The Cubs are "reaching [a] point where they need a decision on" the Samardzija, notes Olney. The 28-year-old right-hander is under team control for two more seasons. The Diamondbacks have the type prospects on the farm that a player in Samardzija's situation usually commands. Arizona's farm system ranked No. 13 in Minor League Ball's preseason organizational rankings.
Samardzija posted a 4.34 ERA in 213⅔ innings spanning 33 starts in 2013. Though he has been a fly ball pitcher for much of his career, Samardzija induced nearly as many ground balls as fly balls last season and notched his second consecutive campaign in which he struck out batters at a rate of more than one per inning.