Chicago White Sox: Who are the other extension candidates?
JEFF SAMARDZIJA – SP
Mar 17, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija against the Seattle Mariners at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
I won’t go too in-depth here because this topic has been belabored since the second Samardzija was shipped east to the Windy City. Plus, this wouldn’t be a pre-arb deal like the others I touched on above.
Samardzija and his agent have been adamant about testing the waters of free agency and why not? The contracts received by Lester and Max Scherzer this offseason have to look appealing to a right-hander who is only just reaching his ceiling.
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Hahn had said that part of the allure of acquiring Samardzija was netting exclusive negotiating rights throughout the ’15 season. However, according to a March 5th report by MLB Trade Rumors no such conversations have taken place.
I don’t expect extension talks to linger into the season because that can be a distraction, but still Hahn’s view is right in that Samardzija’s agent won’t have to vet the White Sox organization this fall because Samardzija will get an inside view of it himself during the ’15 season.
Yes, Samardzija was a White Sox fan growing up and undoubtedly feels at home, but he declined a five-year, $85 million extension offer from the Cubs last spring. That was before Samardzja had went out and had a career year.
Samardzija could set himself up for an enormous payday with a strong ’15 season
You have to give him credit for betting on himself, and that’s exactly what he’ll do this season. If Samardzija can post numbers similar to his ’14 season, and be a 17-20 game winner for the White Sox, he will set himself up for an enormous pay-day.
Ultimately, I think the White Sox will have to go at least six-years with an average annual value of $20-22 million. The beauty of the aforementioned extensions is that they give the White Sox the financial wherewithal and flexibility to make such a move.
Regardless, Samardzija is likely to be inked via free agency in the fall rather than an in season extension.
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