The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were stunned Friday evening when Zack Greinke spurned the two National League West rivals in favor of agreeing to a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Greinke’s contract is pending a physical, but calls for him to set a Major League Baseball record with a $34.42 average annual value.
David Price, having just signed a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, and Miguel Cabrera previously shared the honor with a $31 million average per year.
As the Dodgers scour free agency and the trade market for alternative options, the Giants struck first by agreeing to a five-year contract with Jeff Samardzija.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Samardzija’s deal is worth $90 million:
Samardzija gets 5 yrs, $90m from Giants.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) December 5, 2015
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, both the Dodgers and Giants shifted their focus to Samardzija in the wake of being denied by Greinke:
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 5, 2015
Samardzija joins his fourth organization since being traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics in 2014. He’s also coming off a down season, which was his first with the Chicago White Sox.
The 30 year old went 11-13 record and 4.96 ERA, 4.23 FIP and 1.30 WHIP. Additionally, Samardzija led the American League in runs allowed, hits allowed and home runs allowed. His strikeouts per nine innings dropped to 6.9 after being above 8.0 from 2011-14.
While the Dodgers were reported as having interest in the Notre Dame product, Samardzija doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of a free agent Andrew Friedman’s front office would pursue.
Samardzija declined the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer and therefore the Dodgers would have been required to forfeit their first pick in the 2016 MLB Draft had they signed the right-hander.