As Bruce Levine noted in an ESPN chat today (correcting his prior statement on the issue), Jeff Samardzija's no-trade provision in his contract states that he cannot be waived without his permission.
So essentially, we're left with "Shark makes the MLB 25-man" or "The Cubs outright release him and eat $3.5MM."
I'd hate to think that the dollar factor will affect who heads north with the team, but we have to admit that this pricetag substantially increases Shark's probability of wearing blue pinstripes this April.
And hopefully we've all learned something today. It's generally bad form to give a 5 year, $10MM contract with total no-trade protection to a 5th rounder, no matter HOW good he is at football.
(And as an aside, what are the odds Bubba Starling will sign for less than Shark did?)
But hey, at least the 2012 and 2013 years are team options!
Here's the chat link, if anyone is interested.