Sep 17, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

M's targeting starting pitching; Cubs Samardzija not at play

Interest in Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija has been well-documented this offseason, although with just over a week till Spring Training, no deal involving the team’s workhorse appears imminent.

Although the Toronto Blue Jays have been the most oft-linked suitor for Samardzija, under new team president Kevin Mather, the Seattle Mariners could be in the market for free agents Fernando Rodney and Nelson Cruz, and could also be exploring the trade market for starting pitching, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

A trade for a starting pitcher is another possibility, though the Mariners do not appear focused on Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price or Chicago Cubs righty Jeff Samardzija, both of whom remain available.

That’s not to say if Seattle adds a few pieces and plays solid baseball through the season’s first half, they wouldn’t gain interest in the right-hander to compliment ace Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma at the top of their rotation.

On Chicago’s side of the equation, it appears more and more likely that Samardzija will remain with the team until, at least, the July Trade Deadline. The two sides – meaning the Cubs and Samardzija’s camp – have still not yet agreed to terms on a new deal. His reps put forth on offer of $6.2 million, while Chicago countered with $4.4 million. Both of these would be a significant raise from the $2.64 million salary that he earned each of the past two seasons.

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Tags: Chicago Cubs Hot Stove Jeff Samardzija

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