As baseball’s Hot Stove reaches full blast with the Winter Meetings today, let’s look back at some deals reached in the past few days with free-agent pitchers who are Midwest League alumni.
John Lackey agreed to a 2-year, $32 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. He went 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA, 175 strikeouts and 53 walks in 218 IP for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015. He made five starts for the 2000 Cedar Rapids Kernels, going 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA, 21 strikeouts and five walks in 30.1 innings.
Darren O’Day agreed to a 4-year, $31 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles, for whom he pitched the past four seasons before being granted free agency last month. He made 68 relief appearances for the Orioles in 2015, going 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA, six saves, 82 strikeouts and 14 walks in 65.1 innings. He made 17 relief appearances for the 2006 Cedar Rapids Kernels, going 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA, one save, 14 strikeouts and two walks in 23.1 innings.
Joakim Soria reportedly is finalizing a 3-year, $25 million deal with the Kansas City Royals, for whom he pitched from 2007 to 2011. He had a 2.03 ERA, 28 strikeouts and eight walks in 29 relief appearances (26.2 IP) for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015. He made seven relief appearances for the 2006 Fort Wayne Wizards, posting a 2.31 ERA, 11 strikeouts and two walks in 11.2 innings.
Jeff Samardzija agreed to a 5-year, $90 million deal with the San Francisco Giants. He went 11-13 with a 4.96 ERA, 163 strikeouts and 49 walks in 214 IP for the Chicago White Sox in 2015. He briefly pitched in the Midwest League, making two starts for the 2006 Peoria Chiefs; he struck out four, walked six, and gave up five runs (four earned) in 11 innings.