Via Bruce Levine:
Samardzija and Cubs arbitration date is set for St Pete Fl February 10 .— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) January 31, 2014
So the Cubs and Jeff Samardzija have one week to settle on a deal. There have been unconfirmed reports that the two sides were "$100,000 apart," which seems counterintuitive. If they were that close on what's essentially chump change in this marketplace, why not just split the difference?
Shark asked for $6.2 million. The Cubs offered $4.4 million. You wouldn't think it would be that difficult to settle at the midpoint -- as the three Cubs who have already signed, avoiding hearings, have done -- but Jesse Rogers sums up the situation:
That gulf in salary is indicative of the bigger issues between the sides, who are not only stalled on a one-year deal but also have made little progress on a longer-term deal over the past 12 months. It won’t be a shock if Samardzija becomes the first Cubs player to actually go to an arbitration hearing since Theo Epstein took over as the team president in 2011. It has become evident the Cubs simply don’t value Samardzija the same way the right-hander thinks they should. It’s the reason he’s the subject of constant trade rumors and makes him more likely to be playing elsewhere come Aug. 1, if not sooner.
It seems pretty clear that Shark is hoping to have a big year so that he can cash in even further than the rumored five-year, $55 million extension that he rejected last summer. There is, of course, the risk that he'll get hurt or have a bad year and his value will go down.
Right now? I'm guessing they're headed to a hearing.