Giants Sign Samardzija

jeff-samardzija-1The Giants rebounded from rejection from Zack Grenkie today with an agreement with Jeff Samardzija for 5 years worth 90 million dollars.

Samardzija, a right-hander who turns 31 in January, was a top-notch starter in 2013 and 2014 before having a terrible 2015 season with the White Sox. He allowed an American League-high 118 earned runs, 29 homers and 228 hits. However, his stuff has not been questioned and he was highly sought in this year’s free-agent market as an alternative to A-level pitchers Greinke, David Price and Jordan Zimmermann.

Even as his stats took a deep turn south last year, his fastball velocity remained steady at 94 mph, according to Fangraphs.

As recently as 2014, Samardzija had a 2.99 ERA and 1.065 WHIP with the Cubs and A’s. He struck out 8.3 batters per nine innings. All those numbers declined markedly as well in his one season with the White Sox — 4.96, 1.294 and 6.9.

Samardzija will likely slot into the number two or three spot in the rotation depending on Matt Cain recovery from elbow problems.

It appears that with both Grenkie and Price off the board, the rest of the available pieces are starting to fall into place.  It looks to be a wild couple of weeks.  All eyes are on you Johnny Cueto.

18 thoughts on “Giants Sign Samardzija

  1. I guess the Cardinals are again choosing to just keep all of their money. At some point you have to make FA deals that are beyond your comfort zone or you just won’t add top end talent. If they only sign Heyward, the off season will be a disappointment (as they will have lost Lynn and Lackey and adding nothing). If they don’t sign Heyward, it’ll be a disaster.

    There is essentially jack left in the FA pitcher market….Leake and Kazmir are the only guys that would be an upgrade for their #5 spot, and neither of those guys excite me…they already feel like expensive depth signings.

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      • Well, yeah. Not rooting for a team owned by a guy that has no idea what he’s doing, that won’t hire someone that does does know what their doing and get the hell out of the way, and that generally doesn’t use the franchise like a personal piggy bank is nice.

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      • You know….I’m not sure I could keep rooting for a team run like the Orioles. It would be hard…even if they won at times, winning via bad process always bugs me.

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    • Personally, I don’t get the love for Kazmir … not just you, but people in general who have a love for Kazmir. A good season and a half in Oakland doesn’t wipe out multiple blemishes before that, or struggles with Houston afterward, for me. He’sl also got an additional 500 innings of mileage vs Fister or Leake, and 800 more than Chen.

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      • The Kazmir “love” is based on potential and probable cheap cost.

        Fister may be broken. Leake will probably get 5 years. Chen isn’t any better than options most teams already have for a #5 starter, because he isn’t good enough to be anything else for a competitive team.

        Iwakuma would be a better option, probably.

        Also, Chen would result in a lost pick as would Iwakuma….not so for Leake or Kazmir.

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  2. Depending on whether this information is based on the financials before or after the Lackey signing, the Cubs might still have some money to make a fairly big signing. I’m still on board with the Soler-for-Miller-and-sign-Heyward notion…though putting something together for Carrasco would be even better.

    As for Cueto, considering the bad blood between him and many Cardinals (and their fans)…it’s kinda hard to picture him landing there. Dodgers seem like the most likely spot now.

    And nobody had Shark to SF in the Prediction game, so I’ll save the official update until the next name comes off the board.

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    • I think Heyward is probably going to get something around 9/$225….that’s quite a bit more than 3-4 years at $18M per….but if their financials will be improving in the future, they could look to backload it…but then, at that time they’ll be looking at major arbitration raises or extensions for their young guys.

      I think what we are seeing is what we have known….every team has money to spend, some of them are just finally spending it instead of pocketing it.

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      • I think the Cubs’ financials will be steadily improving over the next 5-10 years. The renovations are bringing in good money through sponsorships, such as that giant “wintrust” logo on top of the new video board, and more naming rights will be sold on the new office building and plaza that will be right next to the park when the construction on that is finished.

        There’s also supposedly a new TV network in the works…not a new deal…but a new network along the lines of YES or NESN that’s going to come into being around 2020. I suspect that if it all works out, it will be Cubs/Blackhawks, and that should bring in a shitton of money as well.

        And of course, winning = money too.

        I don’t have any illusions about the Cubs being made of money and can spend all willy-nilly on anyone that catches their eye. But I think if they want to make a big splash, they can. Maybe not a 9y/$225M splash, then again, I don’t think it’s going to take that to bring in Heyward…

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        • I was just surprised to see Theo say that they couldn’t compete with offers for Price at this point.

          Because teams keep their financials secret, it is hard to know, but some teams regularly push up against the league rule about debt ratios, which apparently keeps some team’s salaries down. That is allegedly why the Cardinal’s salary hasn’t increased with revenues as they are using that money (allegedly) to pay down debt associated with building the stadium.

          I hope it doesn’t take that to sign Heyward, but I think it probably will because of his skill set and youth. It only takes two teams to value a player that is above average offensively, defensively, and on the bases to drive the price up.

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        • I obviously don’t have access to Theo or his front office, but I wonder if that “can’t compete” comment was in reference to the opt-out clause. Because if he wasn’t willing to give Price that, then yeah, he’s going to have a much harder time matching an offer that does and I’m perfectly happy with him not trying to compete with that.

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    • Is he really an upgrade over guys like Cooney or Gonzalez though? His career FIP and xFIP are over 4. His value is primarily staying healthy. Yeah, you need to fill innings, but he is the definition of a boring addition. There zero upside with him…the most you can hope for is luck in stranding runners resulting in a league average ERA.

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      • Well, if you’re pegging him as a No. 3, no more, that’s fine. He’s a younger Leake with a somewhat better K/BB. And, there’s no upside with Leake, either.

        Per what I said yesterday, the Cards just really need a 2-year deal with someone. That gets past Lynn’s TJ, gives enough time to see what Cooney and Gonzalez have to offer at the bigs, gives time for Reyes to move up to that level, and to see what Waino’s aging curve will be.

        And, as noted, Fister might be looking for a short-term deal to rebuild value. He might be a better move than Leake or Chen, either one.

        So, I’ll take:
        1. Resigning Heyward, of course
        2. The best “bang for the buck” on a starter of this level, esp. if a shorter contract
        3. The best reasonable move at 1B, whatever the hell that may be
        4. More middle IF depth (and waiting to see if Dias’ tail-end last season at Memphis offers some hope)

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  3. Some info on the financial specifics of the Shark deal…

    So it’s basically $12M in 2016, then $19.5M each of the other four years.

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  4. Pingback: Giants Land Cueto | Hardball Conversations

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