While Jeff Samardzija probably has about three more weeks with the White Sox, Oakland has a long future ahead with Marcus Semien and Josh Phegley.
A’s manager Bob Melvin feels pretty good about his team’s end of last December’s six-player deal that sent Samardzija and a prospect to the White Sox for Semien, Phegley, Chris Bassitt and prospect Rangel Ravelo.
Despite a rash of early errors, Oakland likes how Semien has developed this season and believes it has found an everyday shortstop. Semien, who has a .255/.303/.386 slash line with 11 homers and 37 RBIs in 532 plate appearances, batted leadoff and started at short on Monday night. Phegley -- hitting .248/.296/.449 with nine homers in 230 plate appearances -- started and hit seventh in the opener of a four-game series.
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“(Marcus has) been the guy who's been out there on an everyday basis, where Josh has the ability to and certainly Bassitt, we feel like, has the ability to be a rotation guy with us, whether it's middle, back end, depending on who we have here,” Melvin said. “It's worked out well for us with all these guys."
Aside from a stellar July, things haven’t been as good on the White Sox end as Samardzija has struggled. Samardzija’s defense hasn’t done him any favors but it doesn’t account for all of his woes. He’s 9-12 with a 4.89 ERA and plans to test the free-agent market after this season.
His production hasn’t been what he hoped but Samardzija still expects to command a nice contract this winter. The one positive for the White Sox would be that they retain a compensatory first-round pick by offering Samardzija a qualifying offer.