Chicago Cubs fans won’t be happy about this, but a pair of your best pitchers are heading West to the league leading Oakland Athletics. The deal will send, should-be ace Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s in exchange for 2012 1st round pick Addison Russell, 2013 1st round pick Billy McKinney and pitcher Dan Straily.
The Cubs have been working quite a while on getting Samardzija to sign a long-term deal, but things never got done. Reportedly, Jeff turned down a 5-year $85 million dollar deal offered. The A’s who lead the majors with 53 wins just got a lot stronger in the rotation. Samardzija, despite his 2-7 record, has been stellar this season. He’s slipped of late, but his surrounding team and lack of run support for much of the year could be starting to weigh down on him. Now in Oakland, he could see a much better second half for himself (in terms of wins) and for his fantasy owners.
Jason Hammel on the other hand had been enjoying his best major league season in nine years, going 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA thus far. Working on just a one-year deal with the Cubs, he knew that the likelihood of him getting dealt was high after his nice run. Hammel also has some post-season experience having started three games, which will come in handy if he continues to pitch well for Oakland.
While the Cubs keep loading up on talent in the farm, their fans will have to keep patient. This year was already over before it started and now you’ve got two more solid, young players waiting in the wings.