“The Orioles need more starting pitching,” the angry mob has yelled since April. No kidding.
On Tuesday afternoon, the O’s acquired starter Scott Feldman and minor league catcher Steve Clevenger from the Chicago Cubs for starter Jake Arrieta, reliever Pedro Strop and international bonus money. The deal was first reported by ESPN’s Keith Law and then confirmed by everyone else that covers Baseball (there are lots of people).
It’s great to see the Orioles add a starter without giving up a prospect and Feldman has been a fantastic bounce back story this season. I’m still one of the few believers in Arrieta, but understand parting ways with a project pitcher for a guy that should help the team now. As for Strop, we saw what he was capable of in the first half of last season, but inconsistency and lack of command has plagued him ever since.
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that Arrieta could make the Orioles look bad “if he figures it out.” That’s certainly true, especially considering the fact that Feldman will hit the free agent market after this season. However, the Birds have been waiting for Arrieta to figure it out for four years.
The deal seems fair for both sides and I’m most interested to see what Feldman looks like back in the American League. With the Cubs this season, Feldman has pitched to a 3.46 ERA, 2.68 K/BB and 1.143 WHIP over 91 innings pitched in 15 starts. Feldman has recorded nine quality starts this season, however they’ve come against the Marlins, Padres, Rangers (his former team), Nationals, Mets (twice), White Sox, Angels and Brewers.
Last season, Feldman struggled against the American League as a starter with the Rangers. Opponents hit .279/.321/.745 against him and he recorded a 5.48 ERA as a starting pitcher with Texas.
Dan Duquette has pointed to Feldman’s postseason experience as part of the reason the Orioles targeted him before the trade deadline. For more information and opinion on the deal, check out Avi Miller’s take.