stuff — it’ll take care of itself.”
Samardzija has one more year of arbitration left and will be a free agent after the 2015 season. He told his agent he did not want to be distracted by contract talk until something had been finalized.
Samardzija would appear to be the type of pitcher the Cubs want to move forward with in their rotation but Theo Epstein has been intent on rebuilding the farm system, and has traded two starting pitchers each of the last two seasons, including Matt Garza and Scott Feldman last year. Jason Hammel and Jake Arrieta also have reportedly drawn interest from teams looking for starting pitching.
“We have a couple guys on the trading block, but that’s what comes with being quality starters or being able to pitch at the level some of the guys can,” said Arrieta after his start Wednesday in Miami. “I look forward to having Jason and Jeff as teammates as long as possible. Obviously, I’d like them both to stay here. Theo and Jed [Hoyer] will do everything in their power to put the best team on the field, whether it’s keeping those guys or swapping them for prospects who they feel can be here for a long time.
“It’s really not something we need to think about,” Arrieta said. “You have to continue to go day to day and see what happens. I’d love to see those guys stick around.”
– Carrie Muskat