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 …

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.