Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/14/14
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]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Cutler to start again due to Jimmy Clausen concussion

Aldon Smith was reportedly drinking with Ray McDonald

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17 with injury

Dwyane Wade hopes Heat fans give LeBron a warm reception

Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Dominic Raiola insists he didn't intentionally stomp opponent

Jets call themselves the best 3-12 team in NFL history

WATCH: BYU, Memphis fight after Miami Beach Bowl

FSU sends recruit 75 reasons to play for Seminoles

Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend wear great Christmas sweaters

Brandon Marshall: Raiola mocked my mental illness

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

Raiders player gives game check to young girl in need

Game of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Yankees pay for education of slain officer's children

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.

BYU, Memphis fight after bowl game

FSU sends recruit an eccentric pitch

Brandon Marshall unloads on Raiola

Did Aldon Smith violate probation?

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17

An appreciation for Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab touchdown celebrations

D-Wade: Heat fans should cheer LeBron

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

'Manny' is the must-watch documentary about Manny Pacquiao

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

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.