White Sox, Samardzija wait out trade deadline week

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BOSTON – Will he or won’t he?

Jeff Samardzija is planning on pitching for the White Sox Tuesday and manager Robin Ventura is planning on him, but with three days left before the trade deadline Friday, everyone on the White Sox is kind of waiting around to see if Samardzija stays or goes.

“I have him penciled in [Tuesday],’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “As of right now he’s pitching for me. I don’t assume to make an adjustment. I would like him to pitch for me.’’

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, and a few other managers as well, could do a lot worse than having Samardzija pitch for them. The Jays need pitching, the White Sox need prospects, and the two could be a good fit in a deal.

The Sox won their fifth straight game Monday and general manager Rick Hahn, who is not under pressure to trade the second biggest piece in his rotation, may wait till Friday to decide. The Sox have a half dozen bunched-up teams to top for a wild-card berth so they’ll need Samardzija if they go for it, and they stand to get a compensatory draft pick if they keep him for the rest of the year and make him a qualifying offer before he becomes a free agent. So all would not be lost if the non-waiver deadline passes by without a deal.

“It’s kind of unfortunate we are playing our best baseball at the time of the trade deadline, we’re making Rick have a lot more white hair, I’m sure,’’ Sox outfielder Adam Eaton said. “I’m sure he knows what to do but we’re playing our best baseball right now. Nothing we can do. Just continue to try to play good baseball.’’

When Jake Peavy was in trade talks leading to the deadline two years ago, he expressed appreciation for Hahn keeping him up to speed on what was happening.

“I’ve left that up to my agent and Rick, and I’m going to let them handle it,’’ Samardzija said. “I’m just trying to stay in my lane and just do what I do with pitching and let everyone else handle that. Rick’s a professional, Rick’s one of the best I’ve worked with, and I have full confidence in him respectfully keeping me informed or not informed, depending on what he knows and doesn’t know.’’

The extra wild card and parity creates more of a gray area for teams like the Sox, who were built to win but failed miserably before winning 18 of their last 30. The Sox need Samardzija to maintain that pace. They also might be wise to get something in return and revisit him in free agency.

“Within each front office of every team, they have an idea of how they feel it’s going,’’ Samardzija said. “Sometimes the record doesn’t totally show the situation of the team, so I’m sure they assess that amongst themselves and go from there. All we can do is show up and play every day.

“We love how we’ve been playing. Our little road trip here against an Indians team that was down a little bit on offense with some injuries, and obviously everyone knows the status of this [44-55] Boston team [that traded Shane Victorino to the Angels before Monday’s game], so we need to come in and handle our business, and when the deadline comes down the road, you see where you’re at.’’

Samardzija pitched at Fenway as a Cubs reliever, so he was looking forward to a first start at the historic ballpark. Nothing against AAA Charlotte right-hander Erik Johnson, whose altered schedule makes him available Tuesday just in case, but Ventura — enjoying a nice run of success finally this season — would like to see Samardzija.

“I’m scheduled to pitch him tomorrow,’’ Ventura said, “and [Hahn] gave me the ‘Yeah he’s going to pitch tomorrow.’ That’s where I go.’’


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