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Jeff Samardzija chose wisely


Jeff Samardzija was a two-sport star and would’ve been taken early in the NFL draft if he stuck with football at Notre Dame. The Cubs drafted him, though, and paid him handsomely to give up football. The rest is Cubs/A’s/White Sox/Giants history.

Jon Morosi of spoke with Samardzija recently, and he reflected on choosing baseball over football. Specifically, he reflected on the fact that almost everyone from the draft class he would’ve been in are either out of the NFL or soon will be, while he’s under contract for three more years at $18 million per and could, theoretically, pitch way longer than that:

“Marcedes Lewis,” Samardzija said of the Jacksonville Jaguars tight end. “[Brian] Cushing — I played against him. … Clay Matthews … Donte Whitner — I loved playing against him at Ohio State. Arian Foster was another guy. He’s done.

“They’re all done. Or if they’re still there, they’re on their way out. And I just signed my new deal. … Knock on wood, my body’s not telling me, ‘Hey, you can’t do this.'”

He has a lot of interesting things to say about football, which was far more of a focus for him growing up than baseball was. Most entertainingly, he talks about how he still — after a ten-year big league career in which he’s already made over $60 million and is still going strong — gets people telling him he was dumb to pick baseball over football.

Go read the article to hear his response to that. It’s not totally based on the money, and it makes a lot of sense.

Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.