The Cardinals have interest in free agent starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman also mentioned the Cardinals’ interest in Samardzija earlier today. The Cards finished second in the bidding for new Red Sox ace David Price, and it appears they see Samardzija as a possible alternative.
Multiple reports have indicated that Samardzija has already received offers of $90MM or more, so it doesn’t appear likely he’ll be cheap despite a 4.96 ERA season with the White Sox. Samardzija is, however, just 30 and still in possession of mid-90s velocity, and he had a great 2014 season with the Cubs and Athletics. He has also pitched at least 210 innings in each of the last three seasons. The Cubs have recently shown interest in a reunion with Samardzija, although that interest has likely diminished, at least to a degree, now that they’ve signed 2015 Cardinal John Lackey.
The Cardinals rotation had a 2.99 ERA in 2015, easily the best in baseball, and they figure to add a full season of Adam Wainwright next season. After Lackey’s departure, Lance Lynn’s Tommy John surgery, and the 50-game suspension of prospect Alex Reyes, however, they’re still a bit thin on starting pitching.