SAN DIEGO — General manager Rick Hahn took the risk of trading four young players for a quick-fix rental, but in Jeff Samardzija, the short-term reward of one season in the White Sox’ starting rotation was too good to pass up.
‘‘We are absolutely thrilled to add [Samardzija] to the rotation. We think it puts us in a position to be very competitive in ’15,’’ Hahn said after he sent Marcus Semien, Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegley and Rangel Ravelo to the Oakland Athletics for Samardzija and right-handed pitching prospect Michael Ynoa.
Samardzija, the northwest Indiana native and former Cub who grew up rooting for the Sox, was on cloud nine Tuesday after learning he’ll pitch on the South Side in 2015.
‘‘I’m really ecstatic right now,’’ Samardzija said.
Ecstatic and thrilled. Everybody was feeling fine about the Sox, who took the first day of the winter meetings by storm, adding two huge pieces: free-agent closer David Robertson for four years and Samardzija for one.
Or more, if Hahn has his way.
‘‘We are going to make every effort in the coming weeks and months to try to make this a long-term relationship,’’ Hahn said.
An All-Star who would be the staff ace in plenty of rotations, Samardzija will slide between lefties Chris Sale and Jose Quintana to form a top three that manager Robin Ventura called formidable and that Hahn said will match up with any in baseball. Sale, 25, is under team control through 2019 and Quintana, 25, through 20120.
To get Samardzija, 29, to agree to an extension through the same period before he hits free agency after 2015 might be dreaming, but what a fine thought — in dreamy Southern California or dreary Chicago — to have him under control for multiple years as well. And don’t forget No. 3 overall draft pick Carlos Rodon, who isn’t that far away from working his way into a rotation he should be a part of for years to come.
Hahn will push for an extension in the coming months, but once the season starts, it’s likely on to free agency if nothing gets done. In that event, he’ll hope Samardzija’s Sox experience gives him first dibs in free agency.
‘‘I look forward to Jeff getting to know us and know what we are about and understanding how he fits and how he can fit for the foreseeable future,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘It’s a trade on paper geared toward improving us for 2015. At the same time, we are hoping to extend that period beyond.’’
Samardzija has said the joy of becoming a free agent might be too good to pass up. With front-end pitchers raking in deals surpassing $100 million, why wouldn’t he?
‘‘I’ve been pretty adamant about being a free agent,’’ he said Tuesday. ‘‘I think it’s really something you shoot for. You are so close to it, and you really want to experience it. Like I said before, when the situation is right, it’s right. When the numbers are right, the numbers are right.’’
That said, he seemed willing to listen if the Sox approach him with an aggressive offer.
‘‘I’ve said before, even with going into free agency, [the Sox] would be on my list because of my love for the organization and that long-time love for them,’’ he said. ‘‘When it comes down to it, I’m going to do the right situation for myself when it comes to free agency.’’
Samardzija, drafted and developed by the Cubs but traded to the A’s this season, said being a Sox was still sinking in.
‘‘For it to work out this way, it’s even more mind-blowing,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m still here soaking it all in and thinking about all the old ties I had and how fun it’s going to be to go back.’’