The Chicago Cubs have talked with starter Jeff Samardzija about a contract extension, according to Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer.
Hoyer answered several questions Friday night on WGN Radio’s David Kaplan Show, including the trade rumors on Samardzija.
"We've had discussions w/Samardzija because we like him + want to keep him. We'll see where things go. We like hearing he wants to be here."
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) November 16, 2013
Samardzija, who turns 29 in January, will become a free agent after the 2015 season. In his second year as a full-time starter, he had a 4.34 ERA in a career-high 213.2 innings.
The Cubs have already committed $49 million of their $107 million payroll for the 2014 season. With no new contracts or free agent signings and ex-Cub Alfonso Soriano’s salary still on the books it would be a major move to re-sign the Notre Dame graduate this off-season.
Samardzija has been linked with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays amongst others has potential landing spots for a trade.
The Valparaiso, Indiana native, was the Cubs’ fifth-round pick in the 2007 MLB amateur draft and signed a five-year, $10 million deal with the club in 2007. The Cubs exercised options for a sixth and seventh seasons in 2012 and 2013.
In six career seasons, Samardzija is 29-35 with a 4.19 ERA, 1.355 WHIP, 234 walks and 536 strikeouts for a 2.29 strike-to-ball ratio over 558 innings.