Trade Rumors: Cubs Earning Straight A's?

Trade Rumors: Cubs Earning Straight A's?

UPDATE 9:45

Rosenthal is reporting it's a done deal.  Samardzija and Hammel are going to the A's.  Addison Russell and more are coming back.  We will have more soon.

 

UPDATE 9:25

Mauricio Rubio of Baseball Prospectus and some Cubs' blog reports that Billy McKinney, an outfielder for the high A Stockton Ports was a late scratch.

 

Ken Rosenthal broke a big story on this 4th of July: the Cubs are in serious talks with the A's on a trade that would involve "Jason Hammel and/or Jeff Samardzija."  This makes a lot of sense.  The A's are perennially budget constrained yet find themselves in need of another starter with serious injury problems hitting their rotation.  Three of the four guys who have started in the five slot for them (Dan Straily, Drew Pomerantz, and Josh Lindbloom) are currently on the disabled list.  Moreover, #4 starter Tommy Milone has put up average numbers to this point.

Nonetheless, the A's have been the best team in baseball with a 55-33 record and a +128 run differential.  Adding Samardzija or Hammel to the top of a rotation that already features Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir would give the A's one of the better rotations in the game.

The cost would be significant, though.  Rosenthal reports that SS Addison Russell is being discussed.  This could well be a coincidence but Russell is not in the lineup for the A's AA affiliate Midland RockHounds.  Russell is an above average defender at short with a plus hit tool and a plus power tool.  Injuries have limited him to 18 games so far this season, but he triple slashed .275/.377/.508 as a 19-year old in high A Stockton last year.  A package led by Russell would be an outstanding return for either pitcher.

Intriguingly, A's blogger Chris Kusiolek, who runs a site very similar to CubsDen, reports: "Cubs scouts were in Stockton a couple weeks ago specifically scouting Addison Russell."

We'll have more updates as they become available.

 

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  • Empty speculatulion here, but what if this is a HUGE trade, & A's want Castro?

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    In reply to Andy Cupp:

    I don't think even the A's have enough prospects for that. They'd want 3 prospects the level of Russell to consider trading Starlin at this point.

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    In reply to Andy Cupp:

    I don't think they have the ammo to return enough for a pitcher (or two) AND Castro.

    I see where you're coming from, especially since Castro's deal makes him fairly cheap and the A's are cash strapped, but all of their top 20 wouldn't be enough for Castro, Hammel "and/or" Shark

  • In reply to Andy Cupp:

    No way on Castro. Has to for Addison and others for Shark IMO.

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    Didn't Addison Russell look great in AFL last Fall?

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    .282/.362/.435 as a 19 year old. Similar to (but lower than) his teammate Albert Almora.

  • Landing Russell would be an unbelievable get.

    However, what problems does he solve? I know he is an elite prospect and likely the best prospect we can get in ANY deal, but we would have an INFLUX of talented MI (Castro, Baez, Alcantara, Russell).

    Something would have to give...

    Given the significant drop-off in talent in the A's farm-system, I would hope that if Shark is involved, Russell is too, because the Cubs would likely be getting the short-end of the stick otherwise.

    It'll be interesting to see how this plays out but something tells me that one of the MI already in the farm system would presumably be dealt elsewhere in the winter for a more-established SP or OF help.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I've gotta believe that they're acquiring players so that they have some chips for separate trades for pitchers. They surely wouldn't go after Price?? Or make a run at Stanton? The shortstop redundancy makes me wonder what they've got up their sleeves.

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    I was thinking the same thing.

    If Shark "And" Hammel are being discussed the ruturn would have to be pretty big.

    I don't think injured guys like Jarrod Parker or Pomeranz can be traded, right?

    None of this makes sense.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Injured guys can absolutely be traded. Think about Arodys Vizcaino.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    agreed. I think a Shark deal with Russell has to include either Parker or Griffin -- the A's just don't have any other pitching since Alcantara had TJ

  • Oakland does have another SS "waiting in the wings" D. Robertson.

    I just don't see Oakland trading Russell for Hammel ?

  • Wow.

    Now, we wait...

    Russell could easily be flipped for pitching, but certainly doesn't have to be. Bryant moving to the OF makes room for Addison to join the infield in 2016 with Baez, Castro and Russell inhabiting third, short and second in any number of combinations.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    I always thought that last year people were crazy for talking about trading Castro because of Baez, but I COULD see the Cubs moving Castro for Russell.

    (Not soon, obviously)

    This is CRAZY, though.
    Won't SOMEBODY think of the children?!

  • If the deal includes Russell I would assume the deal would be for shark. Hard to imagine getting Russell for a few months of hammel. And if hammel is the one they are talking about and Russell was in the deal the cubs front office deserves an award

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    In reply to INgold91:

    Totally agree.

  • There's got to be more to this than just getting Addison Russell. Castro is signed to a long term contract. Would the cubs really want another shortstop? Who do the As have other than Russell that the cubs would want? Or is it possible that a three way trade is in the offing?

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    In reply to pricewriter:

    Russell is super young

    If the Cubs got him he would at the very minimum spend all of 2015 in triple-A.

    So even if they wanted to trade Castro before the '16 season he would have 4 years at a (very affordable) 9MM a year.

    That is a mighty strong trade piece.

  • The As have a closer they inked to a big contract but he didn't do well for them. Could he be part of a package?

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    In reply to pricewriter:

    You're thinking of Jim Johnson. That's an interesting idea. Trading him would save the A's about $5 million this season. I could see that being how the Cubs pay Samardzija's contract.

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    I can hear every prospect-guru in the country already.

    Russell got traded to who? Oh, screw this, I quit!

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    If nothing else they are doing the A's are doing the Cubs a favor like they did last year with the Garza trade. The price of Samardzija and Hammel goes up with a rumor that we could get such an elite talent in return.

    If this is true we could open up the check book and get some pitching. Wouldn't it be awesome if Samardzija came back in 2015?

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    In reply to Daniel Rosenberg:

    you mean '16? Shark is under contract for '15.

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    Jim Callis recently wrote on MLB.com that the I-Cubs have the best lineup in the minors.

    the companion piece by Mato says that The Tsocton Ports have the best lineup.

    We all know how much Theo loves and values hitters / position prospects.

    I'm not sure where he plans to stash them all, IF that is the route he is going but SHEESH.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    On second thought, everyone in our double-A lineup not named "Bruno" is pretty expendable.

  • I saw this on another website.

    cubsbeatthecards
    17 minutes ago

    @dmoney0905 Billy McKinney was a late scratch. Might be getting close

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    I dont like this match. Aside from Russell the A's system is pretty barren with most of their top guys having graduated or in low-A ball.

    Pitching needs to come back in any deal involving our top-2 trade chips. This system needs an influx of quality SP prospects and if you're going to trade Shark he is the ticket to get them. I like Russell a lot but hope this deal doesn't go down.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I agree, there doesn't appear to be much beyond Russell in their system, at least not enough for a deal for Samardzija. I could actually see this more at a deal for Hammel, with the Cubs and A's adding additional players. I really think the Cubs will hold out for much more for the Shark, and that this will just be a primer deal.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Marcel, it would appear to me this is just to load the system to the point we have the ammo to make any trade for pitching needed. Plus, it signals to me that they will be in on a big pitcher or even two in FA.

    Cubs have the best farm in baseball with this trade and it isn't close.

    Boy I hope Arreita is a TOR guy, we need that now!

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Maybe, just maybe they're acquiring guys that their "real" trade partners want for the "real" trades they want to make for that pitching....

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    Russell. Bill Mckinney(rated #2 prospect in A's system), AND Raul Alcantara(rated #2 by BA) ALL scratched tonight........

    Interesting. I change my mind. Im liking this if its all 3 for Hammel/Shark/Barney oe Valbuena as rumored.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Sounds like there's a third team involved as well. That's makes sense actually. One pitcher for each team, we soak up the prospects. Or the As get both, mystery team gets Russell, we get SP prospects.

  • The A's are one of the worst trade partners I could hope for. If you are trading Hammels ok, but otherwise you aren't getting anything that would help the club next year. It would be a step back as far as I'm concerned. The A's have nice prospects but moist are several years away. Russell is a good prospect but unless you are flipping him for pitching what's the point?

  • Who's this Alcantarra on the A's that they keep saying is involved and is giving Cub Fans heart attacks all across twitter?

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    In reply to felzz:

    A's #1 pitching prospect.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    he just underwent Tommy John. he would have to be a toss-in I think

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statsd.aspx?playerid=sa548100&position=P

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    In reply to felzz:

    The heart attack was the original report was it was Arismendy Alcantara going to Oakland.

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    Muricio tweeting it's a done deal. Shark and Hammel for Russell

    More players probably but...who knows.

    Stunning.

  • I wonder if the discussions include Valbuena. He seems like the sort of OBP player the A's really value.

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    Rosenthal says deal is done. More parts involved than just Hammel, Shark, and Russell

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I would certainly hope so.....even the #11 prospect in baseball doesn't get Samadzija by himself, let alone Hammel as well. I've been combing the A's system and just don't see much of interest enough beyond Russell. This isn't adding up from the current reports.

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    In reply to WSorBust:

    Exactly.......you need to get multiple top 100 players just for shark, but to give both of them for one top 10-15 and a back of the rotation filler........where are the lottery tickets?

    Least Russell hits from the left side

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    You know what they say. When Arguello goes away, it's time to play.

    Seriously. John, WHY Y NO HERE WHEN STUFF GOES DOWN!?

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    Keith Law tweeted:

    Cubs/A's deal official. Samardzija and Hammel for Russell, McKinney, Straily, PTBNL.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    The FO must be in absolute LOVE with Russell to give up both pitchers for him, a A= level CF, and a pitcher who was demoted from a team short on them.

    I don't hate the deal though.

    Russell was ranked Law's #3 prospect to start the season. I don't care what his position is, that has absurd value.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Mckinney and Straily don't excite me much. At least Straily can step right in the rotation. Wonder about that PTBNL. Last one of those we had became Neil Ramirez.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    McKinney is even younger than Russell, or any of our top prospects. Still a teenager and holding his own in A+ as a CF

    I like it.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I agree and I especially like the BB/K ratio for a 19 year old at an advanced level. Good power as well, interesting prospect.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    I like that haul for Samardija, guess Theo felt like giving the A's a bonus w Jason Hammel.............

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Dan Straily?

  • God I love the cubs front office. Loveee this trade

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    Why not trade the pitchers to two different destinations........I don't like this deal although Russell is a cant miss prospect who should probably start at 2nd immediately

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He's in AA and has only played 18 games this year due to injury. Add that he is super young + Baez and Alcantara at AAA and there's absolutely no rush to get Russell up.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Wow, I just remember seeing him in Arizona fall league and thought he would be ready at end of the year, well that was the impression the announcers gave for Addison.

    So no players to help the team now ( which is okay because they want to tank) and no TOR potential arms?

    Say it ain't so

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    We have believed in the boy wonder this long, might as well keep drinking that yellow kool aid.

    Just wished they traded Hammel to someone else......weren't they asking for at least one top 50 prospect plus 2 top 100 plus parts for just shark........shouldn't we be getting 4 top 100 prospects for both of them?

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Russell is top 3-5. He's probably worth 4 top 100's.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Excellent point Marcel. All top 50 prospects are not created equal. The closer to the top of the list they are their value increases and not linear. The Cubs will likely have 3 top 10-15 range prospects at years end. absurd! Especially with gobs of other excellent prospects!

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Oh wow, I didn't know he was a cant miss prospect like a Bryce Harper/Machado/trout/Stanton/springer/Polanco........well then it's not a bad deal

    Too bad we still need pitching

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I was thinking the same thing. Front office is looking for impact players and he fits that. Also middle infield has been proven to be a huge commodity and can fetch starting too. On one hand I love it and the other I just don't know much about the players so hard to get too excited. Farm system is easily up for argument of top in all of baseball. So even with next year promotions to the big league, the waves and waves are still coming.

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    Still thinking a 3rd team might get in on this.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    10:03pm: There is no third team involved in the final deal, tweets Morosi.

    10:00pm: There is no PTBNL, but otherwise the deal is as reported by Law, tweet Rosenthal and Morosi.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Yeah, me too. Third team could get some of Oakland's starting pitching now that they have Shark and Hammel, and that PTBNL could be from a third team (and really make this a huge win for the Cubs).

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    In reply to Henry Loose:

    Yankees rumored to have been 3rd team but fell through. Were going to get Hammel and Russell.

    Interested to know who they were giving up.

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    In reply to Henry Loose:

    How is this a win for the cubs unless Russell turns into Robinson Cano

    We got no TOR prospects ie zero lottery tickets for 2 of the top 4 trade assets in the league

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    In reply to Henry Loose:

    Yea if that PTBNL is named later is Jarrod Parker then this is a good deal

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    I'm highly disappointed that we trade both Shark and Hammels and do not get a pitching prospect that can help us in the near future. Straily is garbage. McKinney only has a hit tool and nothing else. Russell is great but redundant.

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    In reply to Denvil Farley:

    Addison Russell is on Bryant/Baez-level. Maybe even above them. That's a premium players. TheoJed could easily get that stud pitcher with Russell alone.

    All about collecting assets. Doesn't mean you have to hang on to all of them.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Couldn't agree more, and redundancy does have value because beauty is in the eye of beholder. Want a SS, I have a Castro, Baez, Russell, heck even and Alcantara, what do you like?

    Could we be loading the gun to run at a Price type trade?

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    In reply to Denvil Farley:

    I always give the FO the benefit of the doubt, but Billy Beane looks to have won this deal as he's the creator of this game our FO try's to play.

    Hopefully someone doesn't pass their physical so the deal gets voided.

    Unless they plan on trading Castro or Baez for a couple TOR arms, I don't get sending both pitchers in one deal, especially this one

  • I take one night off with my family and the bulk of the Cubs trade season is done. Thanks for covering this Moody....

  • Surprised we traded both to the A's but the return looks terrific.

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    Everyone cross your fingers that the PTBNL is Jarrod Parker..........

    We have to pray just to make it today, I say we Praaaaaay, pray

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    Straily seems to have lost velo since 2012 when he averaged 91-92mph topping out at 94mph. Down to about 88-90. Wonder if it's mechanical and correctable.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Hoping for some Bosio/Johnson magic. Also not to forget about coming over the National league.

  • Parker is recovering from a second TJ surgery
    The prognosis on a second TJ is nowhere as good as the first surgery
    The Cubs need the ptbnl to be solid otherwise I can't see how they didn't get more

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