The Baltimore Orioles have traded presumed Opening Day starter Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies in return for pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. It’s curious move for Baltimore and a potentially terrific move for Colorado. The Rockies obtain a veteran starter to front what figures to be a very young rotation. Guthrie is no ace but he is dependable and could thrive after escaping the Orioles. Guthrie will be eligible for free agency following the 2012 season.
Hammel returns to the American League East, he was originally drafted by the Rays. Hammel didn’t fare well in his initial tour through the AL East posting ERAs of 7.77, 6.14 and 4.60 in parts of three seasons in Tampa. He pitched fairly well for the Rockies in 2009 and 2010 before falling off badly in 2011. He went just 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 170.1 innings last season. He will likely replace Guthrie in the Baltimore rotation. Lindstrom pitched to a 3.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 63 games for Colorado in 2011. He will likely set up Jim Johnson for the Orioles.