James Russell gave Jeff Samardzija the beer-and-a-cigarette sendoff on the Fourth of July in Washington. And then the Cubs reliever had to wonder if he would be the next one to get traded.

It’s hard to see Theo Epstein’s front office topping that six-player blockbuster with the Oakland A’s. But this is a clubhouse where no one is untouchable, and by now Russell is used to seeing his name in rumors.

“I’m here and I’m going to make the best of it,” Russell said. “I hope to stay here for the long run, and be around whenever we start winning some ballgames, and hopefully fighting for playoff spots.

“That’s the future of this plan, and I’d like to stick around and wait it out.”

Now that Samardzija’s gone, Russell’s believed to be the only guy left with that powder blue “(Bleep) the Goat” T-shirt still in his rotation. Russell made the 2010 Opening Day roster and has survived this long, pitching for Lou Piniella, Mike Quade, Dale Sveum and Rick Renteria.

But Russell, 28, could help a contending team right now, and the Cubs like the young relievers they’ve already incorporated into their bullpen, while collecting more at the farm system’s upper levels.