Well, the first impact trade of the 2013 season has happened. In case you haven’t heard yet, the Orioles traded away Pedro Strop and Jake Arrieta to the Cubs in exchange for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger.
The deal appears to be solid for both sides. In Feldman, the Orioles get a solid starting pitcher without paying the price on a guy like Cliff Lee. In Arrieta and Strop, the Cubs get a late-inning reliever as well as a starting pitcher who has struggled, but is still young and has shown flashes of brilliance.
However, did the Orioles give up too much to get Feldman? The Cubs signed Feldman to a one year contract after he struggled last year in Texas, going 6-11 with a 5.09 ERA. While Feldman has pitched well in 2013, his numbers are inflated by his month of May, where he was dominant- going 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA. However, he hasn’t pitched so well outside of that month, posting a 3.92 ERA in April and a 4.75 ERA in June. It probably comes as no surprise that, of the teams that he faced in May- the White Sox, Reds, Mets, Nationals, Rangers, and Padres, only 2- the Reds and Rangers- are particularly good offensive teams. While he shut out the Rangers over 7 innings on 2 hits, he allowed 5 runs in 5.1 innings to the Reds.
As a 4.66 career ERA pitcher, it appears that he won’t be able to quite carry his success in Chicago to Baltimore. For one, he’ll have to face the tougher lineups of the AL East instead of the softer lineups of the NL Central. In addition, his BABIP of .255 suggests that he’s getting pretty lucky, and his 3.93 FIP/3.89 xFIP suggest that some regression is on the way. This, coupled with the fact that he will be moving to a more offensive-minded league, makes it seem like he’ll finish the year with an ERA in the mid 4’s.
Feldman should be a solid addition for the Orioles, but at the cost of Pedro Strop (who had a 2.44 ERA in 70 games out of the Orioles’ pen last year) and Jake Arrieta.