When the news hit that the Oakland Athletics completed the first big trade of the MLB trade season to bring in two starting pitchers, it hit with a thud. Shortly before the news hit, the Toronto Blue Jays and the A’s had battled into the twelfth inning scoreless with Tommy Milone on the mound. During that game a graphic came up displaying that the A’s were either second or first among all American League teams in terms of their pitching staff. Their starters have the best ERA in the league.
Why then would they trade away their long awaited top prospect Addison Russell to the Cubs to bring two starters over? This seems like a very strange move for the A’s. They tend to usually trust their system more than big trades. Besides they have the best record in MLB so why did they need to fix something this big? It makes little sense. Perhaps Billy Beane knows what he is doing but it raises several questions.
There is no guarantee after all that Samardzija will be able to match his NL success when he regularly faces lineups with the designated hitter. Jason Hammel is also coming over to the AL after seeing a good deal more success in the NL. Because they are the best pitching team in the AL, it is actually very possible that the A’s will take a step either sideways or even backwards with this trade. That makes it seem silly that they lost their best prospect in the deal.
Maybe they missed the look on the Kansas City Royals’ faces when they watched Wil Myers win Rookie of the Year for another team. They could well know what that feels like in the near future and all for two starters who might not even have a long term stay with them. Samardzija is well known to be looking for a lot of money which is why the Chicago Cubs have had to trade him in the first place. This could be great for this season but it strikes as a very odd and expensive trade for a classically great GM.