Several separate independent sources have confirmed that the Oakland Athletics have acquired starters Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago Cubs in a multi-player and possibly multi-team trade.
Initially reported by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that both Hammel and Samardzija could both be moving to Oakland, Keith Law of ESPN adds more details. A's shortstop prospect Addison Russell -- the team's 2012 first-round pick and highest-rated farmhand -- is the key piece going to the Cubs, along with pitcher Dan Straily, outfielder Billy McKinney and a player to be named later.
Oakland's serious need for pitching is the driving factor in this move with the team looking to extend the best record in the majors to a deep postseason run. The A's recently picked up pitcher Brad Mills from the Brewers for "cash considerations" totaling one dollar to start for their depleted staff. Mills was acquired after struggling starter Drew Pomeranz literally added injury to insult on his way to the DL when he broke his hand punching a wooden chair following a particularly rough start against the Rangers.
So it's easy to see why they're willing to give up so much for someone like Samardzija.