scott feldman cubsToday, the Chicago Cubs traded Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles for pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop, as well as international bonus money. The Cubs have confirmed the deal, which was originally reported by Keith Law.

Feldman, a free agent after the season, has ostensibly been on the block for a month already thanks to his hot start to the season and the Cubs’ obvious seller mode. With Feldman due to start tonight in Oakland, the Cubs – or the Orioles – decided they didn’t want to wait until after that start to make a move.

There were indications that something was going to happen today with Clevenger, but a big move involving Feldman wasn’t exactly on the docket.

The Cubs’ return in this deal is interesting, and will be subject to extensive analysis in the coming days. In a weak starting pitching market, and with a month to go before the deadline, you would have expected the return on Feldman to be quite solid. Then again, with Feldman a mere rental who is having success as a starter for the first time in a couple years, I could understand the demand being less than Cubs fans might hope.

Although each player will be discussed at greater length soon, here’s your quick take on Arrieta and Strop:

Arrieta, 27, is one of those obviously talented pitchers who has never been able to fully put it together in the big leagues. The Orioles have been dangling him a lot this rumor season (so much so that I started writing a post on him before abandoning it in favor of less speculative endeavors – shame on me), and I think a number of teams were interested in the potential. Despite the poor baseball card numbers in 2012, his FIP was 4.05 and his xFIP was 3.65. I hate to use the old trope, but get him out of the AL East, and see what happens.

Strop, 28, is a reliever who, until this year, had been having great success with the Orioles. His walks have gotten out of control this year (as have the home runs), but the stuff is apparently quite good.

Each of Arrieta and Strop projects to be arbitration eligible for the first time next year, so there’s a whole lot of team control available in this deal. The question is whether each pitcher will reverse course enough for that team control to matter. If they do – if Strop becomes 2012 Strop, and Arrieta becomes the guy scouts say he can be – this is a steal for the Cubs. If not, the Cubs gambled and lost. But that’s what these deals always amount to anyway, right?

And, hey, who knows? Maybe each guy pitches well over the next month and … I’m just sayin’.

As for the bonus money, given the Cubs’ signings already today (and Eloy Jimenez expected), you can understand why it was important for the Cubs to secure that money in short order. The bonus slots being sent to the Cubs are number three and four for the Orioles, which total just under $400,000. As I discussed previously, I’m just not sure how valuable that pool space really is, relative to prospect acquisition. I’m not saying it isn’t good to get the pool money when you can, however.

In the aggregate, this looks like a deal for the long-term future (pool money) and the near-term future (big league arms under team control). A singular top 100 prospect probably would have made me a little happier today, but that doesn’t mean I’m right or that a top 100 prospect was ever going to even be possible.

The Cubs get to do what they want internationally now, and they get a couple upside pitchers with big league experience and team control – that really isn’t too bad when you think about it.

  • someday…2015?

    Love this trade. Good for both sides.

    • Cedlandrum

      what am I missing about the guys that we got back?

      • Kyle

        They throw really hard.

        They suck, but they throw really hard.

        • Jack Weiland

          You seem really sure of that statement, and I think it’s a mistake. Their results suck. They have skills that can conceivably be tweaked to make their results very, very good.

          Heck, if this was Jake Arrieta before last season people would probably be smitten. It’s not a massive return, but it’s not garbage either. And from a one year, six million dollar investment over the offseason it’s pretty darn solid, regardless of the IFA cash.

          • YourResidentJag

            Here’s my problem with your disagreement. Henry Rodriguez also has a lot potential and throws hard and the Cubs got him for virtually a song and a dance.

      • deej34

        Not to jump the gun or get too cynical too early but Feldman has been solid and we just traded him for two mid-20s pitcher who have shown little to no promise….? I hope we got a buttload of international $$ or this trade looks like a stinker.

        • ssckelley

          If the Cubs want him back they can resign him in the off season.

      • gaius marius

        international bonus pool money. the Cubs are extremely active in signing talent in the Caribbean this year and are trying to increase their stock of high-ceiling talent in order to get around the constraints of the draft. trading for bonus pool cash is a very important part of this process. this all fits in with the idea that Theo is trying to build a talent pipeline that will feed the Cubs cheap high quality talent so that he can fill the gaps with free agency — which is far more realistic than trying to buy a team from scratch.

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    Does this eliminate them from garza?

  • crush012

    This curveball from Arrieta is crazy

  • Ben

    The first ball drops. Seems like a great deal for both teams. And a deal this early could push other teams to start moving as well.

  • Cubsfan21

    Wow. I’m not sure what I was expecting for Scott Feldman but both of these guys are terrible pitchers. Ugh.

    • RizzoCastro

      I think it is a great trade for the Cubs. Arrieta in the rotation now and Strop can replace Camp when he is sent on his way or traded. The Braves need help send him to the Braves for a little IFA pool money.

  • Mike

    Meh. I think we could have waited a little while longer for at least a little better return. Maybe Arrieta can turn it around. Strop looks good.

  • Jp3

    ” but a big move involving Feldman wasn’t exactly on the docket.” Wow! Didn’t think he’d be considered a big move ever… Nice pick up for the international $$$

  • hankp

    There has to be a pretty significant chunk of IFA money coming over I would think. We have our new bullpen lightening rod in Strop.

  • Michael

    Does this mean Garza could be gone by his next start too?

  • Kyle

    My first impression is pretty disappointed. Clevenger for IFA money is fair value, but then it seems like instead of getting a prospect for Feldman, we got a pair of Volstads.

    • RizzoCastro

      Kyle, look what they have done with Wood. He was something a lot of people thought when we got him wouldn’t be that great. I think this could be the same thing here with Jake Arrieta. He’s 27 and can be controlled for a few years. I think he can be a good number 4 starter for the Cubs. Strop has a live arm and we need to have some young BP depth that we will have for next year. Camp should be sent packing soon.

    • BluBlud

      My sentiments exackly Kyle.

  • JoeyCollins

    Not sure about this return, i guess it depends on the the money end.

    • Kyle

      I have little doubt that we got their biggest IFA slot or more. That’s not a big deal either way.

  • Bill

    I hope the Cubs got a lot of money for this deal because they didn’t get anything in players. Wow, I would have figured Feldman would have gotten more than 2 meh pitchers. I’d rather have some low level prospect than these two pitchers. Hopefully the money can be put to good use and that will be where the biggest return comes from in this trade.

  • Will

    Several teams appear to be in love with Arrieta. He could be included in another package with Garza.

    • Kyle

      He throws an average FB velocity in the high 90s. He’s terrible, but he throws hard.

    • nkniacc13

      That’s what I wonder as well Could Arrieta be flipped to SD for Prospects his name has been mentioned there a bunch

  • Mike C

    What did the Cubs originally give for Feldman?

    • Randy

      Nothing, we signed him as a Free Agent last offseason, with purpose of letting him increase his value and become a commodity for trade

    • cubzfan

      Signed him as a free agent.

    • mak

      1 year, $6M

    • someday…2015?

      A 1 year deal.

    • Carew

      6 million bucks

    • Bryan

      He signed in the off-season from Texas for 1 yr/$6M if memory serves.

    • Patrick

      They signed him to a free agent deal so the only thing they gave was money.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      I think they signed him in the offseason.


      • cjdubbya

        Did they sign Feldman for one year and $6MM this past offseason? I’m not sure.

        • hansman1982

          He was a free agent, that I am fairly certain of…

  • PiattCountyGuy

    Hope we got a lot of bonus money, ’cause the players we got aren’t anything to brag about. On the other hand, we didn’t exactly give up all-stars to get them.


    First impression is very disappointing. Wasn’t Feldman signed through next year too?

    • Kyle

      No, FA at the end of this season.

    • Noah

      No, that’s Villanueva.

  • Randy

    If this ends up being the sole reason we land Eloy Jimenez, then I think it was right to sell now on Feldman

    • Kyle

      Absolutely not. We’re getting Eloy Jiminez regardless, and there’s no way he’s worth more than an MLB SP. If the only reason we did this deal were to secure him, that’s terrible value.

      • Randy

        Jimenez is going to require at least $2 million to be signed, that’s about what we have left after the two big signings this morning. We needed to trade for space to make it happen

        • DARRRRRR

          That is a really poor move if you truly believe that. Feldman should have netted a good prospect in return. Not money to take a flyer on some 16 year old kid that has a 1:500 shot (Im being generous) of making the big leagues. Do you know how many of these kids just flame out?

          • Randy

            I’m not saying they couldn’t have done better, but it’s not all that dissimilar from trading for an 18 year old prospect in an organization’s top 10. Yeah we had the 2nd biggest pool for Int’l signings, but this is what we spent all that money building up our resources in the Dominican for. Gotta trust that they wanted to really kill it with the signings this year. No prospect is a sure thing, but there’s no denying that half the MLB’s all stars came from the Dominican or Venezuela which is where we’re trying to spend our money, looks like. I trust that they know what they’re doing.

        • Kyle

          A guy like Clevenger for IFA space would have been plenty to get enough space we need.

          If you think we traded Feldman to make sure we got Jimenez, then I think you’re overvaluing Jimenez.

          • Randy

            We’re in on two really solid pitching prospects down there too, think they’re going to get a huge chunk. I don’t think there was much of a market for Clevinger on his own, he was a throw in.

  • Brandon

    Fine deal. I don’t know much about either of the pitchers (though Strop had a pretty good 2012 as a reliever), but I suspect pool money was the sticking point here.


    WTF just happened? This is a shit trade by the cubs, very disappointed.

  • Jed Jam Band

    I’m just….I don’t know. Gotta be pretty good IFA money is my guess.

  • BluBlud

    This trade is pretty disgusting. If this is all Feldman(not to mention Clevenger) could net us in a trade, then we should have just kept him and tried to resign him. I guess we can still try to resign him, but damn, we got nothing in return.

    • caryatid62

      I’m not sure what people expect for a guy with an xFIP of 4 who has been a mediocre player his entire career and is a FA at the end of the year.

      This is what happens when people get overly excited about “flippable assets.”

      • BluBlud


        the point is if he couldn’t net more then that, then why trade him. I though we were trading for young prospects, not a bunch of grown ass men who have sucked for most of their careers.

        • caryatid62

          They weren’t going to get “young prospects” for this guy. The best they could have hoped for were a couple of A or A+ lottery tickets, and that would probably have been pushing it.

          If you’re mad that they are trading for “a bunch of grown ass men who have sucked for most of their careers,” you need to remember that all they traded was an OLDER grown ass man who has sucked for most of his career.

        • Patrick

          While this isn’t a great deal you’re logic here doesn’t make sense. How does it help the Cubs to keep Feldman? If they keep him the rest of the year, they get nothing. And in addition, Strop has not been that bad. Given how bad the Cubs have been at developing late inning relievers this isn’t the worst trade in the world.

    • Jack Weiland

      If you were thinking Steve Clevenger had trade value, to major league teams, it would probably be good to recalibrate your expectations as soon as possible. Otherwise you’re in for a rotten July.

    • hansman1982

      “not to mention Clevenger”

      You mean the guy who has been injured for the better part of the last year?

  • Cizzle

    Law’s tweet called him “Tony Clevenger”. Hopefully he got the other names wrong too.

  • Norm

    Looks pretty sucky to me.

  • Dynastyin2017

    Obviously they didn’t want Feldman to dilute the market for Garza, but these two guys seem to have little upside. Arrietta looks like a Volstad type, and Strop’s stats reminds me of, GULP, Carlos Marmol.

  • Rich H

    I do like Perdo Strop but he could figure it out but come on. This is a bridge over trade instead of a building block type trade.

  • Ben

    Everyone, keep in mind we traded Scott Feldman. He’s been extremely solid this year, but his FIP/xFIP are near 4. He’s a good pitcher, who wouldn’t have gotten a qualifying offer from the Cubs after the season. The return may be “light”, but I’m not sure the Cubs were going to do much better for him.

  • Coldneck

    A similar comp on Strop is the current day version of Marmol. Arrieta was once a hot prospect that is nearing bust. Not much to like when looking at the players in this deal.

  • cubchymyst

    Not what I was expecting for Feldman, both pitchers seem to walk too many batters for my liking.

    • Bill

      The walks issue is what has me scratching my head. I thought the Theo way was to sign guys who take walks and pitchers who don’t walk guys. Well, we have a team full of players who would rather contract the plague than take a walk, and now it looks like Theo is trying to sign pitchers who have no control.

  • joey

    The deals alright. Arrieta and Strop have big potential but have had some issues. Low risk high reward type guys. Still think that better be a ton of bonus money, cause if we kept Feldman til the deadline and he kept pitching well, I feel like we couldve gotten more. My concern is that Arrieta is 27, and Strop is 28, and neither has found consistent success yet in the bigs, especially this year.

  • Nathan

    Looks like Rusin is being brought up to start tonight in Oakland for Feldman.

    • joey

      I hate that. Anyone but Rusin. Hes gonna get rocked tonight.

      • Noah

        In Oakland it actually kinda makes sense to pitch Rusin. It’s such a pitcher’s ballpark, if you can just limit walks you can be really effective (ask Tommy Milone). Longer term I’d rather see someone else, but for tonight Rusin makes some sense.