OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – One of baseball’s best rotations is about to get even better.
The Oakland Athletics have an agreement in place to acquire right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs for three top prospects in a surprising trade for the team with the best record in the majors, two people with knowledge of the deal said Friday night.
The people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was still pending, said the Athletics will send top prospect and shortstop Addison Russell, outfielder Billy McKinney and pitcher Dan Straily to the Cubs. An official announcement is expected Saturday.
The trade is a rare move under general manager Billy Beane in which Oakland — one of baseball’s most frugal franchises — is parting with talented young prospects for proven players to chase a World Series title. The A’s are a major league-best 53-33 after beating the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 in 12 innings Friday but have come up short in the playoffs recently.
Samardzija and Hammel give the two-time defending AL West champions a powerful punch.