Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/17/13
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

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

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

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker