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Big fish: Shark reportedly has $100M offer

Despite coming off worst season as starter, Samardzija drawing much interest

Right-hander Jeff Samardzija might not be the free-agent bargain many teams expected.

The 30-year-old Samardzija, who is coming off the worst season of his career, is said to have a $100 million offer on the table, according to ESPN.

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No length of the offer has been reported, but the amount shouldn't be a surprise. Not only are aces getting big contracts (David Price's seven-year, $217 million deal with Boston being the latest example), but so are non-aces such as Jordan Zimmermann with Detroit (five years, $110 million) and J.A. Happ with Toronto (three years, $36 million).

Baseball people covet Samardzija today for the same reasons they always have: his competitiveness, athleticism (he's a former star Notre Dame wide receiver), durability (three consecutive seasons of 200-plus innings) and the lack of innings on his arm, despite his age, because of his two-sport background and the fact that he didn't transition to the starting rotation until 2012.

Those factors -- coupled with the belief that hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field, mechanical issues and a below-average White Sox defense contributed to a disappointing 2015 season in which he posted a 4.96 ERA and allowed a league-high 228 hits -- make him an intriguing and popular target.

Many clubs have been reported to have interest in Samardzija, who will cost whichever team signs him a Draft pick after he turned down the White Sox qualifying offer, though his potential suitors could dwindle if the $100 million offer is true. Among those thought to have the most interest include the Cubs (who drafted and developed him), Giants, Orioles and Yankees.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.
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