Where are they now? Checking in on former Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images)
Jeff Samardzija / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Jeff Samardzija (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Headed over to the American League for the first time

That year, Oakland’s front office jettisoned its typically forward-thinking philosophy and went all-in trying to win it all. Weeks after shoring up the rotation with Hammel and Samardzija, the A’s traded for Jon Lester, as well. Of course, as we now know, the Boston left-hander wound up inking a six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs that offseason.

Samardzija held his own with the Athletics, working to a 0.931 WHIP across 111 2/3 innings of work as Oakland advanced to the AL Wild Card Game, losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Kansas City Royals. Following the loss, Oakland sent the right-hander back to the Windy City – this time the White Sox – for a package of players, including current A’s standout Marcus Semien.

He spent just one year on the South Side – and it wasn’t a particularly impressive campaign heading into free agency for the first time. His 228 hits and 118 earned runs allowed were major league-highs and his 29 home runs marked an American League-worst. Still, his raw stuff was enough for the San Francisco Giants to ink him to a five-year, $90 million deal that offseason.

If there was one thing the Giants knew they were getting – it was durability. In his first season with San Francisco, Samardzija eclipsed 200 innings for the fourth-straight year – and as fate would have it, a date against the team that drafted him awaited in the first round of the postseason.