The San Francisco Giants have signed starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija to a contract.
Friday, the San Francisco Giants missed out on top free agent starting pitcher Zack Greinke, who signed a six-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This shocked everyone in baseball because the Diamondbacks popped into the race for his services at the last minute.
The Giants had to turn to an alternative plan, and it seems they have done so because former Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija has reportedly signed a contract with them. He is receiving a five-year deal worth $90 million, according to Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area and Tim Brown of Yahoo.
Many thought Samardzija could get a contract that exceeded $100 million but with declining numbers over the past few seasons, it seemed unlikely. He sported a 4.96 ERA last season, his highest mark since he was a reliever with the Chicago Cubs in 2010. His strikeouts per nine innings number was at 6.9 as well, his lowest since he became a full-time starting pitcher. Numbers like this have to be concerning.
However, the American League has been known to be the tougher league to pitch in than the National League, so maybe the return will help the Notre Dame alumnus. Plus, it helps that the Giants’ AT&T Ballpark is very pitcher friendly, having spacious dimensions all around the park that will limit home runs.
With Samardzija heading to San Francisco, it’s unknown is they will look to retain free agent starting pitcher Mike Leake, who they were known to be interested it. We’ll see what they do as the MLB offseason continues.