The Chicago Cubs and Jeff Samardzija avoided arbitration when the two parties agreed to a one year deal for $5.345 million dollars, but the negotiations took its toll on the team’s potential Opening Day starter in 2014 and that could lead to him leaving Chicago as soon as this season.
“The emotional attachment I have to this organization, a lot of times you just give the benefit of the doubt,” Samardzija said Friday after the Cubs’ first workout. “It’s just the way it works because of the way I feel about being here and how bad I want to be here.
“The more this process goes along, the more I realize it is a business and that only goes so far. But like I said before. It all comes down to production and what goes on the field . I know if I do my part and what I expect of myself and what the team expects from me, then everything else is clear about what the future holds.”
The 29-year-old starter has shown flashes of dominance in the last two seasons as a full-time starter, but after a promising 2012 season, he regressed in 2013 when his ERA rose to 4.34 in his 8-13 campaign that saw an increase in hits and walks allowed per game and his strikeout totals per nine innings decrease.
He has the stuff to be a top of the rotation type pitcher, but his consistency and efficiency has been his biggest obstacle to receiving the extension he hopes he receives from the Cubs or the team that trades for him.
“All I can do is increase my value as much as possible and in the end it’s going to help this organization no matter what,” Samardzija said. “Either help the organization by keeping me here and proving I’m that guy, or I increase my value and get prospects in return.”