The All-Star break is over, and the second half of the baseball season is underway. The July 31 trade deadline is the next thing to look forward to, which means playoff hopefuls are gearing up to make a final push for the postseason. The Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals have already made splashes in the trade market. The Cubs traded for Jose Quintana in exchange for prospects, and the Nationals picked up Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to bring relief to their struggling bullpen. Jeff Samardzija could be one of the next players to change teams.
As the Trade Deadline Nears, Houston Eyes Jeff Samardzija
Giants are Ready to Sell
The struggling San Francisco Giants, who stand at 35-58, opened the second half of the season losing two of three to the San Diego Padres. Unless the Giants can muster up the magic that pushed them into the playoffs in prior years, they will most likely be sellers at the upcoming deadline. In the all but inevitable scenario that the Giants become sellers, teams will start going after the Giants pitchers.
In fact, the Houston Astros have already started looking into Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija, who holds a 4-10 record and a 4.58 ERA, is owed $18 million over the next three years, and it would be in the Giants best interest to get rid of his contract, given where they look to be headed this season. He also has a limited no-trade clause, which means he can refuse to be traded to up to eight teams. Unless the Astros are on Samardzija’s no trade list, his time in the city by the bay might be limited.
Astros Need a Starter
The Astros, who have arguably already claimed the AL West, hold a 61-27 record and 16.5 game lead on the Seattle Mariners. Although the Astros have become one of the more complete teams, thanks to players such as George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve. The Astros also have a solid pitching rotation, which includes Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers.
The Astros need a starter capable of going deep into games, and would look to Samardzija for that. Despite their sparkling record, Houston is having depth and consistency issues, as Mccullers only went 4.1 innings in his last start, and Keuchel is yet to come off of the disabled list. Samarzdjia would add a third quality starter to the Astros rotation.
Fit and Circumstance
Samardzija’s days in San Francisco look like they’re limited, and the Astros would benefit a third starter who would be able to eat up innings in the postseason. Although this is just a trade rumor, how well the Giants play for the rest of the month will ultimately determine whether or not Samardzija changes uniforms in this second half.