The first blockbuster MLB trade of the summer is in the books. The Cubs have traded ace Jeff Samardzija and pitcher Jason Hammel to Oakland in exchange for pitcher Dan Straily, shortstop Addison Russell and outfielder Billy McKinney.
Samardzija is 2-7 with a 2.83 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 108 innings pitched for the Cubs this season. The former Notre Dame wide receiver spent parts of two seasons in East Tennessee with the Smokies.
The A's will be Hammel's fifth team in his nine-year major league career. The right-hander is having a career year with a 2.98 ERA.
Straily is expected to join the Cubs Triple-A affiliate in Iowa.
Russell and McKinney were Oakland's first round picks in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
Russell will join the Smokies this weekend in Birmingham. The shortstop was listed among the top 15 prospects in baseball at the beginning of the season and rose to fifth in Baseball America's mid-season prospect rankings.
The 20-year-old missed most of the start of the season with a hamstring injury but hit .333 with a homer, eight RBI and three steals in 13 games with Double-A Midland.