Cubs Trade Feldman and Clevenger, Torreyes for Pitchers, Cash

Scott FeldmanAccording to multiple published reports, the Chicago Cubs have traded starting pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles for right-hander Pedro Strop, right-hander Jake Arrieta and just less than $400,000 in cash to spend in the international market. 

Right off the bat, you’ve got to walk away from this deal a happy camper if you’re a Cubs fan, as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have essentially turned a starting pitcher they picked up off the trash heap over the offseason and a AAA-caliber catcher into two pitchers and a pile of money to spend in the international market, where the Cubs have been very active over the last season or two.

While the loss of Feldman, who has been solid for the majority of the year, will certainly have an adverse effect on the rotation for the remainder of this season, it’s a move that benefits the Cubs in the long run. And, really, at this point, that’s what it’s all about.

Strop is a 28-year-old reliever who’s spent the last five seasons bouncing between the minors and majors in the Texas and Baltimore bullpens. In 2012, he put up an pretty nice line of 2.44 ERA/1.342 WHIP/58K in 66.1 innings. This year, he’s not doing quite so well, posting an ugly 7.25 ERA with an equally-disgusting 1.701 WHIP with 24 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. On the bright side, these numbers did come in the offensively robust AL East, but nobody should fool themselves into thinking Strop is going to be a stud. He’ll be a passable bullpen option, and that’s all he needs to be.

Arrieta, a 27-year-old starter, has struggled each of his four years in the big leagues. His career line of 5.46 ERA/1.472 WHIP in 358 career innings isn’t much to brag about, but he will give the Cubs another option in the rotation and you never know how a pitcher will perform after switching leagues; particularly from the AL to the NL. Chances are he’s not going to turn into an ace, or even a reliable fifth starter, but you never know. And I don’t really think either of these pitchers are the primary reason for this deal.

The most important aspect appears to be the money the Cubs will receive to play with in the international market. Based on the moves the Cubs have made thus far, it seems they intend to make a big push during this year’s international market. In fact, while I was writing this piece….

Cubs trade Ronald Torreyes to Houston.

The Cubs continued their flurry of moves on Tuesday by dealing AA second-base prospect Ronald Torreyes to the Houston Astros in exchange for, you guessed it, more money in the international market. This time, about $800,000 worth.

Between the money they received Feldman deal, the money they gave up in the Carlos Marmol deal and now the additional money they received in the Torreyes trade, that gives the Cubs approximately $1 million in money to use in the international market in the matter of about 30 minutes. No matter how you slice it, that’s a good day. Or should I say half hour.

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