Friday, 19 January 2007

Jeff Samardzija likes playing baseball

For the record, S-A-M-A-R-D-Z-I-J-A.

Second, as you're probably aware, Jeff Samardzija has chosen to join the Chicago Cubs and play baseball rather than enter the NFL Draft, where he most likely would have been taken somewhere in the first round.

This comes as a little bit of a surprise to me... I mean, normally guys opt for the more high profile NFL track and the whole playing right away thing rather than work their way through the Minors, as Samardzija will start in A Ball for the Cubbies.

But looking more closely, you have to think this was a pretty good decision for The Shark. Consider:

(1) MLB players don't take nearly the beating that NFL players do. Would you rather run a crossing route into the teeth of the defense or throw a ball? Same here.
(2) MLB contracts are guaranteed. Samardzija already has a 5 year, $10 million contract with bonuses making it potentially worth more. In the NFL he would probably be looking at a 5 year contract with about $6 million guaranteed, based on past amounts for draft picks.
(3) The average MLB players makes a lot more money than the average NFL player. This ties in with #2, but basically, no salary cap + not a lot of good pitchers = a lot of money for an MLB pitcher. Jason Marquis had an ERA of 6.02 and an ERA+ of 73 last year. He will make $7 million a year for the next 3 years. I rest my case.

So what do you think? Did he make the right decision deciding to play baseball rather than football?