CHICAGO -- Jeff Samardzija and the Giants have agreed to a five-year deal, with the deal being worth $90 million per multiple reports. This move means the right-hander's short tenure with the White Sox officially has come to a close.
The White Sox made a one-year, $15.8-million qualifying offer to Samardzija, which the free agent rejected. By Samardzija signing with the Giants, the White Sox receive a compensatory pick in the 2016 MLB Draft between the first and second rounds and will now have three picks in the Top 50, with their first-round pick protected at No. 10.
If general manager Rick Hahn brings in a free agent who also was made a qualifying offer, then the White Sox would lose that compensatory pick for Samardzija. At this point, that sort of move seems unlikely for the White Sox.
Samardzija, who turns 31 on Jan. 23, came to the White Sox from Oakland via a six-player deal on Dec. 9, 2014, in a move intended to provide 1-2 rotation punch for the South Siders with staff-ace Chris Sale. But the plans turned out far from ideal, as Samardzija finished with a 4.96 ERA over 32 starts, along with an 11-13 record and 163 strikeouts in 214 innings. He allowed the most earned runs (118) and hits (228) in all of baseball, and he had an 0-6 record and 8.82 ERA in August, after trade rumors ran rampant involving the right-hander but no move was made with the White Sox in the midst of a seven-game road winning streak.
That ERA dropped below 5.00 when Samardzija allowed just two runs over 16 innings during his final two starts, including a one-hit, one-baserunner complete-game effort hurled against the Tigers in Detroit. Samardzija talked about finding a mechanical flaw in his delivery by studying video where his hands were getting away from his body, making him get around the ball and miss left and right, as well as up in the zone. He implemented that change over those final starts.
Many people talked about Samardzija costing himself money going into his walk-away year. Sale believes the Giants made a great addition.
"Whatever team gets him is going to get a steal," Sale told MLB.com before Samardzija joined the Giants. "Really, he's relatively young, and he's got a strong arm with not a lot of innings on it. And he's a competitor.
"Say what you want about him, he competes as hard as anybody. That's his mentality, how he's always been. I think the football comes out in him sometimes. It's awesome. You need that. If you don't have that passion, don't play the game, right? At the end of the day at least you know he [cares]."