The Curious Case of Jeff Samardzija

Being a struggling yet historic franchise must be very difficult on all levels of the organization. However, sometimes you have to make a move that can greatly help the team’s future even if it hurts the team‘s present state.  The Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908. Worse still, the Cubs haven’t had a winning season since 2009 and the team isn’t off to a strong start in 2014.  They have some young talent on the team, like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, but not enough to compete in a very competitive division, especially amongst the pitching staff.

What to do now with Jeff Samardzija, who despite having a 1.62 ERA and 38/15 Strikeout/Walk ratio, has gone 0-3 this season.  Samardzija has been unquestionably the Cubs ace in the last few years, but he rarely gets the recognition he deserves because he doesn’t win a lot of the games that he starts despite many fine performances. This falls on the bullpen and a lackluster offense. So here is a player with great stuff that can help a lot of teams, but he is playing on one of the worst teams in baseball this season. The Cubs should reward Samardzija with a trade to a contender sometime this season.

I thought the Cubs should have traded him last year, but nothing happened and he did struggle in the second half of the season.  Of course, there are plenty of loyal Cub fans that would hate to see Samardzija leave Chicago. As an organization, you don’t want to trade away your best players too early in the season because it not only can quell a team’s morale, but also make a bad team even worse.

You don’t want to appear like you are giving up without a fight, but sometimes you have to know when the fight is over. For the Cubs, that time is now.  Trading Samardzija at the peak of his ability will bring in the most prospects.  A strong farm team system is key for a team like the Cubs who have recently had a difficult time keeping or bringing in big free agents.  Therefore adding a few more talented youngsters into a system may reward the Cubs in a couple years.
The time has come for Samardzija to don a new uniform with the chance of not only being on a competitive team, but having the ability to win the games he deserves to win.


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