When the Chicago Cubs traded Jeff Samardzija last year – a lot of fans had mixed feelings about it.
I was one that wasn’t happy about it at first.
After seeing what the Cubs received in return – I calmed down some, but was still upset to see him go. I’m a big “Shark” fan – he was getting better and better every year. The problem was that we all had a feeling that he really wanted to go and try out free agency – even if he finished his contract in a Cubs uniform.
So last summer, when Oakland offered a very enticing package in return for Samardzija, the Cubs’ brass did what they had to do and made the trade. The Athletics’ front office thought they had a contender, but were quickly eliminated in the playoffs. So Billy Beane decided it was time to go back to the drawing board.
He traded Samarzdija to the White Sox, and let Jon Lester and Jason Hammel move on (Cubs fans thank you Billy). The deal brought the right-hander back to the Windy City – playing for a team he grew up rooting for.
“I’ve been pretty adamant about being a free agent,” Samardzija said. “It’s really something you shoot for. You are so close to it, and you really want to experience it. Like I said before, when the situation is right, it’s right. When the numbers are right, the numbers are right.” – Jeff Samardzija via chatsport.com
While the White Sox have said they want to lock up their new pitcher – there hasn’t been any real talk to move things in that direction. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, who spoke with White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, there’s no reason to be optimistic right now.
Hahn had this to say about a contract with the soon-to-be free agent pitcher. “Whenever there’s a next deal with Jeff Samardzija, hopefully, it’s with the White Sox.”
Samardzija, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get to a new contract, saying a lot of the same things he did while with the Cubs. Samardzija seems loyal to the players union going into free agency, and getting the biggest contract possible will not only help himself but other pitchers who will be testing the market.
Since it sounds like he’ll be one of the many pitchers available in free agency – a reunion with the North Side of Chicago is not out of the question.
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The Cubs will have money and likely a desire to add another veteran pitcher next offseason. While expectations are high in 2015 – the expectations are even higher for 2016 when all the young players who we have been yearning for will be in the big leagues.
Samardzija – who will be looking for the best deal available to him – will also be looking for the best fit. He knows the Cubs – he knows the Cubs’ fans love him – why not come back to Wrigley Field and help the team that he started out with win that elusive World Series championship?