Jeff Samardzija Trade Rumors: Will He Stay in Oakland?


After the heartbreaking news of Josh Donaldson being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays came out last Friday night, many rumors started that Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane was not finished yet, in terms of making deals. Many reports throughout the weekend said that Beane was looking to deal his All-Star starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija to either the Atlanta Braves or Chicago White Sox and possibly the Boston Red Sox.

However, the Braves appear to be out of the question, as it was denied by David O’Brien of the Atlanta Constitution that there were talks of trades between the two organizations. It had been reported that the deal would send Samardzija to Atlanta for outfielder Justin Upton and catcher Evan Gattis, a deal that would have been great for Oakland on offense, as Upton hit .270 with 29 home runs and 102 RBIs, and Gattis, hit .279 with 22 Home runs and 52 RBI’s.

Sep 12, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) bats against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Upton also could have filled the left field position that the A’s need going into next season. Although Gattis is listed as a catcher, he has also played left field and first base in his short two-year career with the Braves. The only problem with Gattis is that he would cause clutter at the catcher and first base positions, as the A’s already have viable options in both positions with Derek Norris, John Jaso, Stephen Vogt, Brandon Moss, Ike Davis, Billy Butler and Nate Freiman.

In hindsight, this would have been a great trade but would cause more problems in deciding who to keep and who to designate for assignment come the beginning of the season.

The next deal involves sending Samardzija to the White Sox for a player that has not officially been named but will most likely involve Chicago’s seven-year veteran shortstop Alexei Ramirez. This deal is the most logical option for the A’s because losing Samardzija does not actually hurt them as much as you would think. The A’s have plenty of starting pitching options in AJ Griffin, Jarrod Parker, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez, Drew Pomeranz and Sonny Gray.

Sep 21, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez (10) is congratulated by manager Robin Ventura (23) after he scored a run during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What Ramirez can bring to the A’s is a shortstop with a bat. Ramirez, in 2014, batted .273, hit 15 home runs and collected 74RBI’s.  Last year, Jed Lowrie and Eric Sogard had a combined batting average of .236, hit seven long balls, and together had 77 RBI’s. Ramirez, as a whole, would be a major upgrade to the A’s lineup at the middle infield spot.

On the field, Ramirez has a .975 fielding percentage in 949 career games at shortstop. Ramirez, however, has an issue with errors as he has 106 errors over seven seasons at shortstop. In the last six seasons, he has averaged roughly 17 errors per year. But he makes up for these errors with his bat, so it balances out.

Sep 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman

Josh Donaldson

(20) hits a walk off home run during the tenth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coliseum. Oakland won 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

If Beane wants to make up for trading Donaldson, making the trade for Ramirez would be the wisest choice. Ramirez may not have had as many home runs and RBI’s as Donaldson did last season but has the potential to be at that level. In Ramirez’s career, he has hit 10 or more home runs in five of his seasons with over 65 RBI’s.

The last rumor is the Beane will trade the All-Star right-hander to the Red Sox in exchange for another shortstop prospect Deven Marrero, who spent last season in the minors. In Marrero’s career in the minor leagues, he has a career average of .258, a slugging percentage of .352 and an on base percentage of .332. Marrero, also hit 10 home runs, 64 doubles, five triples, batted in 109 runs and drew 132 walks. While Marrero sounds like he would be promising, he is still a year or two away from making his Major League debut. The A’s need a productive shortstop right now, so this trade would not be as reasonable to make as the Ramirez trade.

Which deal would you choose?

Would you prefer an established shortstop who has proven he can pack a punch on offense, despite his tendency to slip up on defense?

Do you trade from a promising young promising prospect that will be ready in a year or two and start Sogard and Punto in 2015?

And lastly do you keep Samardzija and go with your current roster?