Athletics on ‘verge’ of trading Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox, per reports
The right-handed starter is eligible for free agency after 2015.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports later confirmed Heyman’s report, with both writers suggesting White Sox infield prospect Marcus Semien would be part of the package heading to Oakland.
Samardzija has been on the trading block since the A’s sent Josh Donaldson to Toronto two weeks ago, and now the right-hander appears to be headed back to Chicago after Oakland acquired him from the Cubs in July.
The 29-year-old Samardzija would join a solid, young White Sox rotation that already includes Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Despite an 89-loss season in 2014, the White Sox have been aggressive this offseason, inking Adam LaRoche and Zach Duke to two-year deals.
Samardzija finished the 2014 campaign with a 2.99 ERA and 3.20 FIP, striking out 202 batters and walking 43 in 219⅔ innings. After arriving in Oakland, the right-hander posted a 3.14 ERA in 16 starts.
For the A’s, dealing Samardzija continues an offseason of bold, polarizing trades. They already sent their best player in Donaldson to the Blue Jays and another top hitter in Brandon Moss to the Indians, and now they’re on the verge of trading Samardzija after acquiring him just five months ago for top prospect Addison Russell. Oakland’s collapse down the stretch has led Billy Beane to be aggressive in reshuffling his roster.
The White Sox, meanwhile, have put themselves in an intriguing position in the AL Central heading into 2015. With Sale, Quintana and now likely Samardzija in the fold (as well as 2014 first-round pick Carlos Rodon on the way), Chicago has the makings of a formidable young rotation. With Jose Abreu holding down the middle of the lineup, the White Sox could be big players in a division whose balance of power will be shifting over the next couple seasons.