Jeff Samardzija #29 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning on May 21, 2014 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.
The window, for the short term, anyway, between the Texas Rangers and the first-place Oakland A's widened by a lot over the weekend when the A's traded with the Chicago Cubs to get starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for a load of prospects, highlighted by pitcher Dan Straily and shortstop Addison Russell.
This is definitely a move of sacrificing the future for the here and now, as Samardzija was one of the best starting pitchers on the market with a sub-3.00 ERA a good strikeout to walk ratio. He bolsters the top of an already strong starting rotation highlighted by Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir. On Sunday, the former Notre Dame wide receiver made his A's debut by allowing just one earned run in seven innings.
Hammel was not as high-profile as Samardzija, but his numbers are nearly identical with a sub-3.00 ERA of his own and a very similar K:BB ratio.
The move gives the A's one of the better 1-4 rotations in the league and puts them right up there with the likes of the Detroit Tigers, who still probably hold the distinction as the best, deepest rotation in baseball.