Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Samardzija Trade Talk Heats Up Once Again White Sox Must Plan Next Move with Ace

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Samardzija Trade Talk Heats Up Once Again White Sox Must Plan Next Move with Ace

Article excerpt

It has been a month since Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn proclaimed "the arrow is pointing up," and 17 games remain before the trade deadline.

Will the White Sox roll the dice on Jeff Samardzija and keep him the rest of the season, or trade their most valuable chip instead of settling for a draft pick?

It's the biggest question the White Sox face, and there's no easy answer.

"It's in our hands here in the clubhouse," Samardzija said. "And we need to take care of it."

Samardzija did Thursday, and celebrated his 2-0 shutout victory against Toronto by throwing the ball into the right-field upper deck, where it landed above a suite.

"Trying to hit the family," he said. "But it flew a little bit and went into the triple deck. Feeling good I guess, huh?"

The White Sox were feeling good after winning for the seventh time in nine games heading into the City Series at Wrigley Field. They're still only 39-44, and have gone 15-16 since Hahn informed us about that crazy arrow of his.

It's true their pitching is strong enough to give them a shot at climbing back to .500, which would put them in the wild-card hunt in the watered-down American League. But the hitting is still invisible enough to warrant raising the white flag and looking toward 2016, when they'll still have Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and David Robertson under contract.

Saying goodbye to Samardzija wouldn't be a surprise to anyone. The Sox have waved bye to Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd and Hector Santiago the past few years and are generally reluctant to hand out long-term deals. They did give John Danks a five-year, $65 million deal, but Danks hasn't been the same since his 2012 shoulder surgery.

Samardzija will be 31 in January and would likely accept a four- year deal. Buehrle, one of the most popular pitchers in White Sox history, took a four-year, $58 million deal from the Marlins in 2011 and said the White Sox never made him an offer. …

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