Jeff Samardzija had a miserable walk year, posting a 4.96 ERA in 214 innings while allowing the most hits, home runs, and earned runs in the American League, but it didn’t stop the White Sox from giving him the $15.8 million Qualifying Offer.
And it’s the right call, as Samardzija figures to turn down the one-year, $15.8 million contract and hit the open market as a free agent likely to have plenty of multi-year offers. If he does sign elsewhere, the White Sox will receive a first-round draft pick as compensation.
There’s no doubt that Samardzija hurt his free agent stock considerably this season, particularly after a breakout 2014 campaign had many people thinking he’d made the jump into No. 1 starter territory. But he can almost surely do much better than a one-year, $15.8 million deal even if the draft pick compensation being attached to signing him scares off some teams.