Russell’s one year deal nets him $1.075 million dollars which is roughly what you’d expect to pay for his services. He’ll be in the bullpen again this year where he was one of the more consistent arms for the Cubs last season. He’ll likely share the middle relief position with Shawn Camp and a few other arms, with Kyuji Fujikawa taking the set up job and Carlos Marmol closing.
Samardzija’s one year deal is for $2.64 million which matches the exact total he earned in 2012. This seems cheap for a player of his caliber as he’s expected to be much better this season, so to pay him what he made last season for a potential better performance is great for the team. Samardzija is expected to be the number 1 starter this season, but it will depend greatly on spring training performances as well.
These signings were to be expected and it’s a big relief to bring back to key components of the 2012 Cubs’ core on such affordable contracts.