Jeff Samardzija has been "begging for this."
The former Cubs pitcher made sure to clarify it wasn't about leaving the Cubs, rather about coming to a team that was competing for a playoff spot and a World Series title right now. That's exactly what he's getting after his trade from the last-place Cubs to the first-place A's, and the right-hander couldn't be more excited about it.
"I'm right where I need to be. I'm excited," he said. "I've been begging for this for a while — not team-wise, I just mean situation-wise. Being in a situation coming every day to win games and excited to win games with the guys you're playing with and more worried about that game than about who's going to be here, who's not going to be here, the future. That's tough to deal with, especially as a team in this sport when you need your whole team to be together to succeed. I'm really excited. I can't wait to get out there and pitch. And being all the way across the country from where I was before, I'm sure there's a lot of people who haven't seen me pitch. And so I really want to come out and do my part to help this team win a bunch of ballgames and be where we want to be come season's end."
While Samardzija referenced the less-than-ideal clubhouse culture in Chicago of players concerning themselves with trade rumors, he didn't seem bitter about being dealt. Though he did make one little reference at that Cubs culture, saying he'd have no problem getting used to new teammates because he's dealt with it so much over the past few years at Wrigley Field.
"I've actually become pretty good at meeting new players and getting to know these guys. Being in Chicago the last couple years, we've had a few guys come in and out of the doors, so my skills at meeting new people are pretty up there."
Samardzija will make his debut with the A's on Sunday when Oakland wraps up a series with Toronto.
Check out the rest of Samardzija's press conference in the video above.