Optioning Samardzija and releasing Gaudin opened the final two spots in the pen for Angel Guzman and David Patton. Releasing Gaudin figures to cost the Cubs $1.6 million.
Updated, 4:07pm C.T., The Cubs 25-Man Opening Day Roster is Set
The Cubs acquired Chad Gaudin in the trade with Oakland last July that brought Rich Harden to Chicago. The Cubs sent Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, Sean Gallagher and Josh Donaldson to Oakland for Harden and Gaudin.
Matt Murton was traded to the Rockies from the A's in the offseason and Sean Gallagher will begin the season in Oakland's bullpen.
The release of Gaudin at the possible cost of $2 million was rather surprising. If another team picks up Gaudin at league minimum the move, with no return, would end up costing the Cubs $1.6 million.
Jeff Samardzija still has options left and can be recalled if the Cubs think he is a better option than the arms they have in the pen.
Angel Guzman has a tremendous upside and David Patton is an unknown commodity. Both have a big opportunity, with little risk to the Cubs.
Will update if more information becomes available