And we have our first trade of the pennant race! The Baltimore Orioles, seeking a boost to their starting rotation, have added right-hander Scott Feldman from the Chicago Cubs. Headed the other direction: Eternal prospect Jake Arrieta and another pitcher, right-handed reliever Pedro Strop.
The Orioles also get backup catcher Steve Clevenger and the Cubs get an undisclosed cash to use for international bonuses.
The deal was first reported by scout/analyst Keith Law of ESPN, who thinks the trade benefits both teams.
Feldman, for what it's worth — and it should mean a lot — made a pop culture reference when asked to reflect on the trade:
— Andrew Holly (@AndrewDHolly) July 2, 2013
The Cubs also made another deal, finalizing a trade of troubled Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Dodgers, with Matt Guerrier going back to Chicago. ESPN reported that first, too. The Dodgers make out OK in regards to paying Marmol, reports Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.
But it's the Feldman trade that probably will affect the playoff hunt more.
Success for the Orioles means that Feldman continues to give good innings. He's got a 3.46 ERA with 67 strikeouts and .227 batting average against in 91 innings. His Fielding Independent Pitching has been consistently under 4.00 the past three seasons. Adding Feldman also keeps him away from those teams who might rival the O's for a playoff spot. Feldman's not glamorous, but he's good enough to get people out.
Success for the Cubs means that Arrieta has gone from disappointment to serviceable starter. Sometimes a change of scenery can help, Baltimore GM Dan Duquette said. Arrieta, only 27, has a 5.46 ERA in 358 career innings after projecting as perhaps a good No. 3 starter in the minors. Moving anywhere, but especially to the National League, should help him. Arrieta is hopeful:
Arrieta on change of scenery: “I think that is really the best way to look at it. This is something that is going to do me a lot of good."
— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) July 2, 2013
Also, if Strop pitches like he did in 2012, the Cubs have added a solid relief option with a big arm.
And "International Bonus Money" — also part of the Marmol deal — sounds exotic, like bitcoins.
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