I wrote about the Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays deal last night, and it appears that A's GM Billy Beane still has a few more trades to contemplate. Late last night, A's beat writer John Hickey from the Bay Area News Grouo tweeted the following:
#Athletics talking with #Braves about Justin Upton, Evan Gattis sources say. Jeff Samardzija may be the bait.— John Hickey (@JHickey3) November 29, 2014
This did not surprise me actually, especially since another A's beat writer, Susan Slusser, from the San Francisco Chronicle, had tweeted that Samardzija was being discussed in trade talks earlier in the evening. She could end up being right if/when the A's deal Samardzija.
Samardzija was the main player coming back to the A's in the huge midseason trade that brought Jason Hammel and the Shark to the A's for top shortstop prospect Addison Russell, outfield prospect Billy McKinney, pitcher Dan Straily and a player to be named later (not sure if this deal has been finalized).
The fantasy implications of this proposed trade are significant for the hitters involved. As of right now, there is no deal, and the only players that we are aware of are Samardzija, Upton and Gattis. I assume if both Upton and Gattis are involved, the Braves would be receiving something more than Samardzija, maybe a low level prospect.
The player who would be impacted the most would be Upton, as he would be moving from Atlanta, which had a park factor for home runs, according to ESPN, of 1.12, while O.co Coliseum in Oakland had a home run park factor of 0.903. So his home run total could drop if he is dealt to Oakland. Add in the fact that he will play 19 games in Seattle and Anaheim and he could have difficulty reaching 25 home runs in 2015.
Gattis' fantasy value would take a similar hit, but he does own catcher eligibility, so it's entirely possible his value is not impacted as much as Upton's.
Samardzija's value would stay about the same, as he would be leaving the American League to the National League where there is no designated hitter. But looking at his performance after the trade, he went 5-6 with a 3.14 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and a 8.25 strikeout to walk ratio in 16 starts. For comparison purposes, he made 17 starts with the Cubs last season, going 2-7 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.204 WHIP and a 3.32 strikeout to walk rate.
As I tweeted last night, I selfishly hope that Samardzija is dealt to a National League team, there are many teams interested in him, as I own him at $2 in the UBA NL-only keeper league. Should he get dealt to the NL, I would own the following starters (2015 salaries in parentheses):
Jeff Samardzija ($2, or $7 if I extend him)
Johnny Cueto ($14)
Zack Greinke ($27)
Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8)
Kyle Lohse ($5)
Not a bad starting rotation for an NL-only league. I am currently trying to deal one of my starters and have offers out to a few owners for a hitter or prospect.