White Sox manager Robin Ventura told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday that right-hander Jeff Samardzija will get the club’s Opening Day start on April 6 in Kansas City.
Samardzija will face off against 23-year-old Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura, who was also given the official Opening Day nod on Wednesday.
Chris Sale would have been Chicago’s Opening Day starter, but he’s expected to miss the first week of the season due to an avulsion fracture in his right foot.
Samardzija was acquired from the Athletics in December as part of a six-player trade.
He posted a 2.99 ERA and 1.065 WHIP in 219 2/3 innings last year between the Cubs and A’s.
Yesterday the Chicago White Sox made a big signing of a new player, locking up catcher Yasmani Grandal for four years. Today they’ve made another big splash, re-signed current White Sox star José Abreu to a three-year, $50 million contract extension.
Abreu had already accepted the team’s qualifying offer last week so he was ensured of staying in Chicago for 2020, but now they’ll tear that up and replace it with this pact, adding two more years.
Abreu, who turns 33 before spring training, is coming off a 2019 season in which he posted a line of .284/.330/.503 with 33 home runs and 123 RBI. He has spent his entire major league career in Chicago, putting up a line of .293/.349/.513 and socking 179 homers in six seasons.