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July 2014

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COMMENTS

Cubs Send Jeff Samardzija AND Jason Hammel to Oakland

Written by , Posted in General

Tonight the Cubs celebrated the 4th of July with some fireworks of their own. Late this evening, Twitter was abuzz about a deal involving not one, but both of the main trade pieces the Cubs had on the market this season. The deal has reportedly been finalized and will look as follows:

Chicago SendsJeff Samardzija & Jason Hammel

Oakland SendsAddison Russell, Billy McKinney, and Dan Straily

It’s going to take a few days before we can really know the final workings of the deal, as some are reporting their is also a player to be named later also coming to Chicago as part of the deal. In the meantime, here are my thoughts.

Samardzija – It’s been pretty clear over the last few weeks that the Cubs seemed to be at an impasse with him and that he was all but gone. However, watching the recent success of the team, I began to wonder if it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to pay the price and extend him. I couldn’t really come to a feeling either way. One one hand, we’re seeing so many arms blow out so early now that it’s hard to justify paying for pitching on a long term basis, but on the other hand, you can’t win without it.

HammelI wrote about the fact that Hammel was a little frustrated about being pulled after just over 90 pitches and I think we now know why. My guess is the deal began to seriously heat up while the game was going on and as a result, word was probably sent to the dugout to end his outing after six innings of work. We knew what we had in Hammel, a guy who was brought hear to show that the worry about his arm was nothing and to hopefully catch lightning in a bottle for a flip deal. That’s exactly what we got. I don’t think he’s going to be the type of player that Oakland is expecting him to be, but I don’t think it will work out as poorly for them as it has for the Rangers and Orioles in their dealings for Cubs starting pitching the last two years. Hammel filled a role and we wave goodbye.

RussellThis is the piece that is returning that appears to be the piece that most frustrates Cubs fans, which baffles me. While Russell is a SS, he’s so incredibly young for the level he’s been playing at since he was drafted and projects as a future star. Here are his scouting grades on a 20-80 scale.

Russell Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 65

Now, compare those with Javier Baez

Baez Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 70 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 50 | Overall: 65

Russell is a huge piece of the deal and is currently listed as the 11th best prospect in all of baseball on MiLB.com’s top 100 list. Remember, it’s not always about getting what you “need”, but getting value in return. If Russell brings value, and he definitely does, then it continues to accelerate the rebuild process. Getting Russell is huge.

Billy McKinneyI talked today in my game notes that I was a little worried about the state of the OF in this system. Junior Lake is not the answer to any long term OF question. Former top guys like Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson are not either. That leaves two main names in the system that the Cubs are counting on as true outfielders, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler. Almora has struggled a little this season and Soler can’t seem to stay on the field due to injuries. Adding another OF bat is a big plus.

Dan Straily He immediately slots into the Cubs rotation, with two slots open. My guess is that the other spot will be filled by Tsuyoshi Wada, but no word has come out as of yet. Other options could be Dallas Beeler, Kyle Hendricks, and Chris Rusin. Straily is young and is working on his third year of starting in the Majors. I’ll take that.

There are also rumors that a PTBNL could be coming and some have speculated that it would be Raul Alcantara, who is the A’s 4th rated prospect, but who is rehabbing from Tommy John this season. We’ll have to see how that shakes out.

Ultimately, I like the deal. We add more high ceiling guys for two guys we weren’t going to build around. The more talent we have, the easier it becomes to acquire the missing pieces we need via trade. Overall, I like what went down tonight.

  • Dork

    my initial reaction was “that was all?” I guess we will see, I have to trust that Theo and Jedd know what they are doing.

  • Dork

    my initial reaction was “that was all?” I guess we will see, I have to trust that Theo and Jedd know what they are doing.

  • Dork

    I was also disappointed it was another infeilder, maybe Bryant should try some corner outfeild positions. 2015 line up could be Russell 3B – Acantera cf – Bryant RF – Rizzo – Baez 2b- Castro SS – Final coner OF spot – Castillo.

    • Doc Raker

      Please spreadsheet each position at each level.

      • Dork

        I know some of this is playful banter, but really fangraghs does a much better job of individual stats than I could with my spreadsheet.

      • Doc Raker

        I don’t have time for fan graphs, I depend on my VFTB buds to keep me educated about baseball stats. So much of my spare time is spent educating myself with the overwhelming research that debunks man made global warming.

      • Seymour Butts

        So you are saying that you are not educable.

  • Dork

    I was also disappointed it was another infeilder, maybe Bryant should try some corner outfeild positions. 2015 line up could be Russell 3B – Acantera cf – Bryant RF – Rizzo – Baez 2b- Castro SS – Final coner OF spot – Castillo.

    • Doc Raker

      Please spreadsheet each position at each level.

      • Dork

        I know some of this is playful banter, but really fangraghs does a much better job of individual stats than I could with my spreadsheet.

      • Doc Raker

        I don’t have time for fan graphs, I depend on my VFTB buds to keep me educated about baseball stats. So much of my spare time is spent educating myself with the overwhelming research that debunks man made global warming.

      • Seymour Butts

        So you are saying that you are not educable.

  • beergohs

    Theo, Jed, and Jason are wizards. WIZARDS. This trade is the tits. We freakin’ fleeced the A’s! We’ve got our own burgeoning Murderer’s Row of bats!

    • PLCB3

      I was about to say that about the hitting. If everyone pans out, we will have Murderers Row. We need more teams like the 2004 team. That team was loaded and would have done some serious damage had they made the playoffs. That team hurt me more than the 2003 team believe it or not.

  • beergohs

    Theo, Jed, and Jason are wizards. WIZARDS. This trade is the tits. We freakin’ fleeced the A’s! We’ve got our own burgeoning Murderer’s Row of bats!

    • AC0000000

      I was about to say that about the hitting. If everyone pans out, we will have Murderers Row. We need more teams like the 2004 team. That team was loaded and would have done some serious damage had they made the playoffs. That team hurt me more than the 2003 team believe it or not.

  • Sherm

    I like it. Feel free to stockpile great shortstops. I can think of a few who came up as shortstops and ended up as all stars in other positions: Ernie Banks, Robin Yount, Cal Ripken to name a few HOF’ers from the list. It’s an athletes position. I see Castro as a 3B at some point down the line. They gave up two decent pitchers, probably both of whom wouldn’t have stayed here beyond their current contracts, anyway, and we know Shark turned down a pretty fair extension.

    I am surprised that they didn’t wait for a Yankee offer – with CC down now for the season, I thought they’d put together a nice package, and I’m not sure we have enough left to get a deal done, but I’m banking on Theo to have a better grasp of the rebuild process than I do…

    • Eddie Von White

      Right on, Sherm!

    • Joe Aiello

      “I’m banking on Theo to have a better grasp of the rebuild process than I do…”

      Sherm, this is the best part of what you said, though I agree with all of it. It’s important to know that Theo and Jed see the full picture. We just have a snapshot.

    • Doc Raker

      Maybe the Yanks did make an offer but it wasn’t as good. I would rather have the A’s prospects than the Yanks. The A’s always build from within, not os in the Bronx.

    • Richard Bergstrom

      The Yankees couldn’t have offered as much, prospect-wise, as the A’s could have.

      • Sherm

        Noted – but you rarely see anyone fleece the A’s. My comment was more based on the fact that a desperate Yankee team might overpay.

      • PLCB3

        Not every trade has to be a fleecing. Why can’t you have a trade that works out good for both teams?

      • Sherm

        It’s a wonderful and glorious thing when it works out well for everyone involved, and if I were an arbitrator, that would always be the goal. As a Cub fan, I always prefer to see the Cubs get the best of a trade.

        I think the trade last year to the Rangers was a lopsided one in the Cubs favor. I loved it.

        I’m not saying this was a bad deal – in fact, in my original post, I seem to remember saying that I liked it. I hope, and trust, that they explored all options.

  • Sherm

    I like it. Feel free to stockpile great shortstops. I can think of a few who came up as shortstops and ended up as all stars in other positions: Ernie Banks, Robin Yount, Cal Ripken to name a few HOF’ers from the list. It’s an athletes position. I see Castro as a 3B at some point down the line. They gave up two decent pitchers, probably both of whom wouldn’t have stayed here beyond their current contracts, anyway, and we know Shark turned down a pretty fair extension.

    I am surprised that they didn’t wait for a Yankee offer – with CC down now for the season, I thought they’d put together a nice package, and I’m not sure we have enough left to get a deal done, but I’m banking on Theo to have a better grasp of the rebuild process than I do…

    • Eddie Von White

      Right on, Sherm!

    • Joe Aiello

      “I’m banking on Theo to have a better grasp of the rebuild process than I do…”

      Sherm, this is the best part of what you said, though I agree with all of it. It’s important to know that Theo and Jed see the full picture. We just have a snapshot.

    • Doc Raker

      Maybe the Yanks did make an offer but it wasn’t as good. I would rather have the A’s prospects than the Yanks. The A’s always build from within, not os in the Bronx.

    • Richard Bergstrom

      The Yankees couldn’t have offered as much, prospect-wise, as the A’s could have.

      • Sherm

        Noted – but you rarely see anyone fleece the A’s. My comment was more based on the fact that a desperate Yankee team might overpay.

      • AC0000000

        Not every trade has to be a fleecing. Why can’t you have a trade that works out good for both teams?

      • Sherm

        It’s a wonderful and glorious thing when it works out well for everyone involved, and if I were an arbitrator, that would always be the goal. As a Cub fan, I always prefer to see the Cubs get the best of a trade.

        I think the trade last year to the Rangers was a lopsided one in the Cubs favor. I loved it.

        I’m not saying this was a bad deal – in fact, in my original post, I seem to remember saying that I liked it. I hope, and trust, that they explored all options.

  • Doug S.

    My initial reaction is WTF with the W meaning Who? I sure hope this pans out.

  • Doug S.

    My initial reaction is WTF with the W meaning Who? I sure hope this pans out.

  • lifepainter

    Good trade from a Cubs viewpoint. If I were building a future contender I would stock pile as many top prospects as I could. In the future the Cubs might need to use some of these players as a chip to get a pitcher down the stretch or a big bat to keep them in the playoff hunt.

  • lifepainter

    Good trade from a Cubs viewpoint. If I were building a future contender I would stock pile as many top prospects as I could. In the future the Cubs might need to use some of these players as a chip to get a pitcher down the stretch or a big bat to keep them in the playoff hunt.

  • Doc Raker

    Since most of the trades that Thed has made these past couple of seasons have worked out I have a hard time questioning them. I have the thought that if there is a whole in the rotation at the end of this season they already have some off season rotation pick ups noted on the board. As far as having to many infielders in the system I think you can always turn an infielder into an outfielder but you can’t turn and outfielder into an infielder.

    • Seymour Butts

      And now your grammar is proving it.

    • Seymour Butts

      And now your grammar is proving it.

  • Dork

    Speeking of fangraghs they seem to really like the cubs side and feel that the a’s may have overpaid a bit, but each team got closer to their goals with the trade. The real winner was tampa who know has no competition for a price trade.

    • PLCB3

      We had an advantage over Tampa. We could have used an AL East bidding war to gain leverage. Tampa doesn’t have that option. There is no way in hell they will trade him in the division.

  • Dork

    Speeking of fangraghs they seem to really like the cubs side and feel that the a’s may have overpaid a bit, but each team got closer to their goals with the trade. The real winner was tampa who know has no competition for a price trade.

    • AC0000000

      We had an advantage over Tampa. We could have used an AL East bidding war to gain leverage. Tampa doesn’t have that option. There is no way in hell they will trade him in the division.