Cubs’ fans assumed it would take two separate deals to trade both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but they found their trade partner in the Oakland A’s.
The Cubs need young pitching, so you would expect the deal would surround some young arms. Right? Not exactly.
The Oakland A’s are sending their #1 prospect shortstop Addison Russell, #2 prospect outfielder Billy McKinney, pitcher Dan Straily and a rumored player to be named later.
The Cubs now find themselves with a future logjam at shortstop. They gave Starlin Castro a long extension recently and have Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and now Russell all in the high minors. Alcantara has experience at second base, so a future decision between Castro/Baez/Russell will need to be made in the future.
McKinney was the 24th overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft. The Cubs also have some nice outfield prospects coming up, but McKinney is a few years away. He can continue to develop and could end up in the Cubs long-term plans or develop into a trade asset.
Dan Straily was demoted earlier this season, but has pitched well in the minors. He will be needed in the short-term and at only 25 years of age, he could bounce-back and be a major contributor.
As a Cubs fan, did this ‘do it for me’? Yes and no. I do think Russell is a future star, but this just makes everything all muddy. This seems like the first trade in string of future trades. Which is fine, but I feel like one or both of the top prospects in this trade could end up going elsewhere for young arms in the future.
We wish both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel the best in Oakland. This could be just the trade the A’s needed to make to win the AL West.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.