With a new, more lucrative contract extension on the table this week, the Chicago Cubs are closer to the demands of starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Unfortunately for them, it sounds like they still aren’t nearly close enough to convince their ace to re-up with them long term.
Jon Heyman of CBS reports that the Cubs did offer more money this week than they did in talks this past off-season, but that they still are not in the neighborhood that Samardzija has in mind:
The new offer isn’t known but it’s quite possibly something more in the range of $75-80 million but most definitely not in the vicinity of the $105 million guarantee Homer Bailey has with the Reds.
And even that probably wouldn’t get it done, anyway.
Samardzija hasn’t countered the Cubs’ offer yet, he isn’t obligated to counter it, and he may never counter it. As in the past, the sides appear to remain uncomfortably apart.
Heyman also notes that Samardzija’s desire to play for a winning team looms as a problem, as he is not persuaded that the Cubs will be a winning team anytime soon. He also wants to get paid, and that is less likely to happen in this type of situation. That much is clear from the offer that the Cubs made.
When pitchers do opt for deals like the one offered to Samardzija this week, they do so in the interest of security and stability. One gets the impression that Samardzija isn’t interested in either of those, at least not with the Cubs, and that a trade this summer is just as likely as it ever was.