The Orioles have traded right-handers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Chicago Cubs for right-hander Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger (Mount St. Joseph). Here's some reaction on the move.
Dan Connolly, Orioles/baseball reporter: The Orioles wanted another proven starter with playoff experience if possible. They got him in Scott Feldman, a big right-hander who has been on their radar pretty much since Buck Showalter joined the Orioles. Feldman pitched for Showalter in Texas and the manager loves the guy's attitude. But it's not just about team morale. Feldman has a 3.46 ERA in 15 starts for the Cubs this year and has made nine postseason appearances as a reliever (3.29 ERA). Steve Clevenger is a Mount St. Joe guy that will go to Triple-A Norfolk and can be used as a catcher and bat off the bench if needed in Baltimore. The risk here is giving up two high-ceiling arms in Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. But the Orioles love Feldman and figure it's worth the risk. The Orioles also gave up two international signing bonus slots that amount to roughly $400,000 they won't be able to spend internationally. Bottom line: This trade is for now and not a couple years down the road.
Eduardo A. Encina, Orioles beat reporter: This deal lets fans know that the Orioles are dedicated to making a deep playoff run this season. Their starting rotation could be good enough to get to the playoffs, but not get far there. That's when the clubs with bona fide front-end starters shine. Feldman is a veteran arm who -- along with Wei-Yin Chen's return from the DL -- can stabilize the Orioles' rotation. Feldman can go deep into games and has valuable postseason experience. His 3-0 record and 2.49 ERA in seven career games at Camden Yards is a plus. As for Arrieta and Strop, the Orioles' concluded that they both wouldn't fix their mound problems in Baltimore. While that realization is disappointing, it shows the club's ability to make a much-needed progressive move.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: For the second year in a row, Dan Duquette has pulled off a significant deal for a veteran starting pitcher, which is never an easy thing to do. The O's may end up regretting the loss of Arrieta, but it was starting to look like he wasn't going to bloom here.
Childs Walker, sports enterprise reporter: The Orioles made a sharp move acquiring Scott Feldman ahead of the deadline. This is a classic case of a contender trading uncertain assets to address a current problem. Jake Arrieta has the talent to make the deal look bad some day. But the Orioles can't count on him to figure it out in the next three months, and they have a real chance to make a run this year. To do that, they need a more trustworthy rotation. They know it. Everyone knows it. Feldman is not an overpowering ace, but he's a guy whose underlying numbers have often been better than his ERA. And Dan Duquette has been right more often than not in targeting these kinds of players. He got the guy they needed without giving up an elite prospect.
David Selig, baseball editor: Feldman is having a good year for the Cubs, but he's 46-50 for his career with a 4.66 ERA, so he's not coming here to be an ace. The fact that Strop was out of minor league options obviously is a big factor in the Orioles trading him. He still has potential as a late-inning reliever, and he won't be pitching in a pennant race in Chicago in the near future, so they can better afford to hold him on the big league roster. It's also a better bet that Jake Arrieta will succeed in the National League than pitching in the AL East at Camden Yards.