Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija delivers a pitch during the first inning of an interleague baseball game against the New York Yankees in Chicago, May 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Former Notre Dame wide receiver and pitcher Jeff Samardzija will finally play for a contender.
A person familiar with knowledge of the deal says the Oakland Athletics have an agreement in place to acquire right-handers Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs in a trade that makes one of baseball's best pitching staffs even better.
The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday night because the deal was still pending, said the A's will send top prospect Addison Russell, outfielder Billy McKinney and pitcher Dan Straily to the Cubs. Russell, a shortstop, is considered one of the best players in all of minor league baseball.
Samardzija and Hammel give the two-time defending AL West champion A's a powerful punch to add to a rotation that includes Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray and Tommy Milone. The trade also is a rare move in which Oakland - one of baseball most frugal franchises - parted with talented young prospects for proven players to chase a World Series title.
Despite a 2-7 record this year, Shark has been outstanding for the Cubs. The 29-year-old from Valpo has a 2.83 ERA, striking out 103 batters so far this year.