(670 The Score) It has been six-and-a-half years since right-hander Jeff Samardzija last pitched for the Cubs, but he could soon return to his roots.
Samardzija will work out and throw for the Cubs at some point in the next few days, according to sources. Samardzija, 36, became a free agent when the Giants released him in late September after he had rehabbed a sore shoulder for most of the season.
A native of Valparaiso, Indiana, Samardzija was selected by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2006 amateur draft. He pitched for the Cubs from 2008 until they dealt him to the Athletics as part of the Addison Russell trade midway through the 2014 season. Samardzija then pitched for the White Sox in 2015.
Samardzija earned his lone All-Star appearance while pitching for the Cubs in 2014, when he posted a 2.83 ERA before the midseason trade. Samardzija has a 4.15 ERA in his 13-year MLB career. He had a 9.72 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in four appearances, all starts, for the Giants in 2020. Samardzija had a strong 2019 season, compiling a 3.52 ERA in 32 starts.
Samardzija isn’t the only locally familiar face whom the Cubs will be watching pitch soon. Left-hander Carlos Rodon, whom the White Sox non-tendered in early December, will throw for Cubs scouts as well.
The Cubs still need to add a veteran starter or two as well as depth to their bullpen.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.