The Oriole made a trade on Tuesday that will bolster their starting rotation, but more importantly put the Boston Red Sox on notice that Baltimore is committed to gearing up to win the division.
In the trade, the Orioles are getting right-hander Scott Feldman from the Cubs along with catcher Steve Clevenger, and in exchange sending right-handed pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to Chicago. The Orioles are also sending their international bonus slots three and four, which combined give the Cubs $400,000 to spend on international free agent signings.
For the Orioles, the key part of the trade is Feldman. He comes in with a 7-6 record and a 3.46 ERA in 15 starts, immediately improving a starting rotation with a 4.79 ERA, worse than all but three teams in the majors.
The Orioles stand at 47-36, behind the first-place Boston Red Sox by 2 1/2 games.
Committed to making a long run in the playoffs this year, the Orioles decided to address one of the biggest needs while Boston and the AL East are still within grasp.
“I think when you have a number of players who are having a good year like we are, you have to address the needs of the ballclub and put your focus on on this year’s club,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. “And this year’s ballclub needs more stable starting pitching and that’s what this trade is designed to address.”
In Feldman, the Orioles acquire a player with a 3-0 lifetime record at Camden Yards and a history of strong play in the postseason. The team had tried to sign him last offseason, though Felman opted to re-up with the Cubs for a one-year, $6-million deal.
“He’s a proven veteran starting pitcher and he’s pitched very well in this ballpark,” Duquette said. “He’s pitched in the postseason, he won 17 games once and he is on his way to having a good year this season.”
Though Feldman is more about efficiency than flash, if he pans out in the starting rotation the Orioles trade could have Baltimore thinking World Series.