User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Samardzija says Cubs management on right path

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

CHICAGO (AP) - Jeff Samardzija can see the big picture coming into focus for the Chicago Cubs.

Advertisement
They're about to begin their second season with Theo Epstein leading the front office, and the right-hander believes the pieces are starting to fall into place.

Samardzija said he ``absolutely'' likes what he's seeing from management, and he wasn't referring to the one-year contract he agreed to on Friday. He sees a team coming off a 101-loss season that just might surprise a few people.

``You understand that they care and that they're making their decisions,'' he said Friday at the Cubs' annual fan convention. ``Obviously, some of those decisions are hard decisions. That's why there are only certain people making them. Yeah, I like what they're doing. They're winners.''

A year ago, optimism on the north side was as heavy as a slice of deep dish pizza.

Epstein, the man who built two championship winners in Boston, had just taken over as president of baseball operations and was leading a front office that included new general manager Jed Hoyer.

Hope that the Cubs were on the path to their first title since 1908 was soaring.

But even Epstein and Hoyer didn't realize just how big a task they were facing as they began to overhaul the roster and the farm system.

A year in, well, the Cubs believe the results are coming. Never mind the record last season.

``We are building something long-term,'' Hoyer said. ``Our goal ultimately is to get to the point where we're a team with great young players and we're going to make the playoffs every single year or eight out of 10 years.''

Players believe the right steps are being taken.

``I think we have a better chance this year because of what I see so far,'' Alfonso Soriano said.

They believe they have enough arms after bringing in Edwin Jackson to lead a rotation that includes Matt Garza and Samardzija. Throw in Travis Wood and newcomers Scott Baker and Scott Feldman, and the Cubs have six potential starters.

They also can boast a young All-Star in shortstop Starlin Castro and a Gold Glove second baseman in Darwin Barney.

The four-year, $52 million deal the Cubs gave Jackson after they tried to sign Anibal Sanchez was a break from the pattern of acquiring low-priced players, hoping they can contribute. It was a signal that management was looking for improvement now while eyeing the future.

Who exactly will be a part of that future remains to be seen.

Soriano said Friday that he would like to stick around. He has two seasons left on his eight-year, $136 million deal, and while he's been slowed by injuries, he showed that he can still be productive when healthy.

There were rumors last season that he might be traded to San Francisco, but Soriano nixed them when he said he didn't want to go there. He wound up finishing with 32 homers and 108 RBIs.

Soriano said he hasn't talked with management about his future since the end of the season but would like to do so soon.

``Like I said, I'm ready to play hard here or for another team because this is my job,'' Soriano said. ``This is what I like to do.''

Garza, meanwhile, said he's ``champing at the bit'' to get back on the mound after having his season cut short by an injury to his pitching elbow. The right-hander expects to have no restrictions when camp starts.

He likes the additions made to the Cubs and sees no reason why they can't make the playoffs.

``There's no reason to suit up every year if that's not what you're trying to do,'' he said.

Garza's name frequently comes up in trade talks. He agreed to a one-year, $10.25 million deal that avoided salary arbitration and wouldn't mind discussing a multiyear contract.

He's said he's not focused on that at the moment, though, and management isn't ready to offer one, anyway.

``It's not the right time right now,'' Hoyer said. ``He hasn't pitched since (July 21). He feels great, he feels healthy. I think if there's a time in the future where he feels really good, that's a more rational time to have that discussion.''

A long-term contract is also something Samardzija would like to continue to discuss. He said the sides talked about a multiyear deal before agreeing to a one-year contract that includes a $2.64 million salary and an additional $125,000 in available performance bonuses.

``There's definitely common ground between both of us that we both want to be here in Chicago,'' he said. ``That's really all that needs to be said. We will continue to talk.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Williams: Tuesday's Diamond Notes
Sportsbook: Mets, Nats meet in D.C.
Feist: 1st-Half Breakdown
Nelson: NL Value Starters
Nelson: AL Value Starters
Lawrence: June Pitchers Report
Mengden wins first, A's top Giants 8-3
Correa helps Astros drop Angels, 4-2
Bryant has giant night, Cubs top Reds
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
15-6 L7 Days, 29-7 G-Plays, +3,574
14-7 +694 L2 Days, +3,716 TY
27-13 L40 Guarantees, +3,464 TY
3-0 +344 LN, 7-3 +703 L2 Days
12-7 +949 L3 Days, 15-6 G-Plays
7-1 Last 8 Guaranteed Plays
11-3 L14 G-Plays, 21-11 L32 Picks
8-2, +756 Last 10 Guarantees
22-9 L31 Totals, +2,244 Picks TY
3-1 L4, 9-3 L12 Over/Unders
44-18 L62 Win Streak, +2,415 TY
11-5 Last 16 Total Plays
4-1 L5, 8-3 +515 L11 G-Plays
8-4 L12 Picks, 4-1 L5 Guarantees
10-5 Last 15 MLB Totals
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks- Philadelphia Phillies at Arizona Diamondbacks
2016 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 3716
Jim Feist + 3574
Antony Dinero + 3464
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1431
James Manos + 1095
Joe Nelson + 1056
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2422
Micah Roberts + 1754
NeiltheGreek + 1351
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2878
Jim Feist + 2865
Micah Roberts + 2038
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jim Feist + 3300
Antony Dinero + 2308
Micah Roberts + 1784
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 1974
Bill Marzano + 1315
Joe Nelson + 1104
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership