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The Oakland Athletics, with a baseball’s best 53-33 record, just a got a little better today. According to ESPN Insider Keith Law, Billy Beane and company acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs late Friday night.
Well, so much for “money-ball.”
The full deal is Samardzija and Hammel going to Oakland for 2012 first-round pick Addison Russell, 2013 first-round pick Billy McKinney, pitcher Dan Straily and a player to be named later, according to ESPN.com.
Samardjiza, 29, was easily the most coveted starting-pitcher on the market and he’ll now be pitching in the bay area for a contender, exactly what he’s been so publicly pining for. On the season he is 2-7 with a 2.83 ERA, according to CBSSports.com.
The more important aspect of the A’s getting better right away, this signals a changing of the guard in baseball. Never have the A’s put themselves in the position where they’re dishing out young big-time prospects to get better “now” (especially the case with Russell and McKinney as they could have bright futures ahead of them). They are always on the other end of things by acquiring assets for the future.
It is clear message sent to the rest of the league today by Beane: we are going hard after the 2014 World Series Championship; try to stop us.