This offseason we have seen money thrown at high-priced free agents such as Robinson Cano, Brian McCann and Curtis Granderson, but there is one team I believe is saving their funds to sign one of their own players for the long term.
That team is the Chicago Cubs, and their money is going to be allocated towards re-signing ace Jeff Samardzija. Last season Samardzija had an 8-13 record with a 4.34 ERA. His 214 strikeouts and 99 mph fastball helped him achieve a WHIP of 1.35.
His impressive WHIP stats coupled with a proven track record of being a durable pitcher will result in a lucrative payday in the near future. So far, the Cubs’ offseason free agent spending has amounted to approximately $5 million. $3.5 million was allocated towards the re-signing of outfielder Ryan Sweeney and $1.4 million was spent on left-handed pitcher Wesley Wright.
The high priced free agents are being gobbled up by the big spending teams, and people are wondering what direction the Cubs are taking. They have the option of either signing Samardzija to a long term deal or to trade him. Teams that are looking for another ace like Samardzija such as the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves have expressed serious interest in the former Notre Dame two-sport star.
What would it take for the Cubs to get rid of their ace? Well, probably a package of young prospects that would be ready to pitch in the next few years when the Cubs are ready to make their run.
By next year, some of their prospects such as Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler could be ready to play in the big leagues. This is when the Cubs should make a splash, signing type A and B free agents and making trades to improve their pitching.
Should a Samardzija trade happen? The answer is no. This guy throws heat and is the key for the Cubs’ rotation to succeed. Once the Cubs’ hitting is in tact, they should pursue high priced pitching to help Samardzija. They tried doing this last year but Edwin Jackson did not pitch up to his expectations.
Samardzija is under contract with the Cubs for two more seasons. If he is not signed this year, he could be dealt by this year’s trade deadline or during next year’s offseason. I believe the Cubs are saving their money for the 2015 season where the likes of Sergio Romo, Hanley Ramierez,Yovani Gallardo, and Jon Lester are available.
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