Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs still haven't come to terms on a contract to avoid arbitration for 2014, with the pitcher filing for $6.2MM and the team countering with $4.4MM. That gap is indicative of broader differences between the two parties about how to structure a long-term deal, Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago writes. Rogers notes that it wouldn't be surprising if Samardzija and the Cubs actually did go to arbitration, and suggests that they could be more than $10MM apart on a potential long-term contract. Here are more notes on the Cubs.
- One factor in the market for Jason Hammel was that teams were worried about the possibility that his elbow wouldn't hold up, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets. Hammel recently agreed to a one-year, $6MM deal with the Cubs. He missed time due to elbow issues last season.
- The Cubs' recent pact with Hammel parallels their signing of Scott Feldman last offseason, Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs writes. The best-case scenario for the Cubs is that Hammel pitches well and they trade him to a contender this summer, just as they did last year with Feldman. In order for the Cubs to do so, Hammel will have to stay healthy, but even if he doesn't, the Cubs aren't risking much.