White Sox

White Sox extend qualifying offer to Jeff Samardzija

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White Sox extend qualifying offer to Jeff Samardzija

They didn’t receive much on the field, but the White Sox are still hoping to get some value from Jeff Samardzija.

The White Sox extended a qualifying offer to the pitcher on Friday, which ensures they would receive a compensatory draft pick were he to sign with another team after free agency kicks off at 11:01 p.m. CST.

[RELATED - White Sox decline 2016 option on Alexei Ramirez]

Samardzija — who went 11-13 with a 4.96 ERA for the White Sox — has until next Friday to accept the club’s one-year, $15.8-million offer. However, the right-hander is expected to decline, as he should receive considerable interest on the open market this offseason.

The New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cubs are believed to be among a number of parties interested in Samardzija, who was acquired by the White Sox from the Oakland A’s last December in exchange for four players.

Samardzija never quite lived up to the hype as he pitched for the team for which he grew up rooting. The Northwest Indiana native allowed five earned runs in an Opening Day loss to Kansas City, one of 11 starts in which he yielded at least as many earned runs.

While Samardzija was fantastic in five July starts leading up to the trade deadline, he failed miserably after the White Sox opted to hang on to him. Samardzija lost six straight starts after July 31 and eight of nine overall, including a disastrous effort Sept. 15 in which he gave up 10 earned runs and 11 hits in three innings.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Still, teams are expected to line up for the Notre Dame product, who has low mileage on his arm despite the fact he’ll be 31 on Opening Day 2016. Samardzija only has 1,501 innings pitched as a pro pitcher, including 991 2/3 in the majors.

No player ever has accepted a qualifying offer. The White Sox would receive a compensatory pick after the first round if Samardzija signs elsewhere as expected. 

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

As the White Sox have added young Cuban stars in the making in Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, Jose Abreu's long-term role on the team has shifted.

The 31-year-old first baseman has been looked at as something of a mentor for the two young Cubans. He seems to be delivering on that so far.

Abreu picked up Moncada from the airport when he first was called up to the White Sox last July. Now he's helping Robert in the batting cage.

The Cuban trio is expected to play a big part of the White Sox future in the coming years. 

Robert has already stated his goal of making it to the majors this year to join Abreu and Moncada, but that may be an overly ambitious goal. Either way, plenty of eyes will be on him throughout 2018 as he marches towards the White Sox roster and his Cuban teammates.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Tim Anderson opens up about his struggles in 2017 and why he wants White Sox fans "to know the real me."

Anderson dives into his personal tragedy from last season when his best friend was murdered in Alabama. 

He talks with Chuck Garfien about the dark days that happened, how counseling helped him, his new leadership role in 2018, if he'll draw more walks this season, "bringing swag to the South Side" with Yoan Moncada and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here: