The Astros recently scouted White Sox' starter Jeff Samardzija as they look into potentially-available starting pitching options, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Houston is currently looking into many starters as it begins its preparation for the trade deadline.
Samardzija, 30, has struggled in his first year with the White Sox, posting a 4.58 ERA in eight starts after being acquired from the Athletics during the Winter Meetings. He has been traded twice in the last year, being originally dealt from the Cubs to the A's last July before going back to Chicago in December, and is considered a candidate to be dealt again if the White Sox are out of contention in July. He is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of this season, meaning that any team acquiring him would be getting a rental for the stretch run.
The Astros rotation has struggled to a 4.28 ERA so far this season, as Scott Feldman, Collin McHugh and Roberto Hernandez have struggled behind ace Dallas Keuchel. The team has dealt with injuries and inconsistencies in its fifth rotation spot, with Sam Deduno, Brett Oberholtzer and rookie Lance McCullers among the names who have been slotted in so far this season.
The team is considered likely to make a pitching move because of these struggles, and may land a significant piece due to their strong minor-league system and ability to trade assets to contend this season. In addition to Samardzija, pitchers like Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto, Aaron Harang and Scott Kazmir are expected to be available this summer.