Considering the Chicago White Sox are likely going to be shopping Jeff Samardzija this month, it is key that his trade value is as high as possible, so his next few starts are big for him and the White Sox.
The While the Sox will not be getting anything near what the Chicago Cubs got from the Oakland Athletics last year when they traded the right-handed Samardzija, but it is likely that they could get some strong prospects, or young MLB players in a deal before the trade deadline.
Since his start on June 2 in Texas, Samardzija has failed to go less than seven innings in any of his last six starts. Even though the Detroit Tigers hit him hard on June 7 (six earned runs in 7.1 IP), Samardzija has been eating up innings for the Sox.
Not to mention teams have been struggling to score runs versus Samardzija since that June 7 start. Samardzija’s ERA has dropped from 4.93 to 4.33 over the five starts since then, and that ERA could be even lower considering the fact that he was brilliant through seven innings in Detroit on June 28, however was left in one hitter too long (Victor Martinez hit a 3-run double in the eighth to tie the game, giving him four earned.)
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Looking at Samardzija, pretty much every start outside of a few he goes deep into games. What is killing his ERA is the fact that he has games where he gets absolutely shelled.
Samardzija’s biggest issue has been a few starts where he doesn’t show up, though he’s been an innings eater for the club as of late. Assuming he can keep pitching well, it is very possible that the Sox will get a very good return for Samardzija, but the unknown is just exactly what GM Rick Hahn and Co. can work out.
So how many teams will be after Samardzija?
While no one ever really knows, but he should have many suitors, including the Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros to name a possible two teams. The issue for the Sox will be when they move him.
Many have speculated that he will be one of the first pitchers moved this July. That is a double-edged sword. If there are several arms on the market but more suitors, there becomes more options for those suitors.
However if many of the arms are off the market, his value increases due to supply and demand. The problem is, if teams fill their holes with other arms the amount of suitors decreases. The Sox need to play this one carefully, which is something I am sure their brass is discussing.
If the Sox handle this well, they will get multiple players that are MLB ready of close to that. This is a team that can’t acquire a Single-A pitcher that is three years away from the majors.
The key piece of the trade needs to be able to make an impact in 2016. With the Sox window beginning to open up with Carlos Rodon, Avisail Garcia, etc. on the roster, this team needs players ready now, not later.
What do you want the White Sox to get for Samardzija when (and if) a trade is made?