By Scooby Axson
June 17, 2014

The Chicago Cubs avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal with Jeff Samardzija. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)  Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija leads his staff in innings pitched and quality starts. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs have reached out to pitcher Jeff Samardzija about possibly signing a mulityear extension, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Samardzija's name has been the subject of trade rumors all season, but according to the report, the Cubs want to keep him with the core group of Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo.

The team avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $5.3 million deal with Samardzija in the offseason, but if he signs a new deal it could net him between $60-65 million.

Samardzija, 29, is just 2-6 with a 2.77 ERA and 1.18 WHIP this season for the Cubs, who are 29-39 and in last place in the National League Central.

SI.COM STAFF: Cubs No. 26 in this week's MLB Power Rankings

More from the Sun-Times:

But the longer Samardzija has pitched into what is fast becoming his best season, the more he’s looking like the frontline pitcher many expected him to be, and the more outcry that has risen from an already grumbling fan base waiting for this rebuilding process to take traction

One source suggested it would take something close to the $17.5 million annual value of Cincinnati pitcher Homer Bailey’s six-year contract signed during the spring to persuade Samardzija to commit to an extension, especially without a no-trade clause

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