Pirates Should Go After Jeff Samardzija
Sep 22, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Athletics are unloading because that is what GM Billy Beane likes to do in order to gain talent without dishing out large contracts. Josh Donaldson was already sent to the Toronto Blue Jays in a five-player deal. This deal was one of the more contrasting plays so far this offseason because it showed off how teams can take two completely routes in order to improve. The Blue Jays are all about getting stars and bashing the ball out of the ballpark and the A’s want to get the most out of players who have potential. So far, it has worked well for Oakland.
This is why the Pittsburgh Pirates should attempt a trade with Oakland to land righty hurler Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija is a no-hitter waiting to happen and if he joined the Buccos’ staff, it would become one of the best in the National League immediately.
The Pirates have the players that could work to pull off this trade. Trading away Pedro Alvarez and a middle rotation starting pitcher — Vance Worley — would probably interest Oakland’s brass. Alvarez is a big-bopper who could thrive as a designated hitter in the American League. While he may not like the idea of facing some of MLB’s best pitchers in the American League West, he could focus purely on hitting since he will not have to play defense anymore. This deal would give the Pirates Gerrit Cole, Samardzija and A.J. Burnett as its top three with Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton rounding out the rotation. The Pirates have talent in the minors and would have no pressure to sign Samardzija to a long-term deal. The team could use him while he is still in his prime and then let him go with no issue. By this time next season, the Pirates could have one or two of their premier prospects ready to join the staff.
Going after Samardzija would also force other teams to offer more than they would have initially wanted to. The worst-case scenario is that the Pirates do not land Samardzija and one of their N.L. rivals gives away too much.
The Pirates have a staff that can compete right now, but if they somehow strike a deal and get Samardzija, the staff is World Series worthy.