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.

  • Austin8466

    Strop had 4 very good years in the pen, and has had a rough go of it this year. If he can straighten it back out, I think it’s a very legit trade for the Cubs. Arrieta was actually being discussed as a pretty hot commodity, as he is only 27.

    You guys remember that this is Scott Feldman, right?

    • Kyle

      Which four years were those?

      • Austin8466

        Sorry, I was looking at split career stats instead of actual career stats.

        Still, he had two pretty damn good years. In 2011 he finished with an ERA of 2.05 and in 2012 he pitched 66 innings with an ERA of 2.44.

        He’s in his late 20s as well.

      • Austin8466

        Also, Arrieta was a top 100 prospect before he was called up to the Show. He hasn’t had a ton of success, but he has the tools and he’s still young.

      • Jonathan

        Strop was untouchable most of the year last year. Got overused and is suffering for it this year. Would like to see the Cubs use him sparingly and see what he can bring next year after a more reasonable load.

        Arrieta was the O’s opening day starter last year. My guess is he never does get it together but he is the kind ofhigh ceiling guy that you take a chance on.

        • Coop

          If I recall correctly, Strop was heavily used during the World Baseball Classic – not sure if that is an adequate excuse for his regression this year, or not…

          • Jonathan

            I think it was more just his usage last year. Strop fell off considerably at the end of the year last year.

    • Coldneck

      By saying 4 years, you are including in 3 years in which he pictched 12, 9, and 22 innings. In my view he’s had one successful season.

  • Coldneck

    Any idea how much pool money we’re getting? The Orioles had a decent season last year so their pool isn’t that large.

  • therealPattyP

    Pedro Strop when on, is lights out. Wipeout slider and good fb. It’s like the Cubs acquired these two pitchers for free. Feldman was a one year contract guy coming back from an off year.

    • someday…2015?

      My thoughts exactly. Feldman wasn’t coming back after this year and Clevenger is as fringy as it gets. If either Arrieta or Strop can come around, the Cubs steal this trade IMO. The bonus money should be for Eloy who just makes this deal sweeter.

  • Jason P

    I guess they wanted ML pitchers as opposed to lower level prospects. But I just don’t know. If these guys were struggling in their early 20’s, than I could see taking a flyer, but these are 2 mediocre pitchers that are 27 and 28.

    For what it’s worth, though, both have better peripherals than results this year… just like Scott Feldman last year.

  • Josh C.

    Reported on MLBTR that the Cubs also got bonus pool slots #3 & 4 from Baltimore, not sure what that means in terms of dollars but that’s what i read.

  • Joey

    MLB Trade Rumors ‏@mlbtraderumors
    RT @Orioles: The O’s have also sent International Signing Bonus Slots 3 & 4 to Chicago. Clevenger has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

    • nkniacc13

      about 338k coming to cubs

    • Kyle

      That’s all? We got super boned.

      • BluBlud

        We got boned, upside down with not KY Jelly.

      • Carew

        Its Feldman…he’s solid but not that great

        • Kyle

          I expected “solid but not that great” to get us one OK thing, not three crappy things.

      • CubsfanMike

        I live in Va beach and have watched Arriet, flashes of briliance, the kid can throw. I understand that he may not pan out, but what did we really lose. Maybe 7 more wins this year. In a down year, I would take a chance on him for 7 wins

  • Carew

    Not the greatest but it is for Feldman. Feldman is not a Garza, Gallardo, or even Nolasco. Probably wasnt going to get much anyway

  • Nedskid

    I didn’t read everyone elses posts, but I have to believe everyone is thinking along the same lines: This is a terrible trade if you’re going by 2 for 1 comparison. There had better be a lot of IFA cash coming or Theo and Jed have plans to include these jack wagons in another trade.

    That is all.

    • Nedskid

      I retract a little bit of spite from my post seeing as I completely left out Clevenger.

      • Eternal pessemist

        Years of control = value unless you are positive these two pitchers suck

  • Josh C.

    Here is the post from MLBTR:

    The first domino of trade season has dropped, as the Orioles acquired righty Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger from the Cubs today for righty Jake Arrieta, reliever Pedro Strop, and international bonus pool money, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Keith Law. The Orioles sent international bonus slots 3 and 4 to the Cubs, according to the team. That should amount to an additional $388,100 for the Cubs, who had an international bonus pool of $4,557,200. This is the first MLB trade involving international bonus pool money.

    The Cubs signed Feldman, 30, to a one-year, $6MM deal in November. He was a prime candidate to be flipped by the 35-45 Cubs, since a qualifying offer in the $14MM range wouldn’t have made sense after the season. Feldman owns a 3.46 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 0.99 HR/9, and 50.7% groundball rate in 91 innings this year.

  • #1lahairfan

    Bad deal.

    First deal by Theo that has dissatisfied me.

    Horrible value since we could have gotten Torres anyway

  • InTheoWeTrust

    Be Patient People it will all make sense.

    • Coldneck

      This made me laugh

      • InTheoWeTrust

        It is starting to make sense then.

  • bleedcubbieblue21

    It baffles me how dumb a lot of my fellow fans are or at least sound. Scott Feldman is NOT going to keep pitching like this. Not gonna happen, its baseball and average players almost always average out. YOU SELL HIGH! Who of u thought feldman would net anything when we signed him???

    • Cub Style

      I thought we’d get pretty much this. I’m psychic.

    • Jack_Malone

      Agree. Feldman’s wheels are going to fall off sooner than later. I was getting neverous with each start he made as a Cub. Plus, it’s not like the Cubs traded him during their magical pennant run.

      • Bryan

        I’m thinking the same about Gregg. Trade him while his stock is high.

  • Colin

    I’m not sure if any of you have picked up on this, but the rumors last week had the Padres interested in both Arrieta and Garza.

    I don’t think Arrieta stays here long with the Cubs.

    • Colin
      • Seamhead

        Interesting side note in that link: “Andrew Cashner, Jedd Gyorko and Everth Cabrera are three players that Center considers “untouchable” for the Padres. Cabrera could be an exception if San Diego received a Major League shortstop in return.”

        Could Castro be added to a massive deal that includes Garza and Arrieta, which brings back Cabrera and pitching prospects?

        • Chad

          Would not hate that at all. If it brought back some top end pitching prospects and Hedges I would give up Castro as well.

        • bbmoney

          I sure as heck hope not.

        • Rich H

          They had better be prepared to empty all of their top ten even with Cabrera.

    • Coldneck

      That would be nice.

  • crush012

    I don’t understand those who say we got shafted but have not watched Arrieta pitch or read anything on him. If you look at pure stats and age sure he hasn’t put it together yet but Heyman says he is a potential ace and other teams were in love with his stuff. Watch the video for yourself this kid can definitely has talent.

  • Chad

    You’ve gotta hope that these guys are going to be plugged into other deals or something. Yes they are very underwhelming, and yes it is just Scott Feldman, but it is also just July 2nd and this is the first trade. You are supposed to get blown away to deal this early. Hopefully this just drives the price up on Garza I guess.

  • T C

    What am I missing about Feldman that all of you see? He’s a marginal pitcher who has been a good starter for literally 92 innings in his life, and he’s a FA at the end of the season. How could they reasonably expect a good prospect for the guy?

    Are the players in return any good? Eh, not really, but they do have some promise. But Clevenger and Feldman are really very, very marginal players, and getting much of anything for them was going to be very difficult.

    • Austin8466


    • Coop

      Agreed. And if the pool money is enough to fill out what is needed to get Eloy, then fine by me.

    • Kyle

      You aren’t missing anything. You are overvaluing what we got back.

      A league-average starting pitcher rental should at least get you one actual prospect, not a couple of big-league washouts who throw hard and some meaningless IFA pool money.

      • bbmoney

        yeah but their (Feldman and Arrieta’s) career xFIPs are and identical 4.45.

        I would have thought we’d have gotten a little more. But I’m not ready to say Arrieta is washed up yet at 27. There is potential there and he’s under control for 3 more years. Figure Clevenger = IFA money. Feldman = a high risk reclamation project and a ho-hum BP arm.

        Initially not my favorite thing ever, but there is potential there, which isn’t the worst thing in the world to get for 1/2 season of Scott Feldman. I mean, we know who Scott Feldman is….he’s a #4 who’s only thrown more than 151 MLB innings once in his career.

      • caryatid62

        I think you’re overvaluing Scott Feldman.

      • ari gold

        What did you say about a 26 YO Samardzjia? People can turn their careers around. It does happen.

    • AD

      I agree. These guys are worth the gamble. Had it not been for some dominant starts, we would have got nothing for Feldman. With the Cubs they will be given the opportunity to turn things around. Bosio has done good work with our younger pitchers. Wood in particular. Prospects are sexier, but this is a decent return. Not what I was hoping for, but decent.

  • Joey

    The Padres apparently love Arrieta. Garza & Arrieta for Hedges, Fuentes and Kelly?

    • Cub Style

      If this happened, I would instantly be aroused. Not like that’s weird or anything.

    • Josho

      I would almost hope for another arm in there too. or instead of Fuentes… Nothing really exciting about him at all.

  • Austin8466


    Arrieta was a top 100 prospect before being called up to the bigs. He’s now a top 100 prospect with some major league experience. That’s how I’m choosing to look at it anyways :)

  • Cheryl

    This could mean they’ll sign Moreno and Eloy.

  • leonardo lopez

    if the pool money is the reason the trade was made, couldn’t a trade be made with just one of those guys. Not exactly excited about this trade. seems like we could have done better but maybe they see something in these guys that is not obvious.

  • Chris

    General consensus from the KLaw/Rosenthals/Knobler’s on Twitter is that this was a pretty fair trade, but could definitely come back to bite the O’s given the talent Arrieta/Strop have – despite their lack of results – and that it points to high prices for SP this hot stove season.

    • RizzoCastro

      Agree with their feelings on the SP market and what teams will have to pay. If the Cubs keep Jake Arrieta I think he will be a very good pitcher next year. He had a lot of hype for the O’s. Maybe he needed a change and now he can relax and pitch and let the Cubs coaching staff help him.

  • Le Cubs

    I have to think Arietta could be packaged and sent off with some of the Cubs other tradable assets. How is the trade gonna look when the Cubs send him and Garza to the Pads for Fuentes, Hedges and Fried.

  • Dustin S

    I had a feeling folks were overestimating what the return would be on Feldman (and what Garza will bring ftm). It’s the same situation as last year as with Dempster, where they aren’t going to get a huge haul for ~3 months of a player. It’s not like when we were kicking around a Porcello/Castellanos deal about a year ago for 1.5 years of Garza. The Cubs did ok in the deal, they must have seen something in these guys.

    • Kyle

      I liked what we got for Dempster a *lot* more than what we just got for Feldman.

      • nkniacc13

        Dempster was a more proven commodity than Feldman. Plus we don’t know for sure if either of the 2 pitchers the cubs got back in that deal will stay at chicago

  • josh ruiter

    IMO, this trade is an early sell high as you can sort of deal. Feldman, who was less than awesome in april and had a strong may, could revert at any point. Pedro Strop, could theoretically be an ideal bullpen piece on a good team next year, and highly valuable if we deal Gregg. Arrieta, an unknown, but upsidish guy IMO, could be an interesting piece a la Travis Wood a year ago. Let him figure it out a bit and hopefully turn into a valuable asset. The pool money is important. This time last year we had no Feldman. To be able to turn a FA signing into a potential signing of Jimenez and others, as well as a solid bullpen piece and a upside starter on the right side of 30. This coming from a guy with a 5.09 ERA as a swingman last year. This is a good job of exploiting a guys ceiling in Feldman and getting ceiling guys back. Is it Maholm worthy? no, but it is a fairly good overall get, with the history, ceiling and value we found in Feldman. Also, he doesn’t figure to fit into the Cubs rotation beyond this year anyway, as a rental and absolute ceiling of a less than good #3, more like a 4/5, which we already have 2-3 of on our roster now. Deal from strength to improve weakness. We have 4 4/5 type starters and on a great team you hope to have 2 of those at most. Well done Jedstein & the Mcleod.

  • Jono

    I like Strop. He and Johnson were one of the best 8th-9th inning combos last year.

  • ozzzie19

    I’d say theres a decent shot that Arrieta gets moved to the Padres…from mlbtradrumors on Sunday.

    The Padres “are enamored” with Orioles right-hander Jake Arrieta. Center reported last week that the Padres have been linked to Arrieta, and Center spoke to a pair of scouts this week who “really love Arrieta’s stuff” and believe he could be a second or third starter “in the right situation.”
    Center hears that Arrieta and Matt Garza are the pitchers most associated with a potential Padres trade. Several teams are interested in Garza, though I’d argue the Padres could have a possible edge due to Cubs GM Jed Hoyer’s familiarity with the San Diego organization and farm system.

    • Le Cubs

      Exactly I have to think Arietta could be packaged and sent off with some of the Cubs other tradable assets. How is the trade gonna look when the Cubs send him and Garza to the Pads for Fuentes, Hedges and Fried.

    • LWeb23

      That makes this deal more interesting for the Cubs. Taking one of the two coveted pitchers for the Padres off the market, thus increasing the demand for the other pitcher that they have. I like it.

  • thatriot

    am i wrong to think we shouldve gotten the same value we got for Maholm in this deal?

    • cubchymyst

      Less than Maholm because Maholm had an extra year of control vs Feldman. I was expecting something a little less then the Dempster Deal. A couple of AA guys with some upside. Both of these guys seem to have control problems.

    • Noah

      I think you’re overstating the value we received for Maholm. Vizcaino has yet to pitch since the trade, and Jaye Chapman pitched 6.1 terrible innings in Iowa before getting sent to the DL with a hip problem.

      I’m not saying what we got was any great shakes, but it’s similar to the Maholm trade: these are guys who are horribly flawed in some way or another, who could be good if fixed.

    • waittilthisyear

      yea. maholm had a more consistent track record and another year of team control. bit younger, i believe, as well. plus he is a lefty (though i don’t think that should matter).

      i like this deal. hopefully arrieta has as pretty a stroke from the right side that feldman had from the left

    • Austin

      You are wrong. Maholm had another year of control and has had a lot longer track record of success as a starter than Feldman. Plus was a little less than 2 million cheaper. Also if anything this Deal looks better IMO because Jake Arrieta has really good potential and had pitched in one of the hardest division in baseball. And Strop was lights out setup man and could return to that level with a lighter work load this year. Vizcaino had yet to pitch for the cubs and might never even come close to pre TJ potential.

  • Dr. Leroy Quackenbush

    Interesting that the FO went for “older” pitchers to yet again smooth out the available arms at each level. At one point I thought Clevenger might turn into the decent offensive catcher for us. It seems like Injuries and the length of the season took its toil on Clevenger.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Terrible return. I don’t know how much bonus pool money were getting, but Arieta may have been a past top prospect 3 yrs ago but his numbers say the guys a bum. And Pedro Stop woopty doo, can’t get excited about a 28 year old middle reliever. Terrible Trade. REALLY extremely disappointed

  • Bails17

    Are these the same guys that were complaining over the Marshall to the Reds deal? How did that work out?

    • InTheoWeTrust

      Amen Brother

    • Kyle

      Are who? I’m complaining about these deals, and I practically tongue-washed Hoyer’s balls for the Marshall trade.