Jeff Samardzija’s competitiveness will spill over into any discussions about a long-term extension with the Cubs. After an All-American football career at Notre Dame – and years spent shuttling between the North Side and Triple-A Iowa – Samardzija believes he’s only scratching the surface of his potential. He views himself as an Opening Day starter a 200-innings-a-year machine and a frontline guy for the next contending team at Clark and Addison. That’s why Samardzija showed little interest in signing a new contract last offseason when the Cubs tried out the same playbook they have used with core players Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. As much as Samardzija loves Chicago this will be a market-rate deal. “He is a confident guy for sure” general manager Jed Hoyer said after Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. “Part of what makes him good is he’s got a swagger and he’s got a confidence. You take that into negotiations and you probably don’t always separate those two things.” Samardzija isn’t positioned to become a free agent until after the 2015 season and he wanted to put another year as a big-league starter on his resume before seriously talking about a long-term contract. But there will be a sense of urgency to complete a new deal this winter. “It’s something we’d like to do for sure” Hoyer said. “We love having him on the team. I think he brings the right swagger the right competitiveness to the club. His stuff is obviously really good and I think it will keep getting better.
Cubs will make Samardzija extension a top priority
CSN Chicago | Aug 2