New York Yankees Rumors: Jeff Samardzija to the Yankees In Off-Season?
I know we’re on the eve of the Yankees wild-card matchup against Houston on Tuesday night in the ‘House that Jeter Built,’ but an interesting rumor has been starting to surface as of late.
Could 30-year old pitcher Jeff Samardzija be a priority for the Yankees this off-season?
In Jon Heyman’s latest ‘Inside Baseball‘ column for CBS sports, the insider had this to say;
"“Jeff Samardzija could be an interesting target, with ex-Cubs GM Jim Hendry ensconced in the Yankees front office. Samardzija was at his best while pitching for the Cubs. At 30, he has more bullets left since he started out as a reliever following his Notre Dame receiving days. Plus Hendry always has been a fan of his. Samardzija, the ex-Fighting Irish star, also is known to love the big stage…”"
It’s tough to predict the market for Jeff Samardzija, especially with Cy-Young caliber guys like David Price, Jordan Zimmerman, Johnny Cueto and Zack Greinke (if he opts out of his contact) as well as solid middle-of-the-rotation starters like Mike Leake, Ian Kennedy, Scott Kazmir and Rich Hill amongst others all set to test the open market this winter.
After finishing 2014 at 7-13 with a 2.99 ERA and 202 strikeouts, Samardzija was dealt in the off-season by Billy Beane to the Chicago White Sox, where he struggled to an 11-13 record with an overwhelmingly high 4.96 ERA in 2015.
Though his 2015 stats will certainly hurt his free-agent value, ‘the shark’ is still just 30-years old and is represented by Adam Katz and Joel Wolfe of the Wasserman Media Group, which means he’s in line for a pretty decent chunk of change.
Interestingly enough, Samardzija has been on the Yankees radar for quite some time. According to Brendan Kuty of NJ Advanced Media, Yankees General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Brian Cashman went on record saying he believed he was close to acquiring Samardzija at the 2014 MLB Trade Deadline from the Cubs, but he was sent over to Oakland when Billy Beane swooped in with a better last-minute offer.
If there’s one thing Cashman is notorious for, it’s getting guys he covets, even if he misses out on them early in the game. The latest example is Dustin Ackley. Before him, it was third baseman Chase Headley.
The Yankees starting rotation in 2016 will probably include Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and old reliable C.C. Sabathia – but as we saw two year’s in a row, five pitchers isn’t enough to last the whole season. With health concerns still surrounding four-out-of-five of the aforementioned starters, the Yankees might just have to add extra pitching in the off-season if they want to compete in 2016.
That said, Jeff Samardzija might just be donning pinstripes in 2016.
What do you think Yankees fans? Let us know in the comments below.
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