Earlier today, Cubs President Theo Epstein held a conference call to discuss last night’s blockbuster trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, Dan Straily, and a player to be named later or cash. Afterwards, A’s GM Billy Beane held court with the Bay Area media. Here are the highlights courtesy of John Shea and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (all links go to Twitter):
- Beane indicated the A’s are not done dealing. “We’re not just going to stop and shut everything down. We’ve got 3-plus weeks until the trade deadline.“
- Beane explained why he was willing to part with the A’s top two prospects. “We have a team that can win right now. Just collecting young players is not something in our market place we can do.” Beane added, “We have to take the opportunity and grasp it.“
- Beane wanted to do the deal early and was not “interested in taking this pursuit down to the deadline.“
- Beane said he has been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitching for over a month.
- Beane acknowledged the extra year of team control over Samardzija was crucial. “We placed a lot of value on him being here next year. There’s no doubt about that.”
- As per his policy, Beane refused to comment on trades not made when asked about David Price.
- “I think the narrative that this is a move for the postseason is a bit arrogant. We need to make sure we get there first,” said Beane (as tweeted by Jane Lee of MLB.com) in response to Justin Verlander’s reaction to the trade (“When I saw that trade, I thought that they made that trade for us. No doubt about it in my mind.” – per MLB.com’s Jason Beck on Twitter).