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Player Stats: View current stats
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 5", Weight: 225 lb. Born: January 23, 1985 in Merrillville, IN
High School: Valparaiso (Valparaiso, IN)
School: University of Notre Dame
Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 5th round of the 2006 amateur draft. Contract Status: Signed thru 2011, Signed 5 year/$13 million contract after 2006 draft. $3.25 million team options for 2012 & 2013.
Jeff Samardzija was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 5th Round of the 2006 MLB Draft. Samardzija, also a prominent wide receiver at Notre Dame, had to make a decision between baseball and football. The Cubs drafted Tyler Colvin in the 1st Round in '06 but did not possess a pick in either the 2nd, 3rd or 4th rounds. With their 5th round selection, they took a chance on Samardzija, who was considered a 1st round talent by some. The 5 year, $13 million offer they presented to him was too good to pass up as the Cubs were able to ink the power-arm right-hander. Samardzija escalated through the Cubs system in a hurry and was used exclusively as a starter during those years. Heading into 2008, the "Shark" was listed as a top-100 prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. He made his ML debut on July 25, 2008, and became a relied upon reliever for the 2008 NL Central Champs. He went 1-0 with a 2.28 ERA in 26 games with a 8.1 K/9. He struggled mightily out of the Cubs pen in 2009 and has been bouncing back and forth between Chicago and Iowa ever since, both as a starter and reliever. Heading into 2011, Samardzija was out of options and was a shoe-in to make the ML roster out of camp, which resulted in a terrific campaign. He went 8-4 with a 2.97 ERA in 75 appearances, striking out a batter per inning. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer hinted that Samardzija will have the opportunity to win a rotation spot in 2012, so it'll be interesting to see how his role plays out.