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jason hammel featureBecause of the size and importance of this weekend’s big trade, it’s going to take several days to lay out, discuss, and analyze all of the angles to this thing. You’ve already seen it a bit. That’s not me trying to stretch this thing out – it’s just me being realistic about how much there is to look at, and being realistic about how much folks were going to want to be attached to their computer/phone screens over the course of this lovely summer holiday weekend.

That said, I couldn’t really wait another day to check in on the early and immediate reactions around the baseball world, given that this is one of the biggest trades in recent memory.

One miscellaneous preamble thought I’ve had: with the A’s getting both Samardzija and Hammel, how is the rest of the pitching trade market affected? The A’s weren’t necessarily expected to get a pitcher at all, so, them taking two of the top ones off the market? David Price probably just got even more valuable. But, dare I ask … does Edwin Jackson become tradable? If he is, do the Cubs let him go for a song? Or do they prefer to hang onto him, knowing he could bounce back, and knowing they need some arms going forward?

In any case, some of the reactions around baseball …

  • Mike Petriello offers FanGraphs’ write-up on the deal, and, in addition to the obligatory “Wow,” it’s a fantastic take. On the A’s side, not only does the deal make sense given the down AL this year, but it also makes sense because it ensured that the A’s competitors wouldn’t get one of the two most obviously-available top arms on the market. As for the Cubs, the deal is about stockpiling offensive talent in an era of diminished offense.
  • Jeff Passan says the A’s talked to the Rays first about David Price, but couldn’t get a deal done – even with Addison Russell included. Given all considerations (health, financial, effectiveness), I wonder how much more the Rays wanted for Price. If they turned down, for example, Russell and McKinney for Price, I think they may have made a mistake. We’ll find out over the course of the next few weeks.
  • Ken Rosenthal focuses on the ballsy go-for-it nature of the deal from the A’s perspective, which I think it absolutely is. He mentions Wil Myers’ step back this year, Xander Bogaerts’ struggles to adjust in the bigs, and even Bryce Harper’s issues – it was worth the A’s rolling the dice on Russell. Not that it wasn’t worth it for the Cubs, who now have options going forward.
  • Justin Verlander says the A’s made the deal because of the Tigers. I think it’s a fun thought, especially when it’s across divisions like that – competitors and rivalries and planning and jawing and all that. It’s neat. But baseball really isn’t like other sports in the playoffs. You can increase your playoff success odds slightly, but, for the most part, it’s a crapshoot. To think that the A’s would add pitching specifically so that they can beat the Tigers in the playoffs is not realistic. The A’s want to ensure they make the playoffs, and then ensure they have quality, healthy pitching available in the playoffs. That’s about as far as we can go.
  • Keith Law dug the return for the Cubs, and also dug the deal for the A’s.
  • Jon Heyman says the Cubs may have won the deal in the long-term (well, if the A’s go deep in the playoffs this and next year, can’t both sides win?), and looks at the Cubs’ enviable supply of positional talent that could generate a number of future trades.
  • Peter Gammons says this deal was about the A’s recognizing a market inefficiency: the overvaluing of prospects. That allowed them to pull the trigger on giving up a future star like Russell (and a second excellent prospect in McKinney). To that same point, the Cubs could, in the near-term, take advantage of the same inefficiency by dealing prospects for big league talent. Fun note: Gammons says Billy Beane told Theo Epstein, after the deal was done, that the Cubs just got Barry Larkin. Here’s hoping.
  • And now some Twitter fun:

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