What the A's thought of newest Cubs prospect Addison Russell

What the A's thought of newest Cubs prospect Addison Russell
July 5, 2014, 9:15 pm
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CSN Staff

The A's are in a pennant race, and that's why they decided to pull the trigger on a deal that brought in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs.

The Cubs, meanwhile — who are not in a pennant race — were ecstatic with their return package of top prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney plus pitcher Dan Straily and a player to be named later.

Theo Epstein & Co. are very happy with Russell, but what did the team that traded him away think of a shortstop named one of baseball's top 10 prospects before the season started?

[MORE CUBS: What the Addison Russell trade means for Starlin Castro]

"Really a big-time prospect, one of the most highly touted prospects in the major leagues right now. And scouts I've talked to consider him a five-tool guy," CSNBayArea.com A's Insider Joe Stiglich said Saturday on SportsTalk Live. "He can hit for power, hit for average, he's got good speed, got a real strong arm on the left side of the infield. There was a though for a while the A's might have to move him over to third base, but he's shown enough range the A's thought he could stay at shortstop actually. Really not a whole lot of weaknesses with this guy.

"Strong, strong overall prospect, pretty big kid. When he was in high school, his senior year of high school, he actually shed a few pounds, dropped a little bit of weight. There were concerns that he was getting a little bit too heavy. So I think the A's were really impressed with his work ethic, just the way he approached the game, too. The A's really gave this guy high marks all the way around. Really, it was about getting two quality pitchers at the major league level that persuaded them to part with this kid."

[MORE CUBS: Theo: No hard feelings between Cubs and Jason Hammel]

It sounds like only the potential for a World Series title in 2014 was enough to pry Russell away from Oakland. The Cubs might have another cornerstone for the future.

Check out more of Stiglich's thoughts in the video above, including more on McKinney.