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Samardzija: Players’ strike may be only answer to slow market


San Francisco Giants right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija knows what he wants from the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations and also what the players’ union might have to do to get it.

“We’re going to have to get arbitration moved up a year earlier and get guys to free agency earlier,” Samardzija told Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports. “It seems like there might only be one way to get that, but we’ll see.

“Hopefully it doesn’t come to that because we want to keep the fans happy. We want people coming to the stadium and watching a great product, but they need the best product available, and having 50 guys sitting at home that are big-league players is not the best product.”

“You know, striking is the last thing you want to do, but you have to be willing to do it,” he added. “But I think there are other things before then that can get the ball going the right way.”

The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire following the 2021 campaign – two seasons into a five-year agreement – and tensions between the league and the players’ union have grown this winter due to the slow free-agent market. Many notable players remain unsigned, including superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, with teams beginning to officially report for spring training this week.

“Everyone kind of went along with it last year,” Samardzija said. “Because (teams were) saying Machado and Harper are going to be available and we want to save funds for that. Well, now that’s happened.”

On Monday, Justin Verlander also voiced his displeasure with the current market, saying the “system is broken.”

Samardzija, an 11-year veteran, has thrown nearly 1500 innings over his career, making one All-Star Game. The right-hander owns a 4.17 ERA over 328 career games.



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