Samardzija: Contract talks weigh on you

Although starter Jeff Samardzija lost for the 10th time this season on Saturday, his value to his team remains off-the-chart. Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said before Saturday's game that conversations have been ongoing between the two sides on a long-term deal.

"He is a guy we would love to try and build around," Hoyer said. "We love his makeup and competitiveness, his swagger, his stuff. We obviously had some discussions with him. We will continue with those discussions in the offseason. Our hope is certainly to keep him here; he knows that. We haven’t gotten to an agreement and we don’t want to talk about the details of the negotiation. It will be a priority once the season ends."

According to a source, the two sides have been talking about the parameters since last December.

Samardzija said on Saturday that the conversations about an extension might not be a distraction but remain on his mind.

"I have been pretty good at blanking it out, to tell you the truth," Samardzija said after a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. “You try to go into each start with the least amount of distractions as possible. You try to clear your mind. The only thing you want in your head is the lineup you're facing and game plan against them. It is not the easiest thing to do. To say it doesn’t weigh on you would be a lie. I am working on going start-to-start and get my mind ready to face the team I am facing. You prove yourself on the field and everything else takes care of itself."

Samardzjia has two years of arbitration remaining before free agent eligibility in November 2015.