Ten teams. Let’s say five of them have legitimate interest. That is very beneficial from an A’s standpoint. Trading Samardzija makes a lot of sense as well, because he only has one more season with the team before he hits free agency. With the acquisitions of Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin, the A’s have depth in the rotation to go along with Sonny Gray, Drew Pomeranz, Scott Kazmir, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin. A deal for Samardzija or Kazmir will be done. It’s just a question of when?
Jane Lee is speculating that the A’s could trade Samardzija to the White Sox for shortstop Alexei Ramirez, and possibly more. Ramirez hit .273 with 15 home runs and 74 rbi in 2014, and is set to make about as much as Shark next season. Ramirez also has a team option for 2016.
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Another trade that has been talked about (reported on by Bay Area News Group) is Justin Upton and Evan Gattis for Samarzija. Upton would certainly be an upgrade in left field, while Gattis would be another option behind the plate, as well as in the outfield. Upton hit .270 last season with 30 homers and 102 rbi. Defensively, he leaves a little to be desired, but he would be that Yoenis Cespedes-type player that fans are clamoring for.
Gattis also has some power, slugging 22 over the fence, while driving in 52 and batting .263 in 108 games. The addition of Upton and Gattis could certainly help offset the impact of losing Donaldson in the short term, while Gattis’ versatility could help the A’s in the future as well, with free agency coming after 2018 for the 28-year old.
If this is the trade that came to fruition, the A’s would have to move either John Jaso or Stephen Vogt, with Derek Norris handling the bulk of the catching duties, and having Gattis as a third option.
Billy Beane is not done making moves just yet, that much is certain. What he is thinking, we never truly know.