Last week, Jeff Samardzija was offered a one year $15.8 Million qualifying offer from the Chicago White Sox. It has been written that he is unlikely to accept this offer, which would make him a free agent. For those who weren’t following the White Sox this season, Samadzija had an abysmal season. At one point having the second worst qualifying ERA among AL starters, he finished with a 4.96 ERA, which went along with allowing the most hits and homeruns in the league. This begs the question: how is this guy getting attention?
Samardzija caught baseball fans’ attention when in 2014 he put up a 1.32 ERA in the month of May. 2014 is unassailably his marquee season and any attention he is receiving now is based on that. He was traded midseason to the Oakland Athletics, where he finished the season with a total 2.99 ERA. Even though this is the season that is being pointed to for his value, it still included blips. In June of 2014, he put up a 5.45 ERA and in August he had a 3.92 mark. The man is quite precarious in his starts, even when he has a good season.
Is starting pitching that scarce that it would be a smart move for Samardzija to turn down $15 million for one year of work? Samardzija has never been a top of the line starter and with him turning 31 in January, he probably never will be. For all the teams considering him for your bullpen, I would proceed with enhanced caution.