No. 1 starters are usually well paid. Samardzija is aware of the business of baseball.
"It doesn't make much sense to sit down and try to negotiate anything out when I don't have a full season under my belt," he said. "Now we're just talking potential."
If the Cubs had gotten Samardzija to agree to a long-term deal this past offseason, it might have been at a lower cost.
"I don't know -- I'm not a [general manager]," Samardzija said, laughing. "You tell me."
He was being smart. He knows his value is not peaking and the Cubs tried to lock him up at a lower cost durring that time.
Prior had the mechanics of a God, but was also a p****. Sorry, no other way to put it. Sure, he got hurt but Prior was a nancy boy about playing with any kind of pain
Prior's momentum didn't slow down until July 11, when he collided with Braves infielder Marcus Giles and bruised his right shoulder. He made the All-Star team but was on the disabled list. He came back Aug. 5 and pitched six shutout innings against the Padres in his hometown. Then came two straight complete-game victories, including a 131-pitch effort on Sept. 1, six days before his 23rd birthday, in which he blanked the Cardinals for eight innings. It was his sixth win in a row and he was 14-5 with a 2.36 ERA. He had given up three earned runs in his previous 47 innings.
Teammate Eric Karros called what Prior was doing to batters "a joke," but anyone who thought Prior made it look easy didn't see the agony behind it -- the moments he'd spent screaming his head off, always in the sanctuary of the clubhouse, by himself, throwing balls at lockers, cursing his imperfections. They saw a statuesque sculpture on the mound. They started counting the trophies.
On Sept. 6 in Milwaukee, Prior threw another 129 pitches for another win. The Cubs were 75-67 and a half-game behind Houston for the National League Central division lead. The next day he turned 23.
By the end of the regular season, with the Cubs on their way to the playoffs, Prior had finished a stretch in which he'd gone 10-1 in 11 starts, including 13-, 14- and 10-strikeout games in succession to end the regular season. The pitch counts for those games: 124, 131, 133.
On Sept. 26 on ESPN.com, statistics prodigy Nate Silver and injury expert Will Carroll wrote that, "In the terminology of pitching biomechanics, Mark Prior is a freak." Another source was quoted in the article as saying, "He's the model; he's perfect."
Silver and Carroll mentioned that Prior had been worked more heavily that season than "all but four other pitchers" in their "Pitcher Abuse Points system," but it didn't seem to be too much of a concern.
"There are five major principles of proper delivery that can be summarized as balance, posture, anatomical position, rotation, and release," they wrote. "Prior is textbook with all five."
They ended the piece with a caveat, a reminder that it all could fall apart, just as it had for other hyped pitchers: "Mark Prior is human."
October arrived, and Prior threw a two-hit complete game in his postseason debut, beating Atlanta in Game 3 as the Cubs took the NL Division Series. His pitch count was 133.
In Game 2 of the NL Championship Series against Florida, Jerry Prior watched from the stands along with Mark's mom, brother and sister, family and friends as Chicago's offense scored seven runs in two innings. Mark walked off the mound with an 8-0 lead after five. The Cubs, after losing Game 1, had a laugher in the bag to tie up the series.
Jerry picked up the golf pencil that he'd clutched during all of Mark's games clear back to Little League -- his nervous-habit pitch counter. He looked down at his scorebook. Only 73 tally marks. This couldn't have been better -- an official game, maybe one more inning and a great setup for a possible Game 6. It was even better when the Cubs scored three more in the bottom of the inning.
But Prior came out for the sixth, the seventh, the eighth. By the time he really was done, having given up two solo homers, he was at 116 pitches. The Cubs won, 12-3.
Here's what happened: Prior got seven screws put in his mangled shoulder -- torn labrum, rotator cuff and anterior capsule -- by Dr. James Andrews in April of 2007 and missed the whole year. He shuttled back and forth from San Diego to see Andrews in Birmingham and to rehab at home. That December, the Padres signed him to a one-year deal, knowing he wouldn't be ready until June of 2008 at the earliest. In May, Prior was in Peoria, Ariz., at extended Spring Training, trying to face hitters. He could hardly throw a strike, and the ones he did throw were getting crushed by kids who weren't yet in A-ball. He was tired after 20 pitches. Dead tired. He threw one more and almost fell off the mound. He said, "I'm done," walked into the clubhouse and couldn't pick up his arm for a half-hour.
Prior had torn the capsule again, this time clean off the humerus bone, but he wasn't deterred from his plan to make it back. Dr. Heinz Hoenecke operated on him in San Diego, the Padres signed him to a Minor League deal for another shot, and in June 2009, back in Peoria, he tore it again.
You went into a tangent calling my opinion ignorant when it was not. I found Prior to be weak minded and thought his **** did not stink.
None of us can really judge players and weak-minded.We certainly can. When Epstein decides to sign those "questionable" players, to ML contracts, for this rewarding journey, rather than to win games and sign players that are less questionable.
You would think that if The Mighty Epstein was so hesistant to accept the trade for Haren because of his medicals.....The same medicals the Nationals took a look at before signing Haren to a one year $13 million contract.
Just one of many reasons that the Nationals are looked at as one of the favorites in the NL this year while the Cubs are the laughing stock of the NL this year and a favorite to draft in the top 5 again next year.