The Cubs and Athletics are in serious discussions regarding a major swap that would deliver Chicago starters Jason Hammel “and/or” Jeff Samardzija to Oakland, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Top Oakland prospect Addison Russell has been discussed, according to the report.
Needless to say, a deal involving both Hammel and Samardzija would represent a stunning early turn in the market. The pair of Cubs hurlers has long been rumored to be among the best arms likely to change hands over the summer.
Hammel is a sturdy option to bolster a rotation down the stretch. Signed to a one-year, $6MM contract entering the season, he owns a solid 2.98 ERA with 8.5 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9 through 102 2/3 frames.
Samardzija, on the other hand, represents a possible mid or even long-term piece. He is earning a modest $5.35MM in his second (and second-to-last) season of arbitration eligibility. Though his excellent 2.83 ERA (8.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9) through 108 frames will warrant a significant raise next year, he surely projects to deliver significant excess value over his contract potential. And a team acquiring Samardzija may well make a run at an extension.