On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs traded pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles. In exchange, the Orioles send pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Cubs, along with about $400,000 in international free agent bonus money.
On the surface, I think this is a good deal for both teams. The Orioles are in contention in the American League East and needed to add to their starting rotation. Feldman has been great for the Cubs this year, going 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA. Clevenger is just a complementary piece to this deal, but I consider him to be a solid back-up catcher.
The Cubs recieved a couple of high-upside arms in this deal that needed a change of scenery. Arrieta has always had great stuff that has just never translated to the big leagues. In four seasons with the Orioles, the 27-year-old Arrieta has struggled with a 20-25 record and 5.46 ERA, including a 7.23 ERA in 5 starts this season. Even with his struggles, many scouts think that Arrieta has the stuff to turn things around quickly.
Strop is a 28-year-old electric bullpen arm that struggles with walks. He has great stuff, but he has not been able to control it this season. Strop has struggled mightily with a 7.25 ERA and 15 walks in only 22.1 innings pitched this season, but he does have some past success including last year where he pitched 66.1 innings with 55 strikeouts and a 2.44 ERA.
The Cubs also picked up some international free agency bonus money that should help them in their chase of the top prospect available, 16-year-old Dominican Eloy Jimenez.
It is hard to say now how this deal will work out for the Cubs, but they are taking a chance on some high-upside guys that could really be key pieces to their future. Feldman was just a one-year rental player for the Cubs and they received good value on their investment.