Monday, November 23, 2015

Yankees Have Some Competition for Jeff Samardzija

After the 2015 season ended the Hot Stove season began and almost immediately many free agents were linked to the New York Yankees, none more than Chicago White Sox right-hander Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija, a Notre Dame football standout and former member of the Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs, was offered a qualifying offer that he declined this offseason thus attaching draft pick compensation to any team that signs him whether it be the New York Yankees, the early favorites, or another team. Another team like maybe his former team, the Chicago Cubs.

According to CBS Local News in Chicago the Cubs Theo Epstein met with Samardzija for dinner last week and presumably spoke about where he will be throwing his 200 innings in 2016. Samardzija is currently residing in Arizona during the offseason and is coming off a somewhat disappointing contract year where he posted an 11-13 record with a 4.96 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. What Samardzija lacks on the back of his baseball card though he more than makes up with projections, durability, the lack of miles on his arm and his ceiling with the right pitching coach, like a Larry Rothschild.

Samardzija spent the first six-and-a-half seasons with the Cubs, who drafted him in the 2006 MLB First Year Players Draft, before being traded in 2014 in the deal that sent shortstop and top prospect Addison Russell to Chicago. Samardzija has worked with Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio before, for two-and-a-half seasons to be exact, and had his best seasons under Bosio so Chicago is thinking that they can get him back to the pitching success he had in 2013 and 2014 if signed.

This will be an interesting negotiation since Samardzija already turned down a contract extension worth a reported $80 million from the Cubs and Epstein before he was traded. Stay tuned because the Yankees just got some serious competition for the right-hander from Notre Dame.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)