After the fireworks ended in the Northeast, they were just beginning on the West Coast. I woke up to the buzzing noise of my Twitter early on July 5th to the worst news of the season- yes, for me, even worse than CC Sabathia’s earlier that day.
Headline: BRONX HEARTBREAK: SAMARDZIJA SHIPPED TO OAKLAND. And let me add the words, “for just about nothing!” How the heck did Billy Beane pull this one off?
According to an article by Bill Madden of the New York Daily News on July 5th, “You have to first start with the trade itself, which, on the surface and for the present, appears to be a fleecing for Beane of his Moneyball disciple, Theo Epstein. I say this because when you’re trading your two best pitchers, one of them a bona fide No. 1, don’t you have to get back at least one comparable top pitching prospect?” It seems crazy to me as well. The Cubs picked up some unproven prospects including a short stop but what they really needed was a catcher. And that is where the Yankees could have pulled off the win.
“Being that one of the Cubs’ primary needs is a catcher, Yankee GM Brian Cashman thought offering his top-rated prospect, Gary Sanchez, would be a good starting point in a deal for Samardzija. But Epstein, according to the source, also wanted the Yankees’ top two pitching prospects, Luis Severino and Ian Clarkin. When Cashman balked at that and attempted to restructure his offer, even mentioning the more proven catcher, John Ryan Murphy, Epstein said he’d get back to him, but apparently never did. One has to believe Cashman is as stunned as anyone at how comparably little Epstein wound up getting back for not just Samardzija but Hammel as well.” Again, I say crazy! But is it really? Is Epstein still ticked off about how the Tanaka deal went down? I say, perhaps. Much like the Moneyball movie portrayed, there is a lot of “Son of a bitchin’” in the GM offices across baseball and perhaps, Cashman is a Son of a Bitch to Epstein. I'm guessing there is some bad blood there. Don't forget, Epstein is really a Red Sox in disguise.
To pour salt in my wound, Samardzija looked fresh on the mound in his debut game on Sunday. Jeff “Shark” Samardzija is back to life in Oakland. “Jeff Samardzija pitched seven strong innings to win his Oakland debut and the Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep. Samardzija, acquired a day earlier in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, received several standing ovations. He was cheered during pregame warm ups and again after striking out the side in the seventh,” reported ABC News following the game. And we signed pretty much a no name who has no better ERA than a 5th starter of a ball club’s rotation. As a matter of fact, if David Phelps is considered our 5th starter his ERA 4.01 and Brandon McCarthy has a 5.01 ERA.
Samardzija has half as many wins with Oakland in one day than he did all season with the Cubs. I just wonder if the Cubs just plan on losing all the rest of the games this season. Bonehead move, Epstein but again, he may just have something to prove. I guess this is a moment where I would rather Cashman than Epstein. Oh God help us!
For me personally, the Samardzija deal hurts because he could have been a great New Yorker. We have been following him all season. As a matter of fact, I wrote a tweet touting Samardzija looking lean and mean in his first game of the season. It was right then and there that I wanted him in the Bronx. And after all he had been through in Chicago with the fans hating on him in his early years for not performing with ERAs of 7.53 and 8.38 in 2009 and 2010 respectively, he got out on top. Good for you Jeff! My only gripe is that you were not pitching in Minnesota this weekend as the Yankees newest hurler.
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
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