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OAKLAND, Calif. Air Jordan Discount . -- The beginning of Julys first blockbuster trade occurred about a month ago, when Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane called Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein to ask about Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Beane told Epstein he liked the starting pitchers, and he was going to be aggressive in an attempt to improve the AL West leaders. Fast forward to this weekend, when Beane proved just how serious he was during that initial call. Oakland and Chicago announced the big trade on Saturday, with Samardzija and Hammel heading to the West Coast for a package of prospects that included the As first-round selections in each of the past two drafts. "The deal speaks for itself. To pick up two guys like that in early June is pretty fantastic," As manager Bob Melvin said. "We wanted more options and saw the urgency to get it done. This makes us better." The Athletics began the day with the best record in baseball, but Beane felt he needed to add depth to a rotation that responded well to season-ending injuries for Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin. Drew Pomeranz also is on the disabled list with a broken right hand. Samardzija and Hammel join Scott Kazmir and Sonny Gray in one of the majors best group of starting pitchers. "We had to dig into our depth really early, and we felt like we needed two (starting pitchers)," Beane said. Samardzija will start for the As on Sunday. He was scheduled to pitch for the Cubs Saturday. In somewhat of a surprise, the As sent left-hander Tommy Milone to Triple-A Sacramento later Saturday to make room for Samardzija. Milone was 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA over his last 11 starts and 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 16 starts overall. "What do you say to a guy like that?" Melvin said. "Hes been terrific his last 10 starts and has meant a lot to us the last three years. I tried to figure out what to say to him. We havent seen the last of him." Oakland will make a move Sunday to clear space for Hammel, who will start Wednesday. Minor leaguers Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily went to Chicago in another painful deal for the lowly Cubs, who have played better of late, but are still last in the NL Central. Chicago also gets a player to be named in its latest July sell-off. The Cubs lost at least 91 games in each of the previous three years. They traded away starting pitchers Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm in July 2012, and Matt Garza and Scott Feldman last July. "We certainly hope that this is the last year that were obvious sellers at the trade deadline," Epstein said. The key piece for Chicago in the deal with Oakland was Russell, a 20-year-old shortstop headed for Double-A Tennessee. A torn right hamstring sidelined the No. 11 overall selection in the 2012 draft earlier this season, but he was batting .333 in 13 games for Double-A Midland at the time of the trade. Chicago and Oakland talked about a Samardzija for Russell deal, but Epstein said the one-for-one framework didnt work. He spoke with Beane on Thursday night, and thats when the trade grew into the larger package. "We felt like Russell was a key for us in any deal with Oakland," Epstein said. The hard-throwing Samardzija had a 2-7 record for the Cubs, but he also had a 2.83 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 108 innings, making him one of the most coveted pitchers on the market. The former Notre Dame receiver was selected by Chicago in the fifth round in 2006. Chicago recalled left-hander Chris Rusin from Triple-A Iowa. Epstein said the Cubs were still discussing their options when it came to the rotation. "I can say that (after that) its going to stay the same until Tuesday for the doubleheader (at Cincinnati)," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of the rotation after Saturday. Jake Arrieta is set to start Sunday in Washington and Edwin Jackson on Monday at Cincinnati. The Cubs will add a 26th man, Tsuyoshi Wada, for Tuesdays doubleheader. The Cubs talked to the 29-year-old Samardzija about a contract extension, but were unable to come to an agreement. He is set to become a free agent for the first time after the 2015 season. "Jeff has been a bit of workhorse," Beane said. "Hes got a perfect health record. Hes a guy that continues to develop. Hes gotten better and better each year he goes out." Hammel signed a $6 million, one-year contract with Chicago in February and went 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 108 2-3 innings with the Cubs. He pitched six-plus innings in a 7-2 victory over Washington on Friday. Hammel, who turns 32 in September, also has three career post-season starts. "Hes gotten better and better and we think now is a great time to have him," Beane said. The 19-year-old McKinney, who was selected in the first round a year ago, hit .241 with 10 homers for Class A Stockton this season. He is headed for Chicagos Class A affiliate in Daytona, Florida, where he will share the outfield with another top prospect in Albert Almora. Straily finished 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts for the As last year. He was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento after struggling earlier this season, and Epstein said he likely would be up with the Cubs after a short stay at Triple-A Iowa. Even before the deal, Chicago had one of the richest minor league systems in baseball. The addition of Russell and McKinney just enhances the Cubs impressive group of prospects. "We think we have a real outstanding stable of good young position players that is a stable base to build off," Epstein said. "We like how this positions us." Clearance Air Jordan Store . If Vettel wins at Suzuka on Sunday, and his nearest rival Fernando Alonso finishes worse than eighth, the German driver will join his compatriot Michael Schumacher and Argentine Juan-Manuel Fangio as the only men to win four consecutive titles. Wholesale Air Jordan . -- The Sacramento Kings have claimed forward Travis Outlaw off waivers under the NBAs new amnesty provision, filling out the frontcourt with another veteran. https://www.jordanchina.us/ . The Argentine midfielder made the announcement himself on Twitter on Tuesday and posted a picture of his swollen left foot. His message said he would be out "at least three weeks.DUNEDIN, Florida – The Yankees roughed up R.A. Dickey on Wednesday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dickeys final appearance before he throws his second consecutive Opening Day for the Blue Jays. Dickey met with the media to preview the season, discuss the clubs decision to keep Josh Thole over Erik Kratz and outline his plans for the next few days. He will not travel with the team to Montreal. Here is a transcript of the conversation: QUESTION: R.A., kind of one last chance to work a few things out as opposed to looking at it as a regular season game? DICKEY: Oh yeah. Today was not a day about results for me. I mean, ideally, it would be great to get out of there with some clean innings but what was paramount for me was to exercise my arm in a way where I felt good and I was able to use a large range of velocities and mix in pitches that I would never throw during the regular season maybe to put it in their head that thats another weapon that I might use on them later. So I did exactly what I wanted to do. I got my exercise. I came out of spring feeling good. It was a good spring for me. My velocity is there. Now its just a matter of going to work." QUESTION: Not to say anything bad about Kratz but with Thole now being named your guy, I mean he has more experience with you than pretty much any catcher. Is that a good feeling to know that Tholes going to be your guy this year? DICKEY: Yeah. Look, Kratz did a great job. He improved every time out. There is, obviously, no replacement for experience and I think thats probably the angle that the leadership was coming from in making the decision to stick with Thole. Its important for us to get off to a good start, I think, this year and whatevers going to help us do that, so to take that doubt, even if it was just a miniscule doubt, out of the equation completely is good for me. Its good for everybody. QUESTION: But they didnt ask you personally what you thought? DICKEY: No and I didnt want them to. I wanted them to evaluate it on their own. They have enough baseball people in place to be able to see with their own eyes and make the decision accordingly. Thats a tough position for a teammate to be put in and I didnt want any part of it. QUESTION: Are you comfortable throwing to (Kratz) if that happens later in the season? DICKEY: Absolutely. I thought he did a very good job of improving every time out. QUESTION: Are you as ready as you think you can be for your Opening Day assignment? DICKEY: Yes. I feel prepared. I feel confident, which is great. Last year, I didnt feel very confident simply because I didnt feel as prepared. Im really looking forward to getting started and being able to adjust my schedule this year in a way that really maximizes my preparedness has been great. To have the two games where I pitched eight innings and then to have this taper down outing is great. QUESTION: R.A., what are your plans for the two or three days the team is in Montreal? DICKEY: Well, Im going to be hanging back and staying with Josh. Josh is going to stay back. Well throw a bullpen on Friday and then well probably head over together on Saturday, meet the team and it will become regimen after that. The season will begin and Ill just be working out at the minor league complex until its time to go. QUESTION: At the beginning of camp, you were talking about how hopefully somebody steps up and becomes that surprise guy. Now youve got McGowan and Hutchison making the rotation. Has camp pretty much gone as you expected that, you know, you get some kids that come out and maybe a McGowan that no one expected? DICKEY: Yeah, I dont think it ever goes as you expect it to. Theres always a knuckleball thrown in there, you know, for lack of a better word. This year, you know, some guys have been called on to step up that maybe werent expected to. McGowan probably didnt come into spring training thinking he was going to be a starter. He may be our fourth guy in the rotation and great, hes got the stuuff for it and I think he wants to do it. Air Jordan Outlet. Like I said early on, its going to take one or two guys that you dont really count on when you come into camp stepping up and doing something special and weve got those guys in place right now. QUESTION: R.A., the routine you got back to this spring, was it very similar to what you would have done in New York or were their adjustments? DICKEY: No, its almost exactly like 2011, 2012 for me where I was able to pitch a lot early on and then get to a place where I felt comfortable with my stuff and could just go out there and get my exercise that last outing. Again, this outing in particular for me was not at all about results. It was much more just about conditioning. QUESTION: You had that upper back and neck issue, obviously, last year. Was that something that was even bothering you at the end of camp or was that something that didnt really pop up until later? DICKEY: No, I was having to kind of step on the gas. A lot of times you labour to get to where you want to get to and I was labouring last year. This year, I feel like its just coming pretty naturally for me so thats a big encouragement. QUESTION: Is there an overall different feeling with the team as you get set to break camp compared to last year? There was so much going on, expectations were different. Whats the difference in feeling this year? DICKEY: I think the heartbeat is a lot different this year. I think, one, were very comfortable. If I had a word to describe what this camp has been, its been comfortable. Guys really know that this is a big year for us collectively. Were kind of getting a mulligan this year. Last year, a lot of things went wrong. This year, were pretty much all healthy, were here, weve been here all spring, weve been able to do relationship with one another and now were in a much different place than we were last year and its a much more comfortable place. QUESTION: So does that mean it was uncomfortable a year ago? DICKEY: It was for me, sure. I mean, coming in and out of camp, WBC, people flying all over the place, people getting hurt, yeah it was uncomfortable. I dont think it was what anybody wanted last year but every team has to deal with adversity throughout the season. We just were forced to deal with it very early on. Hopefully, this year, we will not have to do that. QUESTION: Your thoughts on pitching Opening Dday. You got to do it last year but theres got to be something special about taking the mound in that first game? DICKEY: Yeah, Ive worked my whole career to try to be trustworthy. I think thats something Ive always longed to be for a team is a trustworthy component. When you get the ball on Opening Day, the manager is saying, We trust you. Thats a special thing and its not something I take lightly at all and so Im very excited and very honoured to have the honour. QUESTION: Getting back to the health issues, did you do anything differently in the offseason to change your conditioning regimen in response or in a way that might curb the possibility of a recurrence? DICKEY: Yeah, I started earlier. I started earlier in the sense that last year, at the World Baseball Classic, I had to be game-ready a lot earlier in the spring than I did this year because youre competing in, basically what it came down to, an Olympic event. You just had to really step on the gas and my body just wasnt ready for that. This year, I didnt have that. I could really take my time and I did take my time. I started a little bit earlier and I was able to pump the brakes a little bit when I needed to and get to a place where I felt very comfortable taking the next step and then the next step. Youre always trying to eliminate excuses. You dont want to have to say, well I dont feel great, or I have a WBC or we werent together. Now were starting to eliminate all those excuses out there that you could hold on to that could make you less than who you should be. So for me, being prepared and being healthy, those are not excuses for me. ' ' '