The Chicago White Sox acquired starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija from the Oakland Athletics in a six-player deal on Dec. 9.
The Chicago White Sox have acquired starting pitcher Jeff Smardzija.
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The White Sox got Samardzija via a six-player trade with the Oakland Athletics on Dec. 9, per MLB.com's Scott Merkin. Chicago also gets reliever Michael Ynoa while Oakland receives infielder Marcus Semien, catcher Josh Phegley, infielder Rangel Ravelo and pitcher Chris Bassitt. The White Sox initially did not want to part ways with the four players they eventually gave up to strengthen their pitching corps.
Samardzija will become a free agent after the 2015 MLB season. Merkin interviewed White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, who hopes to lock Smardzija up to a long-term deal:
"This was the guy we wanted. This was the guy that fit for us. This was the guy we felt was a perfect complement to [Chris] Sale and [Jose] Quintana, and at the same time has the ability to fit in seamlessly within our clubhouse, obviously knows the market, has had success in the market. It might be a little bit of a gamble, but we're optimistic we're [going to be able to] extend his stay as well."
For his part, Samardzija appreciates how the White Sox went out of their way to get him, per MLB.com:
"Just the approach the White Sox had to get me, how it seemed they were really on a tear to put me on their roster. That's all you can ask for as a player, for an organization to circle a name on their list saying, 'This is a guy we have to have on this team.'
"Long-term deals are all about relationships with the future. Obviously, I just got traded. Winning on the field takes care of a lot of future talk. To be there for a whole year, to be with the team, to get to know the organization in and out, that's huge, because...a big part of that process of being a free agent is trying to quickly learn an organization and what they're all about."
Samardzija told Hahn in the aftermath of the trade that playing for the White Sox is a "dream come true," per Merkin. Samardzija used to frequent U.S. Cellular Field as a youngster on his way to his home in Valparaiso, Ind.
The MLB.com report points out Samardzija joins the ranks of Chris Sale, Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer as the players to post at least 200 strikeouts in the 2013 and 2014 MLB seasons.
With this, Samardzija figures to be part of a formidable White Sox pitching rotation which already boasts of Sale and Jose Quintana, per ESPN. The new White Sox pitcher didn't mince any words when asked about this pitching crew:
"I think we're going to be the most competitive rotation in the league, and I mean that internally. The best starting roations are made when there's three or four guys that want to be the best and they want to go out there and clinch that three-game series or win that Sunday sweep game."
ESPN notes Samardzija will earn between $9 million and $10 million in 2015. His acquisition coincides with that of former New York Yankees closer David Robertson, who agreed to a four-year, $46 million deal with the White Sox on Tuesday.
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