In a move that will have huge implications for the Tampa Bay Rays, the A’s and Cubs have reached an agreement on a trade that will send pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from Chicago to Oakland according to several media reports.
This move came after the A’s failed to trade for David Price according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
“They talked with the Rays,” wrote Passan. “Permutations of a deal went back and forth. It never materialized.”
This trade will also lead to more teams calling the Rays about trading for Price.
Samardzija and Price were considered the two best pitchers available on the market and both won’t be free agents until after the 2015 season. Now that Samardzija has been moved, any team looking for a difference maker will now turn their attention to Price.
This doesn’t mean that the Rays will indeed trade Price as the team continues to play better. But if somebody is willing to meet the Rays’ demands, it may not matter how well the team is playing and Price will be moved.
One of the players dealt by the A’s for the Cubs’ pitchers was top shortstop prospect Addison Russell. According to Passan, the A’s were willing to include Russell in a deal for Price.
Russell is the 14th-best prospect according to Baseball America and is expected to be ready to be a full-time big leaguer next year.