The Orioles have made the first big move of the season in baseball by trading Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Chicago Cubs in return for RHP Scott Feldman, a “proven starter with postseason experience,” words of Orioles GM Dan Duquette. The Orioles also sent pool money for international signings to the Cubs, two pool slots totaling roughly $380,000.
Most importantly, let’s all stand up and give Duquette a round of applause for making this deal, sending two players who have struggled in Baltimore but are viewed by other teams as potential big roster pieces for a solid starting pitcher. He also made this trade on July 2, almost a full month before the trade deadline, giving the Orioles an extra 4-5 starts possibly from Feldman compared to making a deadline deal. A trade for Matt Garza, Bud Norris, or even Cliff Lee would have dug into the farm system and sent prospects away, but Duquette was able to capitalize on pieces that weren’t being productive to the Major League club at the moment and acquired a piece that could help stabilize a rotation that is also about to get Wei Yin Chen back from injury.
For Arrieta, it has always been said that the change of scenery could be just what he needs. Well, now we get to find out how true that is. While analysts and sabermetricians alike have claimed over the years that this concept is mostly invalid, it certainly has shown true for the Orioles this season with Chris Davis, who for one has remarked that the move to Baltimore was one of the many factors in helping him become the player he is today.
Strop obviously saw many struggles this 2013 season after putting on a pitching clinic with Fernando Rodney in the World Baseball Classic for Team Dominican Republic. He has had various issues with fastball command and perhaps stamina problems, but the “stuff” is there. At times formidable, Strop has the ability to throw a fastball in the high 90s with insane movement, provoking those thoughts of “but a ball going that fast isn’t supposed to do that!”
Let’s not forget, Strop will most likely jump into the role of setup man for the Cubs behind closer…Kevin Gregg.
Best of luck to both Pedro and Jake out in the midwest. Pedro has always been seen as an extremely upbeat person, always smiling and addressing his teammates with humor and happiness. Arrieta has the potential to be a number one, top of the rotation kind of pitcher. Here’s to the future success of two great men.