Chicago Notes: Samardzija, Hoyer, Hoffman, Sale

The Cubs' rare visit to Yankee Stadium this week led to some introspection about how the Cubs have kept a modest payroll during their rebuild, while the Yankees responded to a non-playoff year by splurging on several major free agents.  It was only a few years ago, however, that the Cubs themselves were a big free agent target, and C.C. Sabathia talked to reporters (including Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times) about his interest in coming to Wrigley Field during the 2008-09 offseason.  Wittenmyer reports that Sabathia let Cubs managment know, via his friend Derrek Lee, that he wanted to sign with Chicago that winter.  Of course, Sabathia instead signed with the Yankees and the rest is history.

Here's the latest news about both the Cubs and White Sox…

  • Jeff Samardzija feels a responsibility to the players' union to strive for a big contract, the Cubs righty tells CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney, and he doesn't seem to be a fan of some of the multiyear deals being signed by pre-arbitration pitchers around the game.  "Personally, numbers and money don’t really drive me. What does drive me is protecting and setting up the players behind me, the future generations, so that I’m not signing any of these crummy early deals for seven or eight years," Samardzija said.  "When you’re hitting your prime and you’re hitting free agency — like it’s supposed to be done — then that’s the way it sets up for guys behind you.  I definitely have a responsibility to the players that are younger than me and approaching arbitration or approaching free agency to keep the numbers where they should be."
  • The Cubs need to accept that paying a high price for an ace pitcher is the cost of doing business and thus sign Samardzija to an extension, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune opines.
  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer appeared on the Kap & Haugh radio show to express his belief that the Cubs will soon once again become a popular landing spot for players.  "Theo [Epstein] and I have no concern guys will want to play here from around baseball when we get this turned. We’ll be a destination for guys," Hoyer said (quote from David Kaplan's Twitter account).
  • Hoyer, Epstein and the White Sox scouting director attended a recent start from East Carolina right-hander Jeff Hoffman, ESPN's Keith Law tweets.  The Sox and Cubs pick third and fourth, respectively, in the June amateur draft and Hoffman is expected to be an early choice off the board — Baseball America recently ranked Hoffman fifth on their list of draft prospects.
  • Chris Sale carried some red flags in the 2010 draft but the White Sox are enjoying the fruits of taking a chance on the southpaw with their 13th overall pick, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan writes.  Sale's status as "the player with no comps" made many teams worry that he couldn't handle a starter's workload, let alone become an ace.


39 Responses to Chicago Notes: Samardzija, Hoyer, Hoffman, Sale Leave a Reply

  1. Tigers72 1 year ago

    I think if a player wants to settle for less money for security and for his team to be able to get more players then that’s fine. If your an angry player you have nobody to blame but yourself, you can train harder and play better to get that contract.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      All depends what the player values. Some players are not in it for the money and just want to play for their one team, or they want the instant security. More players taking smaller extensions means more money available to be spent in free agency, on a smaller group of players.

  2. jarek redman 1 year ago

    Why do people keep treating Samardzija like he’s an Ace.

    W-L – 29-36
    ERA – 4.09
    Do those look like career “Ace” numbers to you?

    • Ruben_Tomorrow 1 year ago

      Unfortunately number one starter, and ace are starting to become synonymous.

    • IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 1 year ago

      While I agree he is not an ace, using W-L and ERA to prove he is not is a poor way to do it. I recall a pitcher who put up a 35-32 W-L with a 3.96 ERA over a three year period. Would you consider this pitcher to be an ace based off of those numbers?

      What if I told you that pitcher was Felix Hernandez? Does that change your opinion.

      • jarek redman 1 year ago

        I’m not trying to get into some long drawn out statistical nerdy baseball battle here. All I’m saying is he’s not an ace. We could each go back and forth spouting numbers to make our cases, but at the end of the day, he’s still a #3 starter.

        • LazerTown 1 year ago

          He isn’t an ace. He is a #3 currently if you go by his FIP. If he shows something in these next 2 years his value could skyrocket.

        • Bobo Johnstone 1 year ago

          Because you know you’d lose the battle. Just admit it.

          • jarek redman 1 year ago

            Game 7 of a playoff series. You want Samardzija taking the mound? I don’t need to statistics to know I’d take about 20 pitchers before him in that situation.

          • Strugz 1 year ago

            If you take 20 other pitchers before him, that puts him as a #1 on SOME team in baseball. He’s not a Kershaw/Sale/Lee type guy, but he’s not a mid/bottom rotation guy either.

      • castro5661 1 year ago

        Yes, W/L and ERA are outdated when it comes to measuring a pitchers effectiveness. Whip, FIP, XFIP are all better indicators. Even by those standards Shark is still not an ace.

        Also he is not comparable to Felix. Your pointing out his first 3 years in the big leagues. He was not considered an ace during those years. He was an up and coming young pitcher. A more accurate comparison would be at the time he would have become a free agent. You can rest assure that by then he was an unquestioned ace. Shark is using the excuse that he’s fighting for the little guy in wanting big money but who is really kidding. He wants riches.

        The sad thing is he will get them from someone. He’ll get the ace money and continue to overprice starting pitching.

        • Gbarnett 1 year ago

          this is samardzija’s 3rd year starting in the majors.

      • NatsTown 1 year ago

        He wasn’t an ace when he was putting up those numbers. He was still a “potential ace”

    • Smoky 1 year ago

      The media plays him up…I have watched him from Tennessee thru Iowa and now Chicago and with rare flashes of goodness, he has been only ordinary. I hope Chicago does not re-sign him and in fact gets whatever the market will bear in a trade deadline deal in July. Goodbye Chicago, hello Houston or Miami…whatever.

  3. jb226 1 year ago

    I’m sure the sweetheart contract he signed out of the Draft makes “thinking about the guys behind you” easier.

  4. How nobel of Samardzija. Kendrys Morales must have felt a moral obligation to demand significantly more money than he was worth too. I’m glad altruism in baseball is alive and well.

    • NatsTown 1 year ago

      here here

    • Eric 1 year ago

      It’s easy for Samardzija to stand there and say all of this as a guy who got a $10 million bonus right out of college.

      Maybe he would be singing a different tune if he signed out of Venezuela for $20,000.

      • Right. He was set for life right off the bat. I don’t blame him for wanting a big contract. But he should call early deals crummy either.

        Evan Longoria’s attitude about his first contract has stuck with me in my career decision making. “Never pass up your first fortune.” You can’t put a price on peace of mind.

      • Fjaschler 1 year ago

        Heck it’s more than just that, part of those early contracts that must be very appealing is the prospect of getting money compared to the potential for an injury for a pitcher. Look at all the guys that had to get Tommy John surgery these past few years. It’s a trade off for security.

  5. Gnotorious 1 year ago

    I can’t wait till Samardzija gets slapped with a QO, then struggles to find a long term gig. His numbers are not great, he is a # 3 that wants to be paid like a #1. E. Santana is better than Samardzija and he had problems finding a multi year gig, Samardzija is in for a reality check.

  6. Seamaholic 1 year ago

    Awfully convenient argument, there, Shark.

  7. BK 1 year ago

    Why does Shark keep answering questions. He has been extremely inconsistent as a pitcher and is doing NO service to his current team’s ability to build value you in him as a trade asset.

    • eclpse44 1 year ago

      We need to him to do good so we can trade him with texas and pilfer more of their young guys.

  8. Karkat 1 year ago

    Since when is Samardzija an ace anyway? He’s been a wholly mediocre starter so far.

  9. LazerTown 1 year ago

    lol.
    He is doing it for the players behind him.

    I don’t buy it. He is doing it for the money, and I think he could get a decent payday. There is nothing wrong with that, I would probably do the same thing, just don’t pretend that it isn’t the case.

  10. Mike1L 1 year ago

    His choice of language is questionable. No one is forcing him to sign an extension. If the length and dollars are to his liking, he can. If not, then he can test the market. And take the risk of injury or under-performance. The MLPBA understands that an extension might not be for full value, and the reasons for the tradeoff.

  11. cyberboo 1 year ago

    Samardzija – Career numbers equals #3 or 4 starter.69 starts- 29W-
    36L-

    579 Inn –
    539 hits,
    289
    runs –
    62 hrs –
    239 BB –
    551K’s –

    4.32ERA That equals 3 year contract at 10M per season and that is pushing it.

  12. walnutfalcons 1 year ago

    I’m just curious how a player taking a lot of guaranteed money (while only buying out one or two FA years) is bad for the game or the player. Shark seems to be really taking his career for granted. The security of a pre-arb contract outweighs the slightly larger payout for a lot of people.

  13. Revery 1 year ago

    It is not about the money. What it is all about is the money. – Shark

  14. Federal League 1 year ago

    I agree with Samardzija in terms of getting the most money possible — you only have so many chances to earn substantial money in the game. I think where he is off the mark, though, is talking about “entering the prime of your career”. Most pitchers aren’t anywhere near as good after the age of 32 or so as they used to be.

    A lot of teams have been burned giving huge contracts to players on the wrong side of 30. Maybe the value those players produce and the revenue they generate is so great for the team that whatever happens on the back end of the deal is inconsequential.

    If you really want to help push the salaries higher, maybe push for earlier free agency, easier to reach Super Two status, or more years of arbitration in general regardless of Super Two status. I think it’s going to be an increasingly limited market of guys over 30 who get those $100M+ contracts.

  15. mas419 1 year ago

    Like any deal for tens of millions of dollars is “crummy.” And Samardzija acts like he’s going to hold out for as much money as possible to help future players. You’re doing it for your own wallet, big guy.

  16. randomness lez 1 year ago

    Hey Jeff, if that doesn’t work out the Ravens are looking for a 3rd wide receiver.

  17. asovermann 1 year ago

    Shark’s at best a #2, xFIP suggests he’s a mid 3 ERA pitcher and his win/loss obviously does not reflect his talent as he does pitch for Chicago. This is also only his 3rd year as a starter in the majors. I think he’ll get about $13M a season in the end though.

  18. Derpy 1 year ago

    I would not give Sale an extension. He is a prime candidate to follow the same career arc as Tim Lincecum. Enjoy his good years now, and see what happens later. Do not extend.

    • BlueCatuli 1 year ago

      Please explain how Sale may follow in Lincecum’s career path. I’m dying to hear this.

      • Rene2331 1 year ago

        He’s going to break down, his mechanics are terrible. And he won’t change, that’s how.

      • Derpy 1 year ago

        He is a relatively small pitcher with bad mechanics and no comps. You should assume he is going to break down. If he doesn’t, great for him. The Whitesox have him locked to a very team friendly deal through his arb years at the moment. They should not extend that until the last moment, if ever. It is better to wait for him to be a borderline free agent/free agent than to extend him now, probably not save any money, and run the enormous risk of him breaking down. Because he very, very likely will break down.

        • Doug Anderson 1 year ago

          His mechanics are terrible? Please expound. As the article said the White Sox look at his mechanics at a very intensive level. His mechanics are very similar to Randy Johnson’s. His mechanics may be different, but that doesn’t equal bad.

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