CHICAGO (CBS) — Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija told reporters after picking up the loss in Saturday’s game against the Dodgers that contract talks with the Cubs have been affecting him on the mound.

“I have been pretty good at blanking it out, to tell you the truth. You try to clear your mind and the only thing you want in your head is the lineup you’re facing and your game plan against them. It’s not the easiest thing in the world. To say (a contract) doesn’t weigh on you would be a lie,” said Samardzija.

Samardzija will be arbitration eligible for next two seasons and after that he can become a free agent.

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer told reporters before the game that, “He’s a guy we’d love to try to build around. We obviously have had some (contract extension) discussions with him. We’ll continue in the offseason. Our hope is certainly to keep him here and he knows that.”

Samardzija is 6-10 with a 3.78 ERA in his sixth season with the Cubs.

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