The ones that matter the most in this deal are Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres.
They acquired some signing flexibility from Baltimore in the Feldman/Steve Clevenger trade and even more by dealing Double-A second baseman Ronald Torreyes to the Astros. Torres, a Venezuelan shortstop, has agreed to a deal for $1.7 million and the Cubs are believed to be closing in on a deal for Jimenez, a power-hitting Dominican outfielder.
Both Jimenez and Torres are 16, which means that even if they do sign them it will be years before we know what kind of return they got from Feldman (plus we’ll have to bring in Nate Silver to do the math on all the moves going on Tuesday).
This we can say: Feldman was a great signing. He picked the Cubs over some other suitors last winter because Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer guaranteed him he would be a starting pitcher, and he responded well to the job security.
Feldman was 7-6 with a 3.46 earned run average in his 15 starts with the Cubs. The Orioles hit a home run by getting him while giving up the 27-year-old Arrieta and 28-year-old Strop rather than any of their under-25 prospects in the minors. This means they still have a full inventory if they decide to pursue Matt Garza or another starter closer to the July 31 deadline for non-waiver trades.
Strop, who was a force for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, and Arrieta have upside. But it will be up to Chris Bosio and Dale Sveum to figure how to get them straightened out.
In Strop’s case, a relatively easy, pressure-free finish to the 2013 season might set him up for a big ’14. He has seemed on fumes since Tony Pena pitched him six times in the WBC, when Strop was a big part of the bullpen that carried the Dominican Republic to the title.
Arrieta (20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in 358 career innings) could benefit from a move to the National League as well as a chance to slide into the rotation and get another long look, without having to look over his shoulder.
As it looks now, the Orioles are getting the edge in this trade. But it could look a lot different if Jimenez and Torres are playing together at Wrigley Field in 2018 or ’19.
As for Carlos Marmol and some signing space to the Dodgers for Matt Guerrier, at least the Cubs got something for Marmol, who was dropped from the roster a week ago on the addition-by-subtraction theory. Guerrier could bounce back to pitch well for the Cubs. If he does, maybe he’ll be on the move again in a few weeks. If he doesn’t, he won’t be around long either.
The Cubs were so happy not to eat all of Marmol’s contract that they tipped the Dodgers for taking Marmol, giving them about $210,000 of their newly gained signing flexibility. That’s how you know Epstein and Hoyer are happy.