New York Yankees rumors link the team to starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. These Yankees rumors indicate Samardzija could be an important target to sign during the upcoming MLB offseason. A report from CBS Sports states that the team is expected to show real interest in the free agent right-hander.
Though Samardzija isn’t on the same level as free agent pitchers David Price and Zack Greinke, he could help elevate the starting rotation in New York. He is also coming off a down season with the Chicago White Sox, suggesting the cost to sign him may be way more reasonable than other options on the market. Samardzija will only be 31-years-old, though, so his agent will look for a long-term contract.
During his 2015 MLB season, Samardzija posted a 4.96 ERA and 11-13 record over 32 starts. He pitched 214 innings, had 163 strikeouts, and notched a WHIP of 1.294. The numbers weren’t where the White Sox thought they would be after acquiring him from the Oakland Athletics in a big trade.
This will be the first time that Jeff Samardzija has made it to free agency, which means the process could take a while for him to find a good fit. There are going to be a number of players who pop up in New York Yankees rumors, so the team could actually address other needs before giving Samardzija anything resembling a “full court press.” What Yankees general manager Brian Cashman might do, though, is offer him a deal before Price and Greinke come off the market. That might allow for a team-friendly deal.
During the 2015 MLB season, Yankees pitchers posted an 87-75 record with a 4.05 ERA and 1.297 WHIP. That was aided by a very strong bullpen, especially by Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller. Masahiro Tanaka led the starting rotation with a 3.51 ERA and 0.994 WHIP over 24 starts. Luis Severino shows promise, though, posting a 2.89 ERA and 1.203 WHIP over 11 late-season starts. Michael Pineda (12-10, 4.37 ERA), Nathan Eovaldi (14-3, 4.20 ERA), and Ivan Nova (6-11, 5.07 ERA) could also be holdovers for 2016.
With many teams needing an improvement in starting pitching, there could be a lot of suitors for Samardzija. It’s also possible that a team is going to overpay him to acquire someone who can pitch 200 innings easily. With David Price and Zack Greinke available on the open market and an expectation that the Oakland Athletics will trade Sonny Gray, there is also no shortage of top-tier pitching ready to join a new team. There are likely to be New York Yankees rumors about all four pitchers, but Samardzija seems the most likely to be signed by the team this offseason.
[Image Sources: Jon Durr and Al Bello /Getty Images]