The biggest blockbuster trade of the summer was pulled off last week when the Oakland Athletics landed pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs for Dan Straily and two minor leaguers.
It was bad news for Yankees fans hoping to see the Bombers land one or both of those same pitchers, who happened to be two of the bigger names on the market. They wiffed, but apparently it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman went on WFAN with Mike Francesa on Monday and said that the Yankees were negotiating with the Cubs right up until the deal was made with Oakland.
“I don’t think (the Cubs) could’ve done a better deal than what they did in terms of that haul,” said Cashman, who added that the Yankees were simply unable to match Oakland’s offer.
“I think we were certainly in the arena,” Cashman said. “The fact that (Cub’s GM Theo Epstein) was engaging me as much as he was, I know he likes our players. I know there’s packages that had interested him for one or both combined that could have worked, but he always measured every conversation with me with ‘there’s a headliner player that if I can get, and I think I might be able to do so, it trumps every deal I could do in this game.”
That headliner player turned out to be shortstop prospect Addison Russell, who was ranked as the No. 14 prospect in the game by Baseball America. The A’s also tossed in Dan Straily, who has a 4.11 ERA, a 7.4 K/9 and a 3.4 BB/9 in his young career.
Cashman sounds like he’s still out there trying to improve the team through a trade, but insists that prices are high because it’s a seller’s market (when is it not?).
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images North America).