Despite trades, Cubs keeping core together
The Cubs did not have to trot out a makeshift lineup for Wednesday night's 6-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.
"Core" players Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each hit homers as the Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak. Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson pitched through a sixth-inning rain delay of more than an hour and worked 8 innings, his longest outing of the season. Also on the field were center fielder David DeJesus and right fielder Nate Schierholtz, both of whom were the subject of trade speculation leading up to Wednesday's nonwaiver deadline. Barring a waiver deal in August, both players will finish out the season with the Cubs.
Schierholtz will be under the Cubs' control as an arbitration-eligible player. The Cubs hold an option on DeJesus, who brings a lot of good things to the team. He has consistently good approaches at the plate. He plays good defense, and he sets a good example in the clubhouse.
"I want to be the type of guy that stays with the team and wins with the team," DeJesus said. "I'm just trying to be the type of guy who's a leader on the team, a veteran presence and a guy who helps the young guys out because they're going to have a lot of young guys coming up the next few years, and I can help them out in that way."
The Cubs' option on DeJesus is worth $6.5 million. The Cubs would owe a $1.5 million buyout if they don't pick up the option.
"I've got a good relationship with his agents," said general manager Jed Hoyer. "We'll certainly be talking to them. He's certainly a guy for us, he's a great guy in the clubhouse. We always liked the way he manages his at-bats and the way he grinds his at-bats. He's versatile in the outfield. There's a ton of positives, and we'd love to have him in a Cubs uniform going forward."
Despite rumors, the Cubs did not come close to trading pitcher Jeff Samardzija, the team's opening-day starter.
Samardzija, who turns 29 in January, continues to be arbitration eligible and a candidate for a contract extension. If the Cubs can't get that done, it's possible Samardzija could become a candidate to be traded at some point.
"We love having him on the team," said Jed Hoyer. "He brings the right swagger and the right competitiveness to the club. I think his stuff is obviously good. I think he'll keep getting better. He deserves a ton of credit and (pitching coach Chris Bosio) deserves a ton of credit for what they have accomplished.
"I expect him to keep getting better and we want to acquire a lot more pitchers like him. That's our goal. It's hard to rank it on a priority list, but it's very high. He's a little different, I feel like, because he's had such an odd path. This is a guy that last year in spring training we were debating whether or not he could be a starter or not and now it's pretty obvious he can be."