Yankees Rumors: New York Showing interest in Jeff Samardzija

Tasos Katopodis

No one will be able to spell his name. I don't want to deal with that.

Right now the Yankees have a rotation of CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ivan Nova. They're likely to have an internal competition between David Phelps, Michael Pineda and others, for the fifth rotation spot, but they still need one more pitcher. Now that they have signed Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner represents their best trade chip and it's entirely possible that they trade him in return for pitching.

One starting pitcher who is likely available is Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs, and the Yankees are said to be interested. The 28-year-old right-hander is entering his age-29 season and won't be a free agent until 2016. He has only been a full time starter for the last two years and in that time he's thrown 388.1 innings, hitting the 200 inning mark in 2013. He has a 4.07 ERA, 9.14 K/9, 3.09 BB/9, and a 3.66 FIP in the last two seasons, which is decent, however a 1.04 HR/9, along with a 4.26 career FIP against lefties, could prove to be a disaster in Yankee Stadium.

It was partially due to Samardzija's step back in 2013 that Dale Sveum lost his job. Their disappointment in him could lead to them trading him, but since he won't be a free agent for awhile, it would likely cost more than just Gardner. If Samardzija doesn't get bombed every time out, adding him and Kuroda should give them the 400 innings the Yankees have been looking for, but will they be quality innings?

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