Since 2011, the Orioles have acquired Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Pedro Strop and Taylor Teagarden from the Texas Rangers.
In using Strop to acquire Scott Feldman, who pitched in Arlington from 2005-2012, the O’s are betting on another player the Texas Rangers really didn’t want—he was simply a free agent signee of the Cubs last offseason.
In 2013, Feldman has a 3.46 ERA, 3.93 FIP and 3.97 SIERA for a 1.1 fWAR. The American League ERA is 4.07, the Baltimore Orioles team ERA is 4.43.
Of course, Feldman is experiencing success in the ERA department that he hasn’t before (career 4.66 ERA) and is moving to the American League East in a hitter’s park. So, while his performance this season looks nice, it’s unclear how much it will help the Orioles.
From 2010-2012, Feldman pitched 297 innings in Texas with a 5.15 ERA, 4.27 FIP and 4.31 SIERA. He was worth 3.9 fWAR. He relieved during some of that time, but just for 30 or so innings. As a starter (248.2 IPs), Feldman posted a 5.43 ERA, 4.40 FIP and 4.29 SIERA. Feldman did show marked improvement last year in 123 innings, so there is a case to be made that he is a new and improved pitcher now.
Feldman, in all likelihood, will not be the 3.50 ERA pitcher he was in Chicago – he doesn’t strike anyone out, doesn’t get a ton of groundballs, and will allow his fair share of HRs. He doesn’t walk too many batters which limits the gopher ball damage. The best case scenario for fantasy baseball owners is Feldman wins some games behind the O’s high powered offense and puts up a 4.25 ERA and 1.32 WHIP, with minimal K’s.
Jake Arrieta is a reclamation project for the Cubs. I imagine they’ll try to give him as many starts as possible the rest of the season to see if they can make anything out of him. If that fails, he could be an intriguing bullpen arm. In fact, both he and Strop could find themselves in the catbird seat for closing duties once something happens to Kevin Gregg. There is little to no talent in the Cubs pen (depending on how you view Carlos Villanueva) and I would take the two former O’s over anyone else if I were betting on the most saves from a Cubbie now through the end of 2014. This makes Arrieta and Strop decent dynasty league considerations.