(CBS) The Cubs and free agent right-hander Jeff Samardzija aren't ruling out his return to the organization, CBSSports.com MLB insider Jon Heyman reported.
Samardzija, 30, spent his first six-and-a-half MLB seasons with the Cubs, who took him in the fifth round of the 2006 draft. Samardzija's best season as a professional was his last with the Cubs, as he compiled a 2.83 ERA in 17 starts for them in 2014 before being traded to the Athletics in a deal that sent shortstop Addison Russell to Chicago.
Samardzija reportedly turned down a contract offer in the $80-million range from the Cubs before they traded him. His thinking was he could command a bigger deal on the open market now, but a poor 2015 season leaves that thought in doubt. Samardzija went 11-13 with a 4.96 ERA and 1.29 WHIP for the White Sox, who don't plan to make him a long-term contract offer.
The Cubs have been transparent in their desire to add starting pitching -- at least one pitcher and preferably two this offseason.
Samardzija's goal is to get a long-term deal in the nine-figure range, Heyman reported.
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