A's acquire Samardzija, Hammel from Cubs

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates...

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of an opening day baseball game at PNC Park on Mar 31, 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 8:01 PM ET

The Oakland A's acquired starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs in a multi-player trade that was finalized Saturday.

The Cubs received shortstop prospect and 2012 first-round draft pick Addison Russell, minor league outfielder Billy McKinney, pitcher Dan Straily and a player to be named.

The A's, who already have one of the top pitching staffs in baseball and the best record in the major leagues, added to their rotation as they make a push for a World Series run.

Oakland, 53-33 heading into Saturday, gave up two of its top prospects and a pitcher with major-league experience to get the deal done.

The A's recently obtained pitcher Brad Mills from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations. But the acquisition of Samardzija and Hammel give the A's two starters to plug into their rotation.

Samardzija and Hammel join Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray and Tommy Milone as starters.

"We had to dig into our depth really early, and we felt like we needed two (starting pitchers)," A's general manager Billy Beane said.

Samardzija is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season. The Cubs were unable to work out a contract extension with the 29-year-old.

Samardzija is just 2-7 in 17 starts but has a 2.83 ERA.

"Jeff has been a bit of workhorse," Beane said. "He's got a perfect health record. He's a guy that continues to develop. He's gotten better and better each year he goes out. There's a certain amount of self-confidence to take the career path that he did, and I've always sort of admired that from afar."

Hammel is in the middle of a one-year, $6 million deal. The 31-year-old is 7-5 with a 2.98 earned-run average in 16 starts.

Chicago, 38-46 and last in the National League Central, is filling its minor league system with talent in hopes of contending in the future.

"We certainly hope that this is the last year that we're obvious sellers at the trade deadline," Cubs general manager Theo Epstein said.

Russell, 20, is one of the top-ranked prospects in all of baseball. He plays shortstop, the same position as Cubs starter Starlin Castro and Triple-A Iowa's Javier Baez. Russell has been slowed by a hamstring strain but is batting .333 in 58 at-bats with Double-A Midland.

McKinney, 19, is batting .241 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs in 75 games with Single-A Stockton this season.

Straily, 25, is 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA in seven starts with the A's. In the past three seasons, the right-hander is 13-11 with a 4.11 ERA in 41 starts. Epstein said the club will likely send Straily to Triple-A.


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