The Oakland As were already the team to beat before making a blockbuster deal to add two starting pitchers from the Chicago Cubs. Frank Ntilikina Jersey . Numbers Game looks into the As giving up their top prospect in order to acquire Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. The Athletics Get: RHP Jeff Samardzija and RHP Jason Hammel. Samardzija, 29, has become a first-rate starting pitcher, even if his win totals dont make that readily apparent. In 78 starts for the Cubs over the past three years, Samardzija has a 19-33 record, but has a 3.83 ERA and 1.27 WHIP are respectable and he struck out 497 batters in 496 1/3 innings, a rate surpassed by eight qualified starters in the past three years. This season alone, Samardzija was 2-7 with a 2.83 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 103 strikeouts in 108 innings with the Cubs. While Samardzijas mid-90s fastball drives his results, hes throwing a harder slider than ever before and its been an out pitch for him. Moving to Oakland is a great opportunity for Samardzija to be a rotation anchor for a World Series contender. He had never pitched in Oakland, prior to his As debut Sunday, but Oaklands park has been pitcher-friendly for years, so that ought to keep Samardzijas numbers strong. Hell be arbitration-eligible at the end of the season, due for a good raise on his $5.345-million salary, but Samardzija is under organizational control for another season beyond 2014. Hammel is a 31-year-old who was hanging around on the free agent market until the end of January, when he settled on a one-year, $6-million deal with the Cubs. That lack of interest was justified, to some degree, by Hammels 2013 season, during which he posted a 4.97 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. This year, its been a different story, as Hammel posted a career-best 2.98 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 17 starts with the Cubs, striking out 104 in 108 2/3 innings in the process. For such a marked difference, there ought to be some tangible differences in Hammels game. His home run rate is down and hes leaving a greater percentage of base-runners on, but Hammels real improvement is that his walk rate is under 2.0 for the first time in his career. Hes reduced the percentage of curve balls and change-ups that he throws, focusing on his fastball and slider and, like Samardzija, Hammels slider has been especially devastating this season. In fact, according to Fan Graphs, Hammel has the most effective slider in baseball this season. If Hammel continues the way hes pitched this season, hell be able to cash in as a free agent in the offseason. Getting Hammel in addition to Samardzija is really a power move by the As. Instead of settling for the upgrade that Samardzija provides, they also have enough depth with Hammel that LHP Tommy Milone (3.55 ERA in 16 starts) could lose his spot in the rotation. This gives Oakland insurance for injuries to their other starters and, perhaps even better (if not outright done deliberately), prevents Hammel from going to another contending team that is looking to shore up its pitching staff. Before making this trade, the As were the top team in baseball and they just added to quality starting pitchers, both of whom are having excellent seasons, so consider this trade to be the equivalent of the As pushing their chips to the middle of the table. Theyre all in. The Cubs Get: SS Addison Russell, RHP Dan Straily, CF Billy McKinney and a player to be named later. Russell, 20, was the 11th overall pick in the 2012 Draft and, while hes missed a couple months due to a hamstring injury this season, hes shown that he has the bat to be a star in the major leagues, posting an .899 OPS in 185 games in the minors. Russell has played a total of 20 games this season, 15 since being promoted to Double-A, so he could still use time to develop, but he should be knocking on the Cubs door by next season. This presents something of an enviable problem for Chicago as one of their many great prospects is shortstop Javier Baez and they have incumbent starter Starlin Castro with the big-league club. Either some players are getting traded or there will be some position changes coming, but Russell is a great get for Chicago -- hes one of the top position player prospects in the game. 25-year-old Straily got roughed up a bit early this season (4.93 ERA in seven starts), losing his spot in the As rotation, but that was a case of surrendering too many home runs (nine in 38 1/3 IP) as his 1.25 WHIP was pretty much in line with his career average. Straily doesnt throw hard at the best of times, but he lost a couple miles per hour off all of his pitches and that can make a difference for guys with overpowering stuff. Nevertheless, a 25-year-old with a good slider who has managed a 4.11 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 41 major-league starts (with slightly better numbers on the road) is worth a look for the Cubs. The 24th pick in the 2013 Draft, McKinney is a 19-year-old centre fielder climbing his way up the minor-league ladder after coming out of Texas high school ball. Overall, the left-handed hitter has a .278 average and .769 OPS in 132 minor-league games, but is hitting .243 with a .729 OPS in 77 games at Advanced Class-A ball. Hell need a little time to develop and the Cubs have other strong outfield prospects on the way too, but add a quality bat to the organization and see where he is in a couple of years. As much as the Cubs are giving up a couple of quality starting pitchers, players that give the As an immediate shot in the arm heading into the second half of the season, they got quality assets in return. If Russell does make it as even an above-average starter at shortstop, and one of Straily or McKinney provides some kind of value, then the Cubs will eventually reap the rewards of this deal. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. New York Knicks Jerseys . Bjoerndalen, who had failed to win any major race for two years before Sochi, writes in a Facebook entry that he is "full of energy and inspiration" after winning the 10-kilometre sprint and mixed relay at last months Olympics. John Starks Jersey . - The Pittsburgh Pirates plan on keeping promising left fielder Starling Marte playing alongside National League MVP Andrew McCutchen for years to come. http://www.nbaknicksprostore.com/kids-allan-houston-knicks-jersey/ .ca. Kerry, I hope you address Ron MacLeans comment during the second intermission of Game 4 in Montreal-Tampa series. Basically, he suggested that the NHL should not have used a referee from Quebec, following the Game 3 disputed non-goal, because the referee could be biased towards Montreal.Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Devan Dubnyk turned aside all 18 shots he faced in his Minnesota debut and the Wild got goals from seven different players in a 7-0 rout of the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. Dubnyk, who was acquired in a trade from Arizona on Wednesday, was stellar in his first game between the pipes with his new club. He became the first goalie in franchise history to post a shutout in his first appearance with the team. Zach Parise, Kyle Brodziak, Thomas Vanek and Erik Haula all posted a goal and an assist, while Jason Pominville had three assists for Minnesota. The Wild had lost six straight games. Jhonas Enroth was responsible for all seven goals on 37 shots, as Buffalo fell for the ninth straight time. Parise opened the floodgates with a goal 5:13 into the contest, and Vanek made it 2-0 after one with his one-timer from the right circle late in the opening period.. Tim Hardaway Jr. Jersey. Mikko Koivu and Pominville assisted on both goals. Playing shorthanded early in the second period, Haula was alone on a breakaway and fired just wide of the net. He followed his shot and poked it in front to Brodziak, who easily tapped in Minnesotas third goal at six minutes even. Just over three minutes later, Matt Dumba snuck a slapper past Enroth from the point, then Jared Spurgeon added to the barrage with his goal with just over a minute remaining in the period. Matt Cooke and Haula scored third-period goals for the lopsided final. Game Notes Minnesota went 2-for-6 on the power play, while Buffalo finished 0-for-3 ... The Wild won both games in the season series, outscoring the Sabres 13-3 ... Buffalo hasnt won since Dec. 27 against the Islanders (4-3 SO), and it hasnt won in regulation since Dec. 11 vs. Calgary (4-3). Cheap Soccer Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Hockey Jerseys Nike NFL Jerseys China Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys China Wholesale Baseball Jerseys China Wholesale College Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Near Me Cheap Jerseys Online Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap NCAA Jerseys Authentic Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic MLB Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Throwback Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China ' ' '