Samardzija: Mixed emotions with rebuilding

On a team with few untouchables, Jeff Samardzija said he hasn't heard his name surface in trade talks. Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija said Tuesday that as far as he knows his name isn't being mentioned in trade talks, and while he's frustrated by the team's rebuilding process, he's excited about the future.

"Not that I know," Samardzija said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000, regarding whether he is being mentioned in trade talks. "If they want to trade me, everything is up to them. But I don't think that's something that's in the books, not that I heard.

"I love being here. I've been here my whole career; it's the only place I know. I'm excited for the future of this team, and I think we have some players here who can play and we signed some other guys who may be a year or two away. I'm excited to play with these guys and build a team."

It may be exciting to think about the future, but losing friends and teammates such as Matt Garza and Scott Feldman can be difficult.

"It's frustrating," he said. "There's not much to be said about it, to tell you the truth. You develop a relationship with these guys ... everyone has pitched for different teams over their careers. Garza has been with a couple, so has Feldman. So everybody has faced everybody, so it's good to bounce ideas off those guys. You talk baseball, and all of a sudden you go to the field the next day and they're not there.

"It's a transition period, for sure. We're just trying to get our feet on the ground, and when this is all said and done, we'll have a better idea of where to go from here."

The competitor in Samardzija can make it difficult to be patient.

"You want to win. You want to win right now," he said. "I understand the shelf life of different positions in baseball are longer than others, but as a player it's not very long. You're only in your prime and you only feel so good and nothing guarantees you're going to feel that way next year and the year after that. So you want to win and do it as much as possible as soon as you can, and that's just the other side of the coin.

"Everyone has to do their job, and whatever that situation is you do it. It's just every day you come out and try to win the game, regardless of the roster, whoever the 25 guys is, you're playing against a team and that's who you're supposed to beat."

And Samardzija believes he plays a key role in helping the Cubs maintain a positive outlook.

"I hope it's a leader of the team, like we've been talking about the last year and a half," he said. "I don't think that's changed.

"You want to see some growth, and you want to see the team improve, and I think we're headed that way. But right now, it's really hard to say anything, just because there's so much stuff going on with guys being moved and people jumping all over the place. Taking it a day at a time right now, and for me, a start at a time. Trying to improve on the field and get better, so when this thing is where it's supposed to be I'll be ready to go, for sure."