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.
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.
We’ll have more updates as they become available.
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