Monday, December 9, 2013

New York Yankees interested in Jeff Samardzija

According to a tweet from Bruce Levine of, the New York Yankees have shown some interest in Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

Samardzija, who turns 29 in January, went 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA and 1.348 WHIP in his second full season as a starter for the Cubs in 2013. He racked up 214 strikeouts for Chicago, but continues to walk more than three batters per nine innings.

Samardzija, who throws a mid-90s fastball and has an effective slider, recorded a 1.53 ground ball to fly ball ratio last season. He allowed 1.05 HR/9 in 2013.

The Yankees are in need of a starting pitcher, or two, but likely this is simply a check-in on the right-hander.

Once the Yankees agreed to sign right fielder Carlos Beltran, and officially signed center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, outfielder Brett Gardner became interesting to clubs as a trade option. Most likely, the Yankees would want a starting pitcher in return for Gardner should they decide to in fact trade him.

The Yankees will continue to listen to overtures for Gardner to see what value he has to other clubs and in hopes of avoiding the free-agent market. I would guess that they will want to wait to make any moves until they find out if the Rakuten Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball will post Masahiro Tanaka, who the Yankees and others covet.

In the perfect Yankees scenario, I believe they would rather sign Tanaka and then have a competition for the fifth starter spot between current players on the roster such as David Phelps, Adam Warren and Michael Pineda.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance sports writer/editor and the Director of Content Strategy for Sportsideo. Besides his work here, Chris is a New York Yankees contributor for Yahoo Sports. Connect with Chris on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.