As rumors swirl, Samardzija keeps his focus

Right-hander spins great outing as White Sox inch closer to Trade Deadline

As rumors swirl, Samardzija keeps his focus

CLEVELAND -- There are some who believe Jeff Samardzija increased his trade value via a stellar eight-inning performance during the White Sox 8-1 victory over the Indians Thursday night at Progressive Field.

Others look at Samardzija's line, featuring one run allowed on four hits, no walks and three strikeouts, and view the right-hander's 12th start in his last 13 appearances covering at least seven innings as another quality effort from a pitcher they want long term on the South Side.

As for Samardzija, even with the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching in eight days and Scott Kazmir moving from Oakland to Houston Thursday, he's simply focused on pitching.

"I haven't heard anything, so I haven't had any way to have an opinion on the matter," said Samardzija, after throwing 99 pitches in helping the White Sox end a four-game losing streak. "It's been totally silent on my end, which allows me to go out and do my job which has been nice. I understand the business and how it works.

"All I can do is increase my value as much as possible and make both sides come out on top. The better I play, the better the White Sox will get in return if they do trade me and it's better for me to go to a better situation."

So on one front, Samardzija hasn't heard anything from the White Sox about any potential suitors. On the other side, the veteran who was traded from the Cubs to the A's in 2014 certainly gets how this time of year works. A trade also brought Samardzija to the White Sox in December.

The White Sox entered this season with high expectations, and at 43-50, have fallen short of meeting those goals. Samardzija stands as a free agent to be after this season and appears ready to test the open market.

A move involving Samardzija could bring back important pieces to the White Sox reshaping process. The White Sox also could pursue him again during the upcoming offseason.

This potential deal might go down to the final hours of the final day before the 3 p.m. CT deadline next Friday with so much parity existing, especially in the Wild Card fights.

"Nobody can decide what they want to be and which direction they're going," Samardzija said. "That's with the new Wild Card spots and profit sharing and a lot of things contributing to these teams being bundled up.

"It's like a NASCAR race out there. Just keep battling every day and when that time comes to make a decision, like you saw this year, it happened really late for the first one [Kazmir]. Maybe you see things after that, but who knows. Again that's out of my hands. All I can do is go out and perform and increase my value to make it great no matter what the situation is."

Next up for Samardzija would be the Red Sox on Tuesday at Fenway Park. But as Samardzija candidly explained, that start and team he's starting for could change.

"We're going to keep playing. We have no other plans," a smiling Samardzija said. "We're going to go out and play every day."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.