John Heyman passes along a few nuggets today with respect to the Cubs' efforts to extend Jeff Samardzija. JefF7 is three years from free agency, and the Cubs have apparently made two distinct efforts to extend him, to no avail. The two are apparently far enough apart that talks are on hold. We have had some word about this previously, but Heyman provides more:
Word is, the Cubs' offer was "well above" the nearly $30 million, five-year deal the Rangers gave Derek Holland last spring, though with Samardzija a year closer to free agency (he has three years to go) and other factors, he's believe to be seeking something in an entirely different ballpark.
This is more evidence that the front office is not afraid to make decisions based on one year's worth of performance. A year ago, it seemed as if Samardzija was pitching his way towards unemployment and the decision to move him to the rotation was laughable around these parts. The Cubs seem satisfied enough with his 2012 performance to want Samardzija at least through his age-32 season, though obviously not enough to match his demands.
As Heyman mentions, Samardzija obviously isn't lacking in confidence, as another strong season would likely drive up his price substantially. His refusal to accept a deal likely also reflects an understanding of the free agent market, as his next deal is likely to be the largest of his career, and he will be more attractive to suitors following his age 30 season than if he is extended. It probably also doesn't hurt that Samardzija hauled in a significant bonus in the draft, and based on that financial security can take a riskier position at this point in his career.