Report: Cubs offering Jeff Samardzija around five years and $55 million

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It was reported Wednesday that the Cubs intend to listen to offers on right-hander Jeff Samardzija during next week’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, but they haven’t given up all hope in retaining him for the long-term.

Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago was told by a source that the Cubs have offered Samardzija a deal in the area of five years and $55 million. Meanwhile, another source said that the number is actually higher. While Cubs general manager Theo Epstein maintains that “nothing has changed” in regard to contract talks, Levine hears that the two sides “continue to have an open amicable line of communication.”

Samardzija compiled a 4.34 ERA in 33 starts this past season, but his peripherals remained quite strong. He has averaged 9.13 K/9 over the past two seasons, which is fifth-highest among pitchers with at least 300 innings pitched during the same timespan. Only Chris Sale, Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Yu Darvish are higher. Samardzija turns 29 in January and is under team control for two more seasons.

Yankees activate Aroldis Chapman

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Yesterday the New York Yankees got Aaron Judge back. Today they activated closer Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman has been on the disabled list since August 22 with left knee tendinitis. Before going down the 30-year-old fireballer registered a 2.11 ERA and 31 saves with an 84/27 K/BB ratio in 47 innings of work.

In his absence David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Zach Britton have all been bumped an inning back to decidedly mixed results. Now Chapman is back in the mix.