CHICAGO -- Jeff Samardzija's name was mixed in with rumors prior to Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, but general manager Jed Hoyer said they were never close to trading the Cubs pitcher.
"Unless you're Mike Trout, I feel every player is going to be asked about in a deal," Hoyer said Wednesday. "People get asked about all the time."
Samardzija, 29, is arbitration eligible for two more years, and the Cubs have had talks with his agent about a possible long term contract. The right-hander, who is 6-9 with a 3.75 ERA and ranked among the National League leaders in strikeouts, has come a long way since the start of the 2012 season when the Cubs were first debating whether he could be a full-time starter.
"It's something we'd like to do for sure," Hoyer said about a contract with Samardzija. "We love having him on the team. He brings the right swagger, the right competitiveness to the club. His stuff is obviously really good and I think he'll keep getting better. He deserves a ton of credit and [pitching coach Chris Bosio] deserves credit.
"We want to acquire a lot more pitchers like him, that's our goal," Hoyer said. "It's hard to rank [a contract extension] on a priority list, but it's very high and something we'd like to get done."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.