Jeff Samardzija deal not imminent
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Chicago Cubs front office met with the agent of Jeff Samardzija on Wednesday and while there was no resolution to his long-term situation, team president Theo Epstein said Samardzija isn't going anywhere right now.
"There is no trade imminent," Epstein said. "We'll see what happens. We hope he's here for a long time."
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Samardijza has been linked to several teams throughout the offseason as the Cubs haven't been able to strike a long-term deal for the arbitration-eligible pitcher. He's attractive because he made only $2.6 million last season and is still under team control for two more seasons before he becomes a free agent.
"We met," Epstein said. "It went well. It was a great meeting. Every time we meet with (agent) Mark (Rodgers) I feel great about the relationship and the relationship with Jeff, too."
Rodgers said in a text message the meeting was "very amicable."
Sources close to the situation indicate Samardzija is looking for a deal that would pay him "as if he's a free agent now," in order to endure the long rebuilding process the team is undertaking. The Cubs have been unwilling to accommodate anything close to that request, which would likely cost between $12-17 million per year.
"We continue to try and move the ball forward as much as we can on one, two or three possible outcomes," Epstein said.
Sources also indicated the Cubs haven't liked the return they would be getting in a trade of Samardzija right now and would revisit the market sometime before the 2014 trade deadline on July 31.
Out of respect to Samardzija, Epstein said he's done commenting on it, at least for the time being.
"We'll put it to bed, publicly," Epstein stated. "Jeff is our Opening Day starter unless something changes."
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