Found February 25, 2014 on Obstructed View OLD:
Chicago-cubs-starting
I thought the Jeff Samardzija trade rumors were put to sleep for at least a few months, but Gordo is back with more of them. Last we knew was that he had two years left on his contract, the two sides remained at a standstill with regards to a contract extension and that he probably wouldn't be traded before the season, but at the deadline. At least that's how I took whatever the last rumors were anyway. The Cubs are no closer to finding common ground on a potential contract extension with pitcher Jeff ­Samardzija than they were a year ago. In some ways, they’re further apart. He is considered the club’s top commodity for the July trade market, but could he be dealt before the season starts in five weeks? Two industry sources said Monday they believe a trade is a strong possibility, although a third source said no such talks are happening. Apparently Rick Renteria added some fuel to the fire.  Cubs manager Rick Renteria did little to quell the notion when, for the second time in a week, he declined to acknowledge the ­obvious choice when asked about the possibility of Samardzija getting a second consecutive start on Opening Day. “So many things can happen over the course of the spring that I’m not going to lock myself into trying to divulge something that I can’t really determine will be in the end,” Renteria said. Oh my god, he wasn't willing to state who the Opening Day starter will be during the first week of his new job before they've even played a single competitive game. I don't remember any of the managers the Cubs have had naming an Opening Day starter this early in spring training. You can correct me if I'm wrong, but back when Carlos Zambrano was a very good pitcher, and clearly the best on the team, he still wasn't officially  named the starter until later in spring training. There's just no benefit in naming it so soon. Why not act as if it's open and see if that encourages the other starters?  Has he explicitly stated who the Opening Day first baseman will be? I think I'm going to write an article about how Anthony Rizzo's job may be in jeopardy.  I don't think Samardzija will be traded though anything is a possibility of course. I think the rumors have been real over the last several months, but I have a feeling they've been overstated. There was no reason for the Cubs to trade Jeff Samardzija unless they were blown away in an offer. They have time to trade him at the deadline this year or next, as well as next offseason. They can use that time, as they have, to see if they can reach a deal on a contract extension and if they can't, it becomes more and more likely that Samardzija will be traded.  I still think the Cubs reach a deal with Samardzija and he sticks around for several years. They don't have much pitching coming up in the system and just because Samardzija isn't an "ace" or "number one starter", it doesn't mean the Cubs wouldn't benefit by having him around. He's a good pitcher. 
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