Although Jeff Samardzija is part of the Chicago Cubs' long-term plans, a long-term contract for the starting pitcher appears to be at least a year away.
According to a source with knowledge of talks between the Cubs and Samardzija, the two sides had brief conversations about a long-term deal in early December but decided that, for now, they will work on a one-year deal for 2013.
Samardzija filed for salary arbitration on Tuesday, along with 132 other major league players.That list included fellow Cubs pitchers Matt Garza and James Russell.
A long-term deal for Samardzija could have been in the same ballpark as the contract for Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto, who signed at four years, $27 million before the 2010 season. Since that time the price for top-line starting has jumped significantly. Samardzija's new teammate Edwin Jackson will make an average of $13 million a season for the next four years despite a 70-71 career record.
Samardzija, a former Notre Dame All-American wide receiver, compiled a 9-13 record in 2012 with a solid 3.81 ERA. The Cubs starter made $2,640,000 in 2012.This will be his first year of salary arbitration.
The Cubs have Samardzija's contract under control until after the 2015 season. He signed a four-year, $10.8 million contract with the Cubs after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 amateur draft.
Calls to Samardzija's agent, Mark Rogers, were not immediately returned.