About a month ago, A’s GM Billy Beane talked to Theo Epstein about Jeff Samardzija. Beane wanted to make sure if Epstein was going to trade the right-hander that he call the A’s.
Epstein has been in rebuild mode since joining the Cubs in October 2011, and dealt two starting pitchers in 2012 and again last year. The focus has been on adding pitching and impact talent. But Epstein and Beane had a tough time finding a combination of players that fit each other’s check lists. Beane wanted a way to expand the deal and get more back, and the Cubs were focused on one player who they felt was better than any pitcher offered in exchange.
On Friday, the Cubs acquired a player who now makes the core four the fab five.
“There was no pitcher available who was even close to the caliber of player that Addison Russell…
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