By Bruce Levine--
(CBS) As expected, the White Sox have made a one-year qualifying offer to right-hander Jeff Smardzija. What this means is that Samardzija, a free agent, has one week to accept or decline the offer for $15.8 million, which is the rate for all free agents who are extended qualifying offers by their previous clubs.
Samardzija will turn down the offer and pursue a long-term deal for more guaranteed money as a free agent. The White Sox will be rewarded with a sandwich pick in the 2016 June amateur free agent draft once Samardzija signs elsewhere. A sandwich pick is awarded to a team who loses a type A free agent. The pick comes between the first and second round of the draft.
The 30 year old Samardzija had a disappointing season with the White Sox after being acquired in a seven-player deal with the Athletics in December 2014. Samardzija was 11-13 with a 4.96 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 2015. He has an overall record of 47-61 record over parts of eight seasons. A northwest Indiana native and former Notre Dame football star, Samardzija has a 4.09 ERA for his career.
Samardzija has thrown at least 213 innings in each of the past three years. He never found a natural groove with the White Sox, as his strikeout ratio was down and he surrendered more hits than any pitcher in baseball last year.
The Cubs will be among the numerous teams interested in talking to and perhaps signing Samardzija this offseason.
Free agency starts at 11:01 p.m. CT Friday.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.
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