After listing some possible trade ideas for the Orioles last week, the team went out and immediately made a deal. The problem for me; I didn’t have Steve Clevenger or Scott Feldman on that list. But the move was significant for several reasons.
Acquiring Feldman first off, allows for some flexibility with the entire pitching staff. He has been a pretty good starter this season in the NL Central (which is arguably the second best division, behind the AL East). Yet spent most of his career, while with the Rangers, as a middle-reliever; where he could end back up for the Orioles if the starting experiment doesn’t pan out at Camden Yards (it certainly didn’t Monday night).
For the rest of July, the Orioles will evaluate where Feldman is best suited, and possibly still make a move or two. Baltimore does have holes in the pitching staff still and using Feldman to fill one of those roles, whether it be in the rotation or the bullpen, could have Dan Duquette looking in the other direction come the trade deadline.
The other reason the Feldman trade did make sense for the team; they didn’t move a single prospect. This does leave some wiggle room for another bigger deal, if need be. I mentioned before that the Orioles do have some coveted pieces, which they can view as expendable, due to the big league roster. Deals including, Jonathon Schoop (with Ryan Flaherty emergence and depth at 2B) or Henry Urrutia (with Orioles having arguably the best OF in baseball) could bring back a front of the line starter or big bat in return.
Here is the next installment of four possible trade targets for the Orioles:
Matt Lindstrom (RHP Chicago White Sox)
Now this is dependent on Scott Feldman holding down a rotation spot, but the White Sox have listed anyone not named Chris Sale or Paul Konerko as available (probably adding in youngsters, Dayan Viciedo, Connor Gillaspie and Gordon Beckham).
The Orioles obviously have a familiarity with Lindstrom, trading for him, and Jason Hammel, last season for Jeremy Guthrie. He does have closing experience but is probably best suited in a set up role in the 7th or 8th inning. His addition would add depth to a tired bullpen and a guy that can fill in a closer-by-committee role, if Jim Johnson continues his late inning struggles. With a 3.06 ERA and a 27/17 SO to BB ratio, he is having a respectable season, but nothing that will command the Orioles moving any of their top prospects.
Projected Trade: Xavier Avery (OF) and Roderick Bernadina (OF) to the White Sox for Lindstrom.
Francisco Rodriguez (RHP Milwaukee Brewers)
Again any deal for a reliever depends on the major league depth come the end of July, but the player formerly known as “K-Rod,” would be a good fit for any contender, because relief pitching is so vital. After a couple of problematic seasons in New York, Rodriguez has found his groove again in the set up role for the Brewers. He has been virtually un-hittable (15 H in 21.2 innings), and rarely gives up any runs (1.25 ERA, 1.06 WHIP).
When it comes to a trade, Rodriguez is the opposite of a Matt Lindstrom, as he has been dominant all season, with a great history behind him as well. The cost will definitely be pretty high; just think of the amount of quality players the Orioles received for Koji Uehara (not saying the Orioles will be giving up a future MVP though). The Brewers will be looking for high potential guys that may have not panned out in the majors yet; similar to that of the young Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter and Pedro Strop the Orioles received in 2010.
Projected Trade: Steve Johnson (RHP), Henry Urrutia (OF) and Mike Belifore (LHP) to the Brewers for Rodriguez.
Adam Dunn (1B/DH White Sox)
The “Big Donkey” is playing at status quo for his career numbers; hitting .203 with 23 HRs and 57 RBI. His power has always been ridiculous and would be a welcome addition to any American League team, which could fit him in the DH role.
A left-handed power bat might switch up the Orioles lineup a bit; moving Jones behind Davis, to keep up the L-R-L order Buck loves. But it might be beneficial to garner a legit threat behind the Orioles 1B in the second half, so pitchers do not have the option to pitch around him. Obviously, there will be a bidding war for Dunn but there will be a limited amount of suitors, since he is strictly a DH for most teams.
Projected Trade: Nick Delmonico (3B/1B) and Mike Wright (RHP) to the White Sox for Dunn.
Edinson Volquez (RHP San Diego Padres)
Moving Volquez will be highly dependent on where the Padres stand come the end of July. Right now the NL West is the tightest race in the MLB, but things could change after the All-Star break. If Volguez does become available, the Orioles should at least inquire about a pitcher with ace-type stuff.
Though having a down year in spacious Petco Park is not encouraging, he was one of the better pitchers in baseball just a couple years ago (evident by who he has been traded for in the past: Josh Hamilton and Matt Latos). He still has flashes of being dominant, evident by his .844 strikeouts per inning, but needs to mentally get back into the game. If Volquez can drop his ERA to under 4.50 (currently at 5.33), the Padres could get a nice return for the 30 year old front-end starter.
Projected Trade: Zach Britton (LHP) and Zach Davies (RHP) to the San Diego Padres for Volquez and cash considerations.
*All photos and stats courtesy of ESPN.com.*