Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
2014 Stats: 5 GS, 0-2, 1.53 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 35.1 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 6.9 K/9
The trade talk that first started with Jeff Samardzija last season (h/t Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal) only picked up in intensity during Chicago's recent trip to Milwaukee.
Matt Garza told reporters, including Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, that he had offered some advice to his former teammate:
All I can tell him is keep pitching; pitch your way out of it. Keep your eyes focused, your eyes straight ahead and just pitch. There’s nothing else you can do. I told him, 'It doesn’t matter, dude, you play in Chicago. I was there, and I lost 30 wins in three seasons. It’s not your fault. You pitch your way out of there.' I’m hoping the best for him because he’s a young kid who deserves a shot to maybe go win something.
Garza, whom Chicago traded to Texas around the July trade deadline a year ago, wasn't the only former Cub to comment on Samardzija's situation. Current Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez chimed in as well, per Wittenmyer:
It’s huge (getting out of Chicago). We’ve all been around for a while, and the next thing for us is winning. We don’t want to be in a development situation and a rebuilding process. I don’t have 10 years left. I have to try to win now, and same thing for Garza and Sori. I’d take him, for sure. Who wouldn’t take Samardzija? He’s the perfect guy for any ballclub.
Alfonso Soriano, who spent nearly seven years in Chicago, also addressed the situation during the Cubs' recent visit to the Bronx:
I love Samardzija. I hope he comes here. If not here, somewhere he feels comfortable and gets a chance to win. Because that’s what it’s all about. At the end of the day, we play to win. We don’t play to have fun and just lose. We play to be a champion.
What does the man of the hour, Samardzija, think about the whole situation?
“Everybody’s here for the present,” he told reporters. “Tomorrow’s not guaranteed to anybody, let alone next year or the year after that.”
While the Cubs have a number of high-profile prospects down on the farm who are expected to play a major role in turning the team's fortunes around, it's looking increasingly likely that Samardzija won't be around to see it.