Despite a pitching staff filled with a blend of proven veterans and budding youngsters, the Yankees were never able to fully count on their rotation last season primarily due to injury. Adding another arm to their starting five could be at the top of the list of targets. Though David Price and Zack Greinke might be a fan’s ideal option, the Yankees could be more practical and add a lesser-proven commodity such as Samardzija.
A onetime Notre Dame wide receiver, Samardzija traded the gridiron for the pitching rubber after being drafted by in the first round by the Chicago Cubs in 2006 and crafted a moderately successful career as a converted reliever, racking up 200 innings each of the last three seasons for three different teams.
A low walk rate is a measure Cashman rates heavily in most starting pitchers he has acquired as Yankees GM (see: Bartolo Colon, Carl Pavano, and Freddy Garcia), and Samardzija fits that bill despite leading baseball in both earned runs and hits last season. Similar to the acquisition of Nathan Eovaldi last winter, the Yankees could look at Samardzija as another reclamation project who may benefit from a change of scenery.
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