Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the White Sox and starter Jeff Samardzija have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $9.8 million salary for the 2015 season. Samardzija was entering his final year of arbitration eligibility.
The White Sox acquired Samardzija along with minor leaguer Michael Ynoa in a trade with the Athletics in December. They sent Marcus Semien, Josh Phegley, Chris Bassitt, and Rangel Ravelo to Oakland in return.
Samardzija, 30 on January 29, finished the 2014 season with a combined 2.99 ERA between the Cubs and Athletics along with a 202/43 K/BB ratio in 219 2/3 innings. The right-hander is one of several big off-season additions by the White Sox, joining outfielder Melky Cabrera, closer David Robertson and reliever Zach Duke, and DH Adam LaRoche.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.