By early Tuesday afternoon, the Chicago Cubs had already made multiple trades. Players dealt away include Carlos Marmol and Scott Feldman, but the thing that seems to have heightened importance is the international signing bonus slots. With the new international signing rules, teams are only allowed to use a certain amount of money to sign international players. Teams are assigned to bonus signing slots based on their record from the previous season, and each slot is worth a given amount of money. Trading these bonus slots affects how much money each team has to use on these signings.
But enough about that. Let’s look at each deal made so far.
Cubs – Orioles
Scott Feldman after his complete game against the Padres on May 1st. (Photo Credit: Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY Sports)
In this deal, the Cubs traded away starting pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles. In return they got pitchers Pedro Strop and Jake Arrieta, as well as two international bonus slots.
Feldman has been a steady performer so far this season, going 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA. He has pitched considerably better at home than on the road this year, posting a 2.54 ERA as well as noticeably better K/9 and BB/9 numbers at Wrigely Field.
Feldman should be a good addition for the Orioles. With Camden Yards being a more ‘hitter friendly’ ballpark, Feldman’s experience with having a hitter friendly home ballpark should come handy. Another plus side for Feldman is the fact that he has played for Orioles manager Buck Showalter before during their days with the Texas Rangers.
The Cubs also sent catcher Steve Clevenger in the deal. He had just been optioned to Triple A affiliate Iowa on June 29th. In limited big league action, Clevenger has had some trouble producing offensively.
The two pitchers they received, Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop, are both young pitchers with a great deal of upside.
Strop, who has struggled this year, has had big league success out of the bullpen. Last season he finished with a 5-2 record and a 2.44 ERA, picking up three saves as well.
Arrieta has not been as effective in his major league outings, posting a career ERA of 5.46. This season alone he has given up 19 runs in 23.2 innings, and has an ERA over 7.00. Arrieta will reportedly be sent to Triple A Iowa.
Cubs – Dodgers
Following the Orioles trade, the Cubs dealt Carlos Marmol and one of the international signing bonus slots they received from Baltimore to the Los Angeles Dodgers for veteran relief pitcher Matt Guerrier.
This year, Marmol has been, to put it simply, “Marmol.” Unable to control his pitches, blowing saves, etc. With the Dodgers, it looks as though he will be coming out of the bullpen in a short relief/setup role, which is where Marmol has had most of his major league success. And if the Dodgers lineup starts to produce runs up the wazoo, like we all know they are capable of, then there would be much less pressure on Marmol. This could be a really good career move for Carlos.
In return the Cubs are getting Matt Guerrier, who appears to be a piece for the ‘now’, rather than the future goals of the organization. The veteran reliever has a career ERA of 3.54 in 582.1 innings. Guerrier has the ability to go multiple innings, and can give the rest of the Cubs bullpen a break. Arguably the best season of his career came in 2009 while he was still a member of the Minnesota Twins, going 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 79 games.
This looks like it could be a good move for both teams. Guerrier has had success throughout his big league career, and can give the Cubs bullpen a much needed boost. As for Marmol, maybe a change of scenery is all he needs to get his game back on track.
Cubs – Astros
After the Marmol deal, the Cubs made another trade with the Houston Astros. In this deal the Cubs dealt away minor league infielder Ronald Torreyes, and received two international bonus slots in return.
The Cubs are showing that they are going to be very active in the trade market this year. Expect them to keep making moves to help them build toward their future goals.