The Giants and Royals were scouting Jeff Samardzija last night

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Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and Jon Morosi of Fox are reporting that the Giants and Royals each had a “high-level scout” evaluating Jeff Samardzija’s start Tuesday in Miami.

The Giants have been mentioned as a suitor for Samardzija, and a lot of speculation — based mostly on the teams’ needs, not actual intelligence — has the Orioles and Blue Jays interested, but the Royals are new. I guess ripping off two or three great weeks of baseball and jumping into first place makes you a buyer. Imagine.

As we noted yesterday, the Cubs recently reached out to Samardzija with a new offer on a possible contract extension, but it’s doubtful anything will happen there. He likely wants Matt Cain money — something north of $120 million — and the Cubs are highly unlikely to pay that.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?