Nationals to discuss possible Jeff Samardzija deal

Tasos Katopodis

Washington is looking to acquire a starting pitcher this offseason, and have the pieces to make a trade.

The Washington Nationals are expected to discuss a possible trade involving Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija during the GM Meetings, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

The Nationals have indicated that they have the talent to trade for a quality starting pitcher, possibly a similar deal to the Gio Gonzalez deal the team completed before the 2012 season. Washington general manager Mike Rizzo discussed the possibility with Kilgore, stating:

"We certainly now again have the depth to go out and acquire a player via the trade market. The guys are closer now. We see what we refer to as the ‘new wave,' and that wave is about major league ready in '14, whereas last year we had a little bit of a gap because of the Gio trade."

The team has been linked to David Price and Max Scherzer, but Samardzija may represent a cheaper option who could still upgrade the Nationals rotation.

Samardzija went 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA last season, but his peripheral statistics indicate that he pitched better than his ERA and record show. The right-hander struck out 214 batters over 213 2/3 innings, and his FIP has been under 3.80 each of the past three seasons.

The right-hander is scheduled for free agency after the 2015 season. Chicago has also discussed a possible Samardzija trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.

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