Monday, June 11, 2007

Ten Million Doesn't Buy What It Used To

When the Chicago Cubs drafted Jeff Samardzija in the 5th round of the 2006 amateur player draft, they'd hoped they had found a pitcher who along with being a good prospect, was also a local boy with a built-in fan base. When the organization guaranteed him $10 million to stop playing football and concentrate solely on baseball, it was an indication that they were counting on Samardzija to be a quick developer who would help ease the pain from the eventual losses of Prior, Wood, and Zambrano. What they have at the moment is a giant bust, and one very expensive single-A middle reliever.

After going winless in 11 starts this season with a 5.75 ERA, the Daytona Cubs have moved the former Notre Dame two-sport star to the bullpen. This year, opposing batters have a .377 on base percentage against Samardzija. As another indicator that he just isnt' fooling anyone, he has only struck out 21 batters in 55 innings. Actually, I suppose he'd fit right in as part of the Cubs bullpen.

I don't know what the protocol is for communicating with players from rival schools, but it might be a good idea for Samardzija to get a hold of Drew Henson for some info on exploring a football career after flaming out in baseball.

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