Remember back in 2007, when the Cubs gave Jeff Samardzija a 5 year/$10MM contract to help convince him to give up the game of Football, and be a pitcher in the Cubs organization. But we are going on Samardzija’s fourth year in the Cubs organization, and so far he has not lived up to that generous contract the Cubs gave him coming out of college.
Take a look at what transpired during spring training this year. As, Samardzija was finally given the chance to earn a starter’s spot in the rotation, but he was outperformed by Carlos Silva, and Tom Gorzelanny. Even though it was expected by many that Samardzija would be a starter for the Cubs this year, he now is reliever in the Cubs bullpen.
But going off of last year, Jeff Samardzija may not want to get too comfortable in the bullpen as he posted a 6.49ERA last year coming out of the bullpen. Which means that it is possible that Samardzija could spend another year being bounced back and forth between the majors and minors.
At least up till this point, Jeff Samardzija has to be considered a bust. Due in large part to his inconsistency and his inability to develop an off-speed pitch to go with his fastball. So far, he has shown nothing to warrant the Cubs giving him a 5 year major league contract after they drafted in 2006.
But that is not say that Samardzija could eventually be a serviceable pitcher in the majors. As even though he has had miserable spring so far, he has shown signs of progress towards eventually being a quality pitcher for the Cubs. For one, the Cubs have tweaked his delivery and it looks much smoother than it did last year. And with Samardzija having a good fastball, he may find some success in the Cubs bullpen this year.
And even though Samardzija was disappointed that he lost out on a starter’s spot, he still is looking forward to helping the Cubs win this season while pitching out of the bullpen.
"“He asked me what I could do for this team, and I’ve always had the same approach of how I want to approach being on this team. We just want to win games, and he felt that would be the best way for me to help this team.”“Every time I’ve had a situation in the pen, I’ve felt comfortable and done pretty well there,” he said. “There’s still a lot to learn though from being in the pen, and the last couple of years I’ve done that.”CHICAGO TRIBUNE"
Samardzija will definitely be a player to watch this year for the Cubs, as the Cubs are hoping that he can have success out of the bullpen for them this year. But if he struggles, Samardzija will be heading into the last year of his contract with his future with the Cubs in question.