Levine: Samardzija’s Agent Meets With Cubs
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Updated: 4:42 PM CT
By Bruce Levine-
ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS) The Chicago Cubs and agent Mark Rogers have a midday meeting on Wednesday here at the winter meeting.
Rogers, the agent for Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija may be hearing a new proposal on a long term contract for the 29-year-old Northwest Indiana native.
The Cubs have tried to wrap up the pitcher with a couple of multi-year deals over the past year. In November of 2012, I reported the team had offered the parameters of a three-year, $27 million contract, which was not to the liking of the Samardzija camp.
In November of 2013, I reported a five-year, $55 million deal was on the table. A MLB source told me the deal had been sweetened by the Cubs, but I was unable to get the other side to confirm any term changes.
The Cubs have talked to numerous teams including the Diamondbacks and Toronto about a trade of the pitcher for a package of young prospects. So far at these meetings, the club has not heard an offer that was good enough to pull the trigger on a trade. Yesterday’s Arizona deal took two possible parts of a trade to Chicago off of the table.(Pitcher Tyler Skaggs and outfielder Adam Eaton were traded in a three-team deal )
Samardzija is more concerned with how he is perceived in the organization and his long-term goals of winning with the Cubs. He has already made close to $20 million dollars in his brief career. The Cubs front office has a basic rule refusing to hand out no-trade clauses in their contract proposals. The average annual average of the contract is the concern of Rogers, who represents a player who was fourth in strikeouts last season and seventh in innings pitched. The Cubs concerns center around the pitcher’s 5.50 ERA after the All-Star break in 2013.
The best thing that can happen is a meeting of the minds on both sides today. If not, the pitcher will be dealt before the trading deadline on July 31, 2014.
Update: Following today’s meeting, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein had the following comments:
“It went well- it was a great meeting. I feel great about the relationship with them. Talks are really amicable and open. We are transparent about the situation and our interests and he is transparent about (their) interests as we continue to try move the ball forward as much as we can on one of two or three possible outcomes. Nothing is resolved and there isn’t any fundamental change in the situation.”
For complete coverage from the Winter Meetings, follow Bruce on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.