Giants are “showing strong interest” in Jeff Samardzija

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Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday afternoon that the Cubs have already been in trade talks with multiple teams about ace right-hander Jeff Samardzija. Some of those calls have apparently come from San Francisco.

According to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, the Giants are “showing strong interest” in Samardzija, who owns a fantastic 2.77 ERA, 1.176 WHIP, and 82 strikeouts through 92 innings (14 starts) this season. Nightengale also lists the Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Red Sox, and Blue Jays as potential suitors.

The 29-year-old former Notre Dame wideout is making $5.35 million this season in his second year of salary arbitration. He is currently scheduled to become a free agent following the 2015 campaign.

Samardzija would be teaming up with Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Hudson, and Ryan Vogelsong in San Francisco, with Tim Lincecum presumably being shifted to the bullpen. That’s a lethal group.

The Cubs obviously want prospects in return, with a likely focus on young pitching.

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UPDATE, 1:24 p.m. ET: The Giants are denying that they have interest …

Braves sign David Hernandez

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Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.

Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.