Qualifying offer to Jeff Samardzija likely to end in draft pick for White Sox

CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox never did find a trade partner for Jeff Samardzija by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but they don’t figure to go away empty handed.

The White Sox extended a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer to Samardzija, although the right-handed pitcher is not expected to accept it. In fact no player has accepted a qualifying offer as it is currently constructed. Samardzija has one week, until Nov. 13, to accept or decline the offer.

If a qualifying offer is declined, the team making the offer is granted a compensation draft pick after the first round of next year’s draft. The team that signs a free agent who rejected a qualifying offer loses a pick in next year's draft.

Last year, the White Sox lost second- and third-round picks for signing both David Robertson and Melky Cabrera. They did not lose their first-round pick because it was protected in the top 10. They used that first-round selection to take right-hander Carson Fulmer out of Vanderbilt.

The White Sox are not expected to pursue Samardzija, if and when he hits the open market. Despite his up-and-down season with the White Sox, Samardzija still could be among the top free-agent starting pitchers on the market after top guys Zack Greinke, David Price and Johnny Cueto.

The 30-year-old might have stumbled down the stretch after posting an 11-13 record with a 4.96 ERA over 32 starts, but he still figures to command a multi-year deal on the open market. National League teams are expected to have particular interest.