Texas Rangers rumors: Jeff Samardzija is the topic of a lot of trade talk, and Peter Gammons says the Rangers are one of the teams talking to the A's about Samardzija.
While the Rangers need starting pitching, and are in a position to deal prospects for a pitcher who they could put in the front part of the rotation with Yu Darvish and Derek Holland, I struggle to see Samardzija as a real good fit. The Oakland A's got Samardzija and pitcher Jason Hammel from the Cubs last summer in a deal that sent Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, Dan Straily and a PTBNL to Chicago.
Hammel is now a free agent, and Billy Beane appears to be remaking the A's, having just dealt Josh Donaldson to Toronto for a package headed up by Brett Lawrie. There have been rumors for a while that the A's were listening to offers on Samardzija, who is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, but the price is going to be steep.
Jon Daniels has said that the Rangers are looking for players who are controllable beyond 2015, rather than just rentals, which makes Samardzija less of a fit. Samardzija also is someone who has gotten a top of the rotation reputation without much in the way of top of the rotation results...he had a combined 3.7 bWAR last year between Oakland and Chicago, but that's the first time in his career he's had a bWAR of more than 2.0. If you prefer fWAR, this picture is brighter...Samardzija had a 4.1 fWAR last season, and a combined 5.4 fWAR the previous two years.
Still, Samardzija isn't David Price, Jon Lester, or even James Shields...nevertheless, the price will probably be close to them, because his stuff is such that, even though he turns 30 in January, he seems to provide untapped potential.
Personally, I hope the Rangers pass because, you know, he's a former Cubs pitcher, and we all know how that has worked out for Texas. I'm now paranoid about Cubs pitchers...even a Cub pitcher who has had a stop in Oakland. And given the cost of acquiring Samardzija -- which would probably be something like Chi Chi Gonzalez or Jake Thompson, plus Lewis Brinson or Nick Williams, plus another, lesser prospect or two -- I'd just as soon the Rangers pass.
For what its worth, Evan Grant doesn't see Texas as a fit: