Beane Spins Magic Again In World Series Quest: Picks Up Samardzija + Hammel For Straily + Prospects

Billy Beane - and the Athletics have seen their team post the best record in the MLB during the regular season for the last 2 years (190 Wins). The franchise has completed the most incredible amount of wins per dollar spent. Enough so, that they should really come out with the movie MoneyBall 2. Beane has been awesome in acquiring his Bullpen for 2014 - without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A's GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel. Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.  With the team's core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now.  The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (Tj Surgeries).

Without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A’s GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel.  Going the other way are: Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Dan Straily and cash compensation, or a PTBNL. With the team’s core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now. The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (TJ Surgeries).

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Billy Beane knows his current squad’s best chance to win the World Series now.

He has upped the ante, by acquiring  Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs for highly rated SS Addison Russell, SP Dan Straily, and young prospect OF Billy McKinney, with a player to be named later or cash finalizing the deal at a later date.

I like this move…rather I love this move.

The A’s GM saw what happened to his club the last few weeks when matched against the pitching of the Tigers, and knew he had to bolster his team for the stretch – to replace A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker, who both went down to Tommy John Surgeries this campaign.

Samardzija is a 29 Year Old converted Quarterback, who has shown a penchant for pitching well this season, and a great portion of last season.  Samardzija is having a great year, compiling a 2.83 ERA on 16 Game Starts, which is light years ahead of his 3.97 career ERA.  His arm is not one that should have problems, with just throwing a baseball in recent years, and not torquing it for years upon years.

Samardzija is a 29 Year Old converted Quarterback, who has shown a penchant for pitching well this season, and a great portion of last season. Samardzija has compiled a 2.83 ERA in 16 Game Starts during 2014, which is light years ahead of his 3.97 career ERA. His arm is not one that should have problems, with just throwing a baseball in recent years, and not torquing for many seasons.  The big RHP will go to a pitchers park in the O.co Coliseum, and a pitching division of ballparks in Angels Stadium and Safeco Field.  Seattle and Los Angeles are the current Wild Card Slot holders – and could be potential playoff matchups.  Beyond that, the A’s have their hired assassin, and have added to their depth overall in also adding Jason Hammel.  Going the other way is no one from the parent MLB club.  Samardzija makes $5.35 MIL in 2014, and has one more year of Arbitration for 2015, meaning the A’s have him for all of the 2015 campaign as well.

Bringing in Samardzija, ( with a 2.83 ERA in 17 Game Starts) despite a 2 – 7 record makes sense both for 2014 and 2015 purposes.

With his salary only costing the A’s roughly $2.5 MIL in 2014 (for the former Notre Dame Football Quarterback), it doesn’t break the bank this season.

What is nice, is that Samardzija may cost around $14 – $16 MIL for his last year of Arbitration for next campaign.  You could never have him agree to that kind of dough in an open market, and it should fall within what the compensation inclusion would be for pending Free Agents this winter.

Hammel (8 – 5, with a 2.98 ERA in 17 Game Starts in 2014) actually costs the A’s a little more in 2014, at nearly $2.8 MIL remaining for the year on his 1 YR deal signed with the Cubs.

Granted the former Cubs and Orioles hurler will walk at the end of the year, this now is a financial commitment for Oakland at around $5.3 MIL in 2014, and $19 – $22 MIL in total when you factor in the dollars to Samardzija next year.

This is the first big deal that Beane has done mid year since trading for Jermaine Dye all the way back in the 2001 season.

The A’s were going through their powerhouse regime of the big 3 Starting Pitchers of Mark Mulder, Barry Zito and Tim Hudson back then – and needed some offensive pop.  Now they have an awesome offense and need run prevention.

A lot of fans and experts were mad at the GM when he didn’t sign Bartolo Colon for the same price the Mets did at 2 YRs/$20 MIL after 2013.

The reason the Beane doesn’t do this is the age of that pitcher, plus the flexibility the team needed for a big deal midway through the year.

The A’s didn’t count on losing Parker and Griffin for the year.

While Jesse Chavez and Drew Pomeranz have done spade work in replacing those two pitchers in the rotation, the Lefty is hurt right now, and Chavez is not used to logging a ton of innings.

This deal also gives Bob Melvin the ability to put Chavez back into the relief core, and go with a rotation of Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray. Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel and Tommy Milone, (who may be the best #5 starter in the AL now.)

With the Pitching Staff also having added Eric O’Flaherty to the Bullpen, (1.99 ERA from 2010 – 2013 with the Braves), the club could also place Pomeranz back into a late inning role as another Lefty – when he returns from injury.

Don’t think for a minute the club is done making moves either.  I am sure Beane and the gang would look to improve the SS situation.

Maybe they have the pieces to add an Asdrubal Cabrera or Jimmy Rollins if they are made available by the Indians or Phillies.

In 2015, the team will part ways with Jim Johnson, and potentially Luke Gregerson out of the Bullpen – who have expiring contracts and are Free aqgents..

You have to think that 1 of either Parker or Griffin can rejoin the squad at some point next year, and join the ranks of Kazmir, Gray, Samardzija and Millone, and again you could begin the year with Chavez or Pomeranz picking up that 5th spot at least to start.

Depth for 2015 will also certainly be helped in the Relief core based on this move.

With Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook, Dan Otero, Evan Scribner, O’Flaherty, Fernando Abad, and Fernando Rodriguez already still under team control, adding Chavez or Pomeranz into that mix for next campaign, will make it easy to lock down the entire staff.

Jed Lowrie and Alberto Callaspo are the only real position players to be leaving the team, so SS may be left to fill the void.

The team still has Utility Infielder Nick Punto for a Team Option in 2015 ($2.75) as an option.

Hiroyuki Nakajima has also made strides in improvement at the AA baseball level in Midland this year, posting a 3 Slash Line of .291/.383/.336.

Once given a 2 YRs/$6.5 MIL deal prior to 2013, maybe he would be in the picture as well.

Doing this right now shows the urgency to win in the next few years.

It will be hard to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes after 2015..

Each year going forward, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Ryan Cook, Jarrod Parker, John Jaso and Josh Reddick will earn raises for Arbitration, all starting in 2015.

Eventually, Sonny Gray will also be due a hefty raise when he receives the same designation.

You have Coco Crisp under contract.  Brandon Moss doesn’t cost a fortune yet, and the tandem of John Jaso and Derek Norris are just approaching the big dollars now.

Sooner or later the club will be torn down, and a new set of players will come into the Bay Area.

These are not new circumstances to Billy Beane, who has been doing this highwire act for the last 15 years.

By having Samardzija earn about the same cash as Kazmir for the next 15 months, the club also will see some money come off the table once the 2015 season is finished.

Beane has figured out a way to increase his talent on the Rotation – without committing for longer than 2 years, and also not guaranteeing that much money either.

The A’s haven’t been burned on a long term deal because they don’t give them out.

Their GM realized that spending money on pitcher’s for lengthy deals is risky.

I mean he wrote the book of knowing when to walk on pitchers, when he traded Mulder and Hudson, and saw Zito travel across town to the Giants.

I won’t go into the numbers (you can see them here in a previous article I wrote here), but he learned the template – and is sticking to it.

The man drafts and cultivates young talent in his system, acquires a lot of former highly touted offensive prospects from other teams, and lets the drafting franchises all pay for the learning curve (ie..Moss, Donaldson), while he takes a low-risk chance on them – only needing a few of them to pan out to their original scouted ability.

This transaction has bought the franchise another 2 chances at the postseason with the most depth out of any ballclub make a run at it, but more importantly, it gives them a fighting chance to matchup pitcher wise.

If at that time, the club says good-bye to both Kazmir and Samardzija, than 2016 should see the team still have Parker, Griffin, Gray,  and whomever…Plus their will be 2 new compensation picks added to the fold.

The A’s could have been content to run the rest of the season with what they had, but they can feel the Angels breathing down their neck in the AL West.

This is a great preemptive strike fired out by the team to the rest of baseball, from a club that has the best record - both since the start of 2012 (243 – 165, .596, and also for 2014 at 53 – 33, .617.)

Jason Hammel was signed to a 1 YR/$6 MIL deal by the Cubs, and will be a great addition as a back end rotation starter for the A's.  Incredibly, he makes more money than his teammate Samardzija in coming to the A's.  In 2014, the veteran hurler has gone 8 - 5,  with a 2.98 ERA in 17 Game Starts.  Hammel is pitching well above his 4.62 Career ERA that he has during his playing days with the Rays, Rockies, Orioles, Cubs and now the Athletics.

Jason Hammel was signed to a 1 YR/$6 MIL deal by the Cubs, and will be a great addition as a back end rotation starter for the A’s. Incredibly, he makes more money than his teammate Samardzija in coming to the A’s. In 2014, the veteran hurler has gone 8 – 5, with a 2.98 ERA in 17 Game Starts. Hammel is pitching well above his 4.62 Career ERA that he has during his playing days with the Rays, Rockies, Orioles, Cubs and now the Athletics.  The 31 Year Old will still have the incentive to pad his impressive numbers, as he is available to hit the open market again after this season.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

For bonus, listen to our Lead Podcast Personality and baseball fanatic Sully dissect this trade on a 22 minute podcast.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 5, 2014

Please e-mail me  at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on July 5, 2014, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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