Let’s check in on a trio of teams from the game’s West divisions…
- Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija looks like a potential trade candidate for the club, considering they’re unlikely to contend in 2020 and he’s in the final year of his contract. Samardzija told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he hopes to remain with the Giants, though. “The way I look at it, you look to put yourself and the team in the best situation going forward,” he said. “Obviously, the best situation for us going forward would be in the playoff hunt, add talent at the (deadline) and make a run for it in the fall. That’s our No. 1 goal.” Shark added that he has “a lot of respect for this organization and what they’ve done for me, and I’ll give them everything I can as long as I’m here in their jersey.” Signed to a five-year, $90MM contract before the 2016 season, Samarzidja’s production has been up and down as a Giant. He prevented runs at a very good clip last year (3.52 ERA over 181 1/3 innings), but he also posted a career-worst 91.9 mph average fastball velocity and a below-average 4.59 FIP.
- Diamondbacks corner infielder Jake Lamb hasn’t enjoyed a strong season since 2017, but the shoulder and quad injuries he dealt with from 2018-19 likely contributed to his woes. Lamb’s not giving himself a pass for his recent struggles, telling Zach Buchanan of The Athletic (subscription link): “The shoulder wasn’t why I was so bad last year. My swing was not good. I was steep, I was late.” However, Lamb admitted his shoulder tightness was on his mind in the past, and that’s no longer the case. He now may be in position to bounce back after turning in a .208/.315/.350 line in a combined 464 plate appearances during the previous two years. The Diamondbacks believe that’s the case, as Buchanan details; otherwise, they wouldn’t have tendered him for $5.515MM over the winter.
- Astros righty Brad Peacock has been battling neck problems, but he believes he’ll be ready for the beginning of the season, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle relays. Peacock started throwing off flat ground this week, should move to the mound in early March and then anticipates appearing in “three or four” Grapefruit League games. Most of Peacock’s work last year came from the Astros’ rotation, but they’re set to use him out of their bullpen this season. The swingman did well in a full-time relief role back in 2018.