Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/17/13
E6
There isn't much to be excited about in this Chicago Cubs pitching staff. There is depth sure, but there are only two or three true quality arms in the rotation. One of those arms is the breakout pitcher of 2012, Jeff Samardzija. After the laughter subsided following Samardzija's declaration that he wanted to be in the rotation, he went out and dazzled all of us in spring training. That spring dazzling continued into the summer, as he pieced together the best year of his career. Shark finished with a 3.81 ERA and over nine strikeouts per nine, while walking under three. That last mark is particularly huge, as Samardzija has had his issues with walks in his brief time in the Major Leagues. His average fastball velocity sat at about 95, which was second best in the league. In each of his start, as he reached the later innings, Samardzija was still throwing gas and striking guys out. If his breaking stuff continues to come along the way that it has the past two years, he can be downright dominant in the very near future. That type of performance, along with the arsenal of pitches that he does possess, has already sparked talk of a contract extension for the former Notre Dame standout. He's arbitration eligible, but is still under team control until he becomes a free agent in 2016. Which means that while an extension might be a good idea, it's not an absolute necessity at this point. And apparently the Cubs are going to wait a year before making that type of commitment to Samardzija. The two sides are reported to be working on a one-year deal to get them through this year before moving onto extension talks next winter. There's nothing wrong with waiting just to make sure that his 2012 campaign wasn't any sort of fluke. But it's hard to imagine that he was. Samardzija's stuff is for real, and he doesn't have much mileage on his arm, given that he was a reliever for several years before making the jump to the rotation last year. However, another year like this one is going to cost the Cubs some serious coin next winter. Of course, another year like this one would establish Shark as a no. 1 or 2 starter and make that type of investment absolutely worth it. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kobe responds to Aldridge report with funny meme

One pitch away: Carrasco loses no-hitter in bottom of the 9th

England loses World Cup semifinal to Japan in heartbreaking fashion

Braxton Miller had 'successful' check-up visit

Raptors signing Carroll is shrewdest move of free agency

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Los Angeles Clippers will sign Paul Pierce

With Kevin Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Aldridge crosses Lakers off list, did not mesh well with Kobe

Jerry Dipoto officially steps down as Angels GM

Report: Rajon Rondo wants 'all of' Kings' $10M cap space

Reports: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson returning to Cavs

David West explains why he opted out of Pacers contract

Warriors, Draymond Green agree to 5-year, $85 million deal

Twins call up top prospect Miguel Sano

Robert Griffin III speaks at UN to advocate for protecting oceans

Cavaliers re-sign Iman Shumpert to four-year contract

Mike Green is joining the Red Wings on a three-year deal

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans until 2020

ESPN denies censoring Keith Olbermann commentary

The best and worst MLB players in the month of June

Report: Lakers didn’t make strong impression on Aldridge

Danny Green takes the Andre Iguodala path

DeSean Jackson rips Eagles in new reality TV show

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.