The Baltimore Orioles needed a starting pitcher, and they got one.
Right-hander Scott Feldman is not as accomplished as Matt Garza or even Ricky Nolasco, but the Orioles on Tuesday determined that he was worth a shot.
The deal, first reported by ESPN’s Keith Law, sends Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger to Baltimore in exchange for RHP Jake Arrieta, right-handed reliever Pedro Strop and an additional $380,000 to spend in the international market.
The Orioles immediately optioned Clevenger, 27, to Triple-A Norfolk and activated outfielder Nolan Reimold from the 15-day disabled list.
Feldman, 30, is 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA in 15 starts for the Cubs this season, including a 4-1 mark and 2.25 ERA in six starts in May. He appeared in nine postseason games for Texas in 2011, going 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA.
The question now is whether Feldman will succeed in the AL East. He doesn’t strike out many hitters, and his .255 opponents’ batting average on balls in play is far below the league average, an indication of good luck.
On the other hand, the Orioles are excellent defensively at catcher and in both the infield and outfield. And clearly, they felt that Arrieta and Strop needed a change.
The 27-year-old Arrieta, who is struggling this season with a 1-2 record and a 7.23 ERA in five starts, could make the Orioles look bad if he figures it out. So could Strop, 28, if he rebounds from an 0-3 start with a 7.25 ERA in 29 games. Strop has battled a back strain.
Still, the price for starting pitching obviously will be high. The Orioles clearly felt Feldman was more realistic for them than other starters.
Feldman, a potential free agent, cannot receive a qualifying offer from the Orioles in the offseason now that he has been traded.
The Cubs made three trades today. They dealt right-handed former closer Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-handed reliever Matt Guerrier and also acquired two international signing bonus slots from the Houston Astros for minor league infielder Ronald Torreyes. In addition, the Cubs signed Venezuelan shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres.
The Cubs’ net gain, according to Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com, is $963,100 in international money; their initial pool was $4.56 million. The international signing period begins today. It’s a very smart move by Cubs, who are trying to inject as much talent into their system as possible.
LHP Chris Rusin will start tonight for the Cubs in place of Feldman.