Now that Chicago’s deal to acquire Jeff Samardzija (and Michael Ynoa) from Oakland is complete, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters that he wants to sign Samardzija to a long-term contract extension.
Samardzija has one season remaining until free agency, which is why the A’s traded him, but Hahn says the White Sox “are going to make every effort in the coming weeks and months to try to make this a long-term relationship.”
Samardzija played for the Cubs previously and indicated that he liked Chicago, so presumably he’d want to stick around, but he’s also 30 years old and potentially in line for a $100 million-plus contract this time next offseason.
Veteran reliever John Axford has drawn interest from the Reds, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
Axford hasn’t been the same since saving a league-leading 46 games for the Brewers in 2011, but he still throws hard and still misses plenty of bats.
This year, split between the Indians and Pirates, he posted a 3.95 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 55 innings, but also walked 36 batters.
Aroldis Chapman is entrenched as the Reds’ closer, so bringing in Axford for a setup role at age 32 could make some sense.
Last week reports had the Mets active looking to deal Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, and/or Jon Niese, but now Adam Rubin of ESPN New York says they’re “aggressively shopping” Gee and are looking to deal him “more than the other starters.”
Which makes some sense, because Colon likely won’t bring back much in return and may require the Mets eating some salary, and Niese is under team control through 2018.
Gee, meanwhile, is under team control for two more seasons and projected to earn around $5 million for 2015 via arbitration. They may be able to actually get something decent in return for him and save some money to spend elsewhere.
Amid rumors that the Angels are trying to dump C.J. Wilson and the remainder of his contract, general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters “we haven’t discussed C.J. Wilson at all” and “we have not picked up the phone and offered C.J. Wilson around to the league, at a reduced cost or any other.”
Of course, if another team came calling on Wilson it’s hard to imagine the Angels wouldn’t have open ears.
Wilson has two years and $38 million left on his contract and was a mess this past season, posting a 4.51 ERA in 31 starts overall and a 6.04 ERA in his final 16 outings.
However, from 2009-2013 he posted sub-4.00 ERA every year, including a 3.39 ERA in 212 innings in 2013. If it would require eating a huge portion of his remaining contract to move Wilson the Angels may feel like betting on a bounceback at age 34 is the better option.
While the Red Sox wait for Jon Lester to make a decision, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that they’ve made a multi-year contract offer to Justin Masterson.
Masterson was the Red Sox’s second-round draft pick in 2006, debuted with Boston in 2008, and was traded to the Indians in 2009 in the deal for Victor Martinez.
He’s coming off an injury wrecked, career-worst season at age 29, but Masterson tossed at least 180 innings in each of the previous four seasons and proved to be a solid mid-rotation starter despite issues against left-handed hitters.