After missing out on Zack Greinke, the San Francisco Giants made a splash with the addition of Jeff Samardzija on a five-year deal, according to Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area. Moments after the deal was reported, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports added that the right-handed starting pitcher will make $90 million over his five-year contract.
The contract includes no options and has a limited no-trade clause, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. Cotillo also reported that the Giants are entering the next step in looking for more pitching.
Over eight years in the Major Leagues, the 30-year-old has played for the Chicago Cubs (2008-2014), Oakland Athletics (2014) and Chicago White Sox (2015). The move to San Francisco marks the fourth organization in less than two years for the starting pitcher.
The White Sox struggled on defense last season, which hurt Samardzija's numbers. In 2016, he will get to play behind a solid defense and will throw to an All-Star MLB catcher in Buster Posey. Also, AT&T Park is a pitchers park and pitching coach Dave Righetti is one of the best in the industry. Samardzija should benefit greatly from a return to the National League.
Last season, Samardzija had a down year, giving up a MLB-high 228 hits, 118 earned runs and 29 home runs over 214.0 innings pitched, which was not expected. The best season for the righty was in 2014 with a 11-13 record with a 2.99 ERA over 219.2 innings of work.
San Francisco's rotation will be filled by Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Chris Heston, Jake Peavy and Samardzija. While the Giants are looking for more pitching, it will probably just be Major League depth or relievers.
In 991.2 innings pitched over 254 games, which came over his eight-year career, Samardzija has gone 47-61 with a 4.09 ERA. The Giants are betting on the fact that the best is yet to come for the right-handed pitcher, who will look to develop the split finger into his pitching arsenal.
Samardzija is the 10th starting pitcher to sign a deal this winter. The list includes: Samardzija, Price, Greinke, Jordan Zimmermann, J.A. Happ, John Lackey, Maro Estrada, Mike Pelfrey, Brett Anderson and Rich Hill. Other teams can still pick up pitching, as Johnny Cueto, Bartolo Colon, Doug Fister, Yovani Gallardo, Hisashi Iwakuma, Scott Kazmir, Ian Kennedy, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Alfredo Simon and Wei-Yin Chen, just to name a few, are still on the open market.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Giants are still in on Leake and Iwakuma, but nothing is brewing in trade discussions at the moment. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Giants could go after a big bat, like Yoenis Cespedes or Justin Upton.