Last night the Oakland Athletics made a single trade that may greatly influence the New York Yankees plans in the near future, landing pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in a trade with the Chicago Cubs which sent back three prospects and a player to be named later.
The Yanks are in desperate need of another starting pitcher at the trade deadline if they want to make a legitimate run at a playoff spot, and Samardzija was arguably the top available arm this year. It was always a long shot for the Yankees to be able to acquire his services, but Hammel was a different story.
Hammel, an impending free agent at the end of the season, is not an ace of the staff type of pitcher, but he is a reliable, middle of the rotation piece which would have fit perfectly for the Yanks, whose pitching depth has been spread thin by injury this season. He is 31 years old, and has a 7-5 record with a 2.98 ERA this season for the lowly Cubs. Having him in the rotation every five days would be a huge upgrade and would allow either Vidal Nuno or David Phelps to return to the bullpen, where they appear to be more well suited.
There will be other options for the Yankees at the trade deadline, but the list just got shorter and less attractive with the A’s snatching up Hammel and Samardzija.