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Jeff Samardzija trade still a possibility, Red Sox and White Sox reportedly top contenders

Will Samardzija return to the Midwest, or follow Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to Boston—or stay put in Oakland?

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Trade talks surrounding Oakland A's right-hander Jeff Samardzija have died down during the past few days, but a deal involving the Red Sox or the White Sox—or perhaps the infamous "mystery team"—could still be on the horizon.

The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo wrote on Sunday that the Red Sox are "trying to obtain" Samardzija, which reaffirmed the report from Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle a week ago on Tuesday that 10 teams expressed interest in Samardzija, two of which were the White Sox and Red Sox. The important distinction from Slusser's side, however, is that the A's haven't confirmed anything regarding trade discussions, which she noted. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman also reported on Saturday that Samardzija is "in the middle of trade talk[s]," according to MLB executives.

Both the Red Sox and White Sox would seem to be good fits for the A's right-hander. Oakland has a serious deficiency of middle infielders, with Nick Punto (.589 OPS in 2014) and Eric Sogard (.567) projecting as possible starters to open the season. The Red Sox now have an abundance of infielders with the recent additions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, and if GM Ben Cherington is willing to shop around young infielder Xander Bogaerts, or perhaps some of his other prospects like Mookie Betts, the Sox could be in business.

Of course, the other Sox team has reason to hope as well. Samardzija grew up in Valparaiso, Ind., roughly an hour drive from U.S. Cellular Field. He would also pair with ace Chris Sale to form a pretty scary duo atop the rotation, along with Carlos Rodon and Jose Quintana. White Sox shortstop prospect Tim Anderson is a logical trade piece, given Oakland's need for a middle infielder and Anderson's relative similarity to Addison Russell—the shortstop prospect traded to the Cubs in the July Samardzija deal—in terms of talent and potential.