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 option Michael Soroka to Triple-A Gwinnett after two starts in comeback bid

Joseph Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK
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ATLANTA – Atlanta right-hander Michael Soroka, who posted an 8.38 ERA in two starts in his comeback from two right Achilles tendon tears, was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday.

The move came after Soroka allowed five runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings in Atlanta’s 8-5 win at Arizona on Sunday. All of Soroka’s runs allowed came with two outs. After the game, he said: “That’s not quite me.”

Soroka, an All-Star as a rookie in 2019, was Atlanta’s opening day starter in 2020 before suffering his first Achilles tendon tear early in the season. He needed a follow-up procedure before suffering a second tear in 2021.

The Braves didn’t immediately announce who will replace Soroka in the rotation. An option could be rookie AJ Smith Shawver, who threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief in his debut on Sunday.

The Braves on Monday also claimed infielder Lucas Williams off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers and optioned Williams to Gwinnett. To make room on the 40-man roster, left-hander Max Fried was transferred to the 60-day injured list.