If you considered Jeff Samardzija an ace at this time a year ago, you're not alone. That's basically what he was in 2013. He still gave up a few too many home runs, but his other notable shortcoming -- his control of the strike zone -- had actually become an asset. And it's not like he went back to walking batters in his year with the White Sox. He just gave up too many hits, home runs or otherwise. He did tweak his arsenal some under pitching coach Don Cooper, so maybe the change of scenery will do him some good, particularly since he's going to a pitcher's park in San Francisco. He's like another Clay Buchholz: The range of potential outcomes is so wide that you couldn't bring yourself to invest more than a late-round pick in him, but you're not going to let him go undrafted either.
Samardzija has agreed to a five-year, $90 million deal with the Giants, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports. The deal is currently pending a physical. Nevertheless, Samardzija heads west to a very pitcher-friendly environment, where he should also benefit from a move back into the National League. Samardzija's strikeout rate tumbled from 23.0% (8.3 K/9) in 2014 to 17.9% (6.9 K/9) last season with the White Sox, and he showed a sudden propensity for yielding flyballs, which should be much less damaging in his new home park if that trend holds up. He will likely slot in behind Madison Bumgarner as the Giants' No. 2 starter to begin 2016.
Samardzija turned down his qualifying offer from the White Sox on Friday and will remain a free agent, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports. The move comes as little surprise, as Samardzija will be able to command a multi-year deal likely worth more than the $15.8 million qualifying offer. The 30-year-old suffered through a rough contract year, putting up a 4.96 ERA while seeing a decline in his strikeout rate to 6.9 K/9. He should still generate substantial interest on the open market, and the White Sox will receive a compensatory draft pick when he signs.
Samardzija was extended a qualifying offer by the White Sox Friday. Samardzija is coming off a down year, (4.96 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 214 innings) but the White Sox were still expected to offer the veteran a qualifying offer. He's likely to command a multi-year contract, so it's unclear at this time if Chicago plans on seriously attempting to re-sign their ace or scoop up a compensatory pick once he signs with another club.
Samardzija filed for free agency Monday, the Chicago Tribune reports. The White Sox are expected to extend a qualifying offer to Samardzija, and he is expected to refuse that qualifying offer. Samardzija had a miserable season on the south side, but he showed enough to have teams believe he can be at least be a mid-rotation piece, if not more.
White Sox disappointing starter Jeff Samardzija will likely receive a qualifying offer despite his 2015 struggles, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. Heyman suggests Samardzija will probably reject the qualifying offer in hopes of receiving a long-term deal on the open market. The Yankees have long been considered one of the teams to pursue the veteran right-hander, but it remains to be seen how many other teams will join the chase for Samardzija, who posted a poor 4.96 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in his lone season with Chicago.