Billy Beane is engineering yet another dramatic overhaul of the Oakland A's roster, and the White Sox could be in the middle of it.
Murmurs of a big night culminated with a shocking trade that resulted in Josh Donaldson going from Oakland to Toronto for Brett Lawrie and three prospects (shortstop Franklin Barreto and pitchers Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolan).
But the action wasn't supposed to center on Donaldson. Instead, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser was tracking a potential deal involving Jeff Samardzija:
Again, source tells me that #Athletics nearing major deal that involves Samardzija for several players, team targeting hitters.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) November 29, 2014
I'm told 10 teams have expressed interest in Samardzija; #RedSox and #WhiteSox among them. But he is not in deal as @Ken_Rosenthal says.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) November 29, 2014
Samardzija hasn't moved yet, but we have a second source not only corroborating the White Sox's interest, but taking it up a notch:
Hearing from reliable source #WhiteSox will acquire RHP Jeff Samardzija this weekend from #Athletics.— Jim Benson (@Pg_Benson) November 29, 2014
Benson is a reporter for the Pantagraph in Bloomington, Ill., but he's been on top of Sox news before. And actually, it was Sox-A's news, as he tipped the Adam Dunn trade a day before it happened last year:
Hearing Sox slugger Adam Dunn could be joining Oakland soon....— Jim Benson (@Pg_Benson) August 31, 2014
Circumstantial evidence doesn't argue against it, either. Beane and Rick Hahn seem to have a working relationship, and the A's seem to love White Sox farmhands, so there stands a very good chance of fire being underneath all this smoke.
Samardzija, who turns 30 in January, makes sense for the Sox from a talent standpoint. He doesn't seem like such a great fit in terms of his contract, as he's set to become a free agent after the season, and the Sox have still have some building to do.
If it happens, it could be because the Valparaiso, Ind., native is amenable to an extension discussion (between Samardzija and Adam LaRoche, maybe players who were White Sox fans as kids are the new inefficiency).
Or maybe it'd be because the price is right, the Sox are up for a more immediate push, and they'll hope a compensatory pick is a safety net.
Either way ...