Cubs, Jeff Samardzija could be working on extension

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Jeff Samardzija was Chicago's most effective starting pitcher in 2012. But how much do they believe in the former Notre Dame wide receiver?

The Chicago Cubs have initiated talks with starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija in the hopes of signing a contract extension, according to a report from Bleacher Nation. Samardzija made the transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation in 2012.

He led the Cubs with a 3.81 ERA, 180 strikeouts, and nine wins. Samardzija also made more starts (28) than anyone else on the team. Prior to 2012, he had started just five games in four seasons with the Cubs.

The case to extend Samardzija's contract is complicated. Although this was clearly a breakout year, it was still only one year. In addition, the former All-American wide receiver will turn 28 next season.

As Brett from Bleacher Nation points out, the Cubs can anticipate having enough money to pay Samardzija on a season-by-season basis if necessary. Because he is already under control for three more years in arbitration, the extension would give both parties more cost security.

Last season, the Cubs had the third-worst team ERA in the National League (4.51).

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