Samardzija still not up to speed 

March, 14, 2010

The Chicago Cubs took Jeff Samardzija in the fifth round of the 2006 draft and gave him a $10 million major-league contract to buy him away from a potential career as a wide receiver in the NFL. The major league contract, signed before the 2007 season, put Samardzija on the 40-man roster, and also saw the Cubs tie their own hands. They rushed Samardzija through the minors because he'll be out of options after the 2010 season (assuming he is optioned to the minors at some point this year). The hasty promotions deprived him of critical development time, and it showed in his outing on Friday, when he was serving up something slightly better than batting practice to the Brewers' lineup.

The question is how Samardzija can best help this team.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer