Chicago Cubs have mixed feelings about the season that recently ended, as the club didn’t finish on the last place in their conference. On the other hand, the results are still disappointing and the fact that the playoffs remain a mirage, is frustrating to say the least. Resources are scarce, which means that the management needs to be extra careful when transferring new players and they frequently fight an uphill battle trying to re-sign players or keep their veterans in their rotation.
There are not many pitchers that are worth keeping in their backyard, but Jeff Samardzija is definitely one of them and it comes as no surprise that he’s among those expected to remain with the Cubs this winter. The club has already made a juicy deal for the starting pitcher, with Jeff expected to cash in $11 million per year until 2019. The amount itself is exciting, but we need to keep in mind that Samardzija will be a free agent two years from now and depending on his results in the next two years, his paycheck can rise.
There is no shortage of clubs interested in his services, which explains why Jeff is reluctant to sign an extension to his contract right away. There are some rumors regarding the prospect of Samardzija being loaned to another team, something that the Cubs did in the past but it is very unlikely for Chicago to take on superior opponents without a quality pitcher.
The club is trying to replace aging players but their plan is not to purchase new talents, instead they intend to promote those who play in the minor leagues. They’ve got a couple of names that have the potential of becoming the top hitters of tomorrow, but when it comes to pitching, their options are limited to a couple of players. Having said this, Samardzija is not the star pitcher and even though his numbers were superior to most of his colleagues in 2013, he shouldn’t push his luck by asking for a lot more money.
The prospects for Chicago in 2014 are not too great and the best case scenario for the Cubs is to finishing the first half of the standings. For the time being, reaching the playoffs remains a bridge too far and such an objective could only be reached to a three years from now. What the team needs is to constantly improve its pitching rotations, including the starters and relievers, until their young sluggers get to prove their worth in the majors.