May 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija throws a pitch against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Christmas might be a bit of a let down for Chicago White Sox fans this year. They may feel like they’ve already received the greatest gifts of the holiday season while their favorite team was in San Diego for the MLB winter meetings this week.
Before the annual gathering began Sunday, December 7th, I wrote about the White Sox potential Wishlist heading into the winter meetings. White Sox general manager, Rick Hahn, and executive vice president, Kenny Williams, wasted no time getting to work.
They say that pitching wins pennants. If the age-old adage holds true, the White Sox should have a leg up on the competition in the American League Central Division. During the winter meetings the White Sox addressed the pitching staff by trading for Jeff Samardzija, a much-needed right-handed arm in the rotation. “Shark” posted a 3.14 ERA and 3.30 FIP in 111.2 innings after being traded to the Oakland A’s July 5th, 2014.
Fangraphs credited Samardzija with a 4.1 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) last season between both leagues. Scott Carroll and Andre Rienzo took turns as the Sox fifth starter last season, compiling a -0.1 WAR between them. Samardzija’s presence alone in the starting rotation should add a few wins to the Southsider’s record. Just don’t ask the Shark to bunt, you won’t like him when he bunts.