According to the former Chicago Cubs pitcher, the team offered him a five-year, $80 million deal to “wait till next year”. His reason? He wanted to compete. How was the South Side again?
Look, I’m as much a diehard Notre Dame fan as I am a Chicago Cubs fan. When Jeff Samardzija picked baseball over football and was drafted by the Cubs? I was ecstatic. And all the way up to the point the Cubs dealt him to the Oakland A’s I believed he was going to be a great pitcher. Now he’s landed a big contract with the San Francisco Giants and has gotten a little big for britches.
"“It was the easy thing to do,” Samardzija told the outlet. “You can always sell the future, and people always buy it. It’s a great way to rebuild, and I understand that.”But as a veteran guy, it was becoming a joke.”"
Okay, hold on there Shark. Clearly he was an “up and coming” pitcher, with a good fastball and the ability to strike out hitters. But he also had a tough time keeping the ball in the yard. I wouldn’t say that–then or now–Samardzija really has the..right?..to say the things he saying. But hey, what do I know. He wanted to play for a team that was competing, and at the time, the A’s indeed were that team.
Of course, they didn’t go anywhere. And in the offseason, the Chicago White Sox spent a boatload of money and convinced Samardzija with the signings they made–and a bunch of that money for him–that they were going to compete. While he believed the Cubs were selling him on dreams, the Sox and that offseason weren’t the same thing?
In the end, the Cubs won 97 games and advanced all the way to the National League Championship Series, eventually falling to the New York Mets. The Sox finished 76-86 in a division that, outside of the Kansas City Royals, wasn’t very good. Sooo, yeah..there’s that.
But he did sign a $90 million deal with the Giants who as we all know love even years (World Series Champs 2010, 2012, 2014). So maybe Shark will get his chance to compete this year for that title. Or maybe that team in Chicago–the good one on the North side–that he didn’t want to wait for will break up the even-year fun of the Giants for a celebration of the century.
At least, he’ll always have that degree from Notre Dame in case the pitching thing doesn’t work out.