The Oakland A's have reportedly traded pitcher Jeff Samardzija to the Chicago White Sox for infielder Marcus Semien, pitcher Chris Bassitt, and a third, mystery player.
This is not quite the return that I suspect A's fans were expecting for Samardzija. The A's, of course, dealt Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, Dan Straily and a PTBNL to the Cubs back in July for Samardzija and Jason Hammel, in what was widely seen to be a deal to solidify the playoff rotation for the team running away with the A.L. West. Instead, the A's collapsed in the second half, finished second in the division, and lost the Wild Card Game to the Kansas City Royals, reminding everyone, once again, not to trade for Cubs pitchers.
A few years back, Billy Beane traded Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith to the Colorado Rockies for Matt Holliday, then dealt Holliday to the Cardinals in the middle of that same season for a package headlined by Brett Wallace. This could end up being an even worse exchange of talent for a few months of a player who ended up not really making a difference.
There appear to be some questions about whether Semien can stick at shortstop, but he'll at least get a chance to, and if he can, he profiles as a decent enough player. Bassitt profiles as a potential back-end starter, of course, because the A's can't get enough of those.
If I'm an A's fan, I'm pretty disappointed in what my team has gotten for two of their best trade chips -- Samardzija and Josh Donaldson -- this offseason.
UPDATE -- The final deal is Samardzija and Michael Ynoa for Semien, Bassitt, catcher Josh Phegley and infielder Rangel Ravelo.
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