Morry Gash/Associated Press
SS Addison Russell
Level before trade: Double-A
OF Billy McKinney
Level before trade: High-A
RHP Dan Straily
Level before trade: MLB
In the first major trade of the 2014 MLB season, the Cubs acquired shortstop Addison Russell, outfielder Billy McKinney and right-handed pitcher Dan Straily from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for right-handed pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Russell and McKinney were Oakland's top two prospects, according to MLBPipeline.com, and Russell is the 11th-best prospect in baseball.
Russell has hit the cover off the ball in the minors. Between Single-A and Double-A this season, he has a slash line of .297/.400/.422 in 18 games. For his career, he has a .302/.390/.519 slash line. The shortstop has some pop to go with his good swing. He posted 56 extra-base hits last season.
The 20-year-old doesn't have overwhelming speed, but he's very aggressive on the bases. After all, he did have 10 triples and 21 stolen bases last year.
McKinney was selected by Oakland in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. He was already the team's second-best prospect, so that says all you need to know. His bat is expected to allow him to hit for a decent average and power.
The 19-year-old hit .326 in his first professional season in 2013. This season, he had a slash line of .241/.330/.400 before the trade. His average may not have been where it was a season ago, but his on-base percentage was still relatively good, and he has 10 home runs and 12 doubles.
Dan Straily isn't as highly touted as the other two players in the deal, but he does experience in the majors. The 25-year-old was 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA in starts with the A's this season. Last season, he was 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts. In total, he has a 4.11 ERA in 41 career starts with the A's.
Chicago swapped two arms that were nearing the end of their deals in exchange for two top prospects and a young arm. It's tough to imagine the team getting this much in return had it waited, so now the team can move forward and focus on the future.