Trade lifts Athletics to top of Box-Toppers team rankings, pushes Cubs to bottom

The trade Friday sending Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics sends the Athletics to the top of Box-Toppers team rankings and the Cubs to the bottom. 

These players were traded from the Cubs to the Athletics:

• Pitcher Jason Hammel, 8.7 Box-Toppers points, previously ranked ninth among National League pitchers, now ranked 10th among American League pitchers. (Hammel had been the Cubs leader in Box-Toppers points.)

• Pitcher Jeff Samardzija, 3.0 Box-Toppers points. 

These players were reported to have been traded from the Athletics to the Cubs:

• Shortstop prospect Addison Russell, who has yet to make his Major League debut.

• Outfield prospect Billy McKinney, who has yet to make his Major League debut.

• Pitcher Dan Straily, who has 1.0 Box-Toppers point this season.

In the short term, the Athletics have a net gain of 10.7 Box-Toppers points—picking up the 11.7 points from the Cubs and losing Straily’s 1.0 point.

For Box-Toppers rankings, each team inherits the total points of players acquired and loses the points of players traded away. This provides the Athletics a huge boost. At the July 3 team rankings report, the Athletics were the second-ranked team with 59.9 Box-Toppers points, just behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (61.6). The trade would boost that total to 70.6, giving them a 9.0-point lead over the Dodgers.

Conversely, the trade puts the Cubs at the bottom of Box-Toppers rankings. As of July 3, the Cubs rank 20th among all teams with 45.9 Box-Toppers points. Their net loss of 10.7 points (nearly a quarter of their season total) gives them 35.2 for the season, below the current lowest-ranked team, the Arizona Diamondbacks (41.1 Box-Toppers points).

But of course, the Cubs are playing for the long term, hoping the prospects pan out to be stars, racking up huge Box-Toppers points in the coming seasons.