Jeff Samardzija turned down a five-year extension from the Chicago Cubs this offseason, though he still wants to be a Cub for life.
“We were talking, and we both have the same interest in mind,” Samardzija said Tuesday before the first spring workout. “We both want me to be here and both want me to be part of this team for a long time. When we feel like we’re on the same page with that, we’ll get it done. That was offseason talk. That’s what happened at the end of the year. It’s early right now. I still haven’t proven myself to where I want to be as a player. I was happy last year but I don’t want to stay there. I want to improve and get better.
”The more I show them that, the more comfortable they’ll be with getting a deal done. It’s not even close to the front burner now. It’s so far on the back (burner) it’s not even an issue. The fact we have a common ground ... it makes you feel good. Now it’s just a little bantering back and forth.”
Samardzija went 9-13 with a 3.81 earned-run average in his first full season in the rotation, throwing 174 2/3 innings before getting shut down in September. There will be no limits on his innings this year, and Samardzija hopes to surpass the 200-innings plateau and prove last year was not a fluke.
Samardzija said “it doesn’t really make much sense” to talk contract after one year in the rotation. With the price of starting pitching soaring, he stands to significantly increase his value with one or two more good years under his belt. Samardzija won’t be a free agent until after the 2015 season.
“I’d rather have some more concrete stats and some concrete evidence on what’s going on,” he said. “Obviously, we’ll know better what the future is going on. But I think a big thing is I’m a healthy dude and I work hard and want to put as much on my side of the court as possible.”
Samardzija willing to wait for long-term extension
Chicago Tribune | Feb 12