The market for Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija continues to grow. Earlier today, I wrote for Baseball Essential that the Toronto Blue Jays were interested in acquiring the veteran right-hander, but as expected, they are not the only team interested.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers are among the other teams currently in on Samardzija.
The Astros have been connected to many pitchers this year and that’s only going to continue. Teams that are making their starting pitchers available for trade would like to make a deal with Houston, given their strong minor-league system.
The Royals are another team that is in need of starting pitching, as their rotation has an ERA of 4.39, which is 24th best in baseball. Samardzija is not an elite pitcher by any means, but he would be an upgrade in a shaky Royals rotation.
The Tigers, like the Royals, are not getting quality production out of their starting pitchers. Justin Verlander has been hurt most of the year. In the three games he has pitched, Verlander has struggled, putting up a 0-1 record, 5.09 ERA and 7/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Anibal Sanchez has also struggled this year, as he has a 4.65 ERA in 17 starts. Without David Price, this rotation would be in big, big trouble.
Samardzija, 30, is one of the many pitchers that is going to become available this month. Even though he has had a down year, he is one of the more attractive trade pieces on the market, given his solid track record and bounce back potential due to the White Sox’ MLB worst defense, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca notes.
At this point, it would be a shock if Samardzija is in a White Sox uniform after July 31. He has struggled this year, yes, but the demand for Samardzija should be great enough that the White Sox end up getting solid value in return. This is very likely Samardzija’s last season playing in Chicago for the White Sox.
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