Tag Archive | "trade"


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Samardzija is the wrong fit for O’s needs

Posted on 31 May 2014 by WNST Staff

It’s not that he’s not good enough.

Jeff Samardzija is pitching as well as anyone in the Big Leagues.  His 1.68 ERA, along with his 1.06 WHIP are certainly stats to write home about.  By any estimation, the Cubs’ current ace is a bona fide number-one starter on the majority of the seven-plus teams who are currently coveting his services.

But, while his 2014 numbers have been stellar through the end of May, baseball has a way of making players turn into who they really are.  And, over the long haul, Samardzija isn’t an ace and probably isn’t worth the asking price of a king’s ransom, two first-borns, and nude pictures of the acquiring team’s GM’s wife.

The Orioles, sitting at a game below-.500 aren’t only “a player away” from being a true contender.  They’re at least a starter, a closer, a left fielder, and a fast table-setting leadoff hitter away from being the class of the AL East.  This, coupled with the hard-luck the club has faced with injuries thus far, makes it a no-brainer to pump the brakes on the idea of sending the likes of Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, or Eddy Rodriguez to the Cubs in exchange for a 29-year-old starter who has never won double-digit games in the Major Leagues.

Some will make the argument that Samardzija would be a perennial double-digit wins guy if he had any offensive support–but what pitcher wouldn’t?  The same argument could be made for the Bud Norris’, Miguel Gonzalez’s, and Wei-yin Chen’s of the world; each of whom are capable of 10-12 wins with some decent four-plus runs per game type of support.

Bringing a pitcher like Samardzija to Baltimore in exchange for two potential front-end starters isn’t the type of trade that creates long-term success.  It’s a stop-gap.  It’s a short-term “what have you done for me lately” type of move.

For what it’s worth, if you look at the Cubs rotation, Samardzija’s numbers aren’t even the best of the bunch.  In fact, Oriole castoff Jason Hammel, has five wins and a WHIP of 0.91.  And, if you want to argue that “wins” are an overblown statistic, please, go for it.  But keep in mind, at the end of the season, the teams that play in October play because of that very statistic.

Some guys are winner  and some aren’t.  There are intangibles that some pitchers have and others don’t.   Before falling in love with the idea that “wins” don’t matter, or “Samardzija would be great on another team,” I’ll toss out some names like the aforementioned Norris, C.J. Wilson, Edwin Jackson, and all of the other pitchers who have convinced fans and front office execs that their mediocrity is based on their surroundings.

When he gets traded, and there’s no doubt he will, Samardzija will help out wherever he goes.  He’ll bolster a contending team’s rotation.

But the Orioles don’t really need that.  They need to make the long-play, and he’s the wrong guy for anything like that.




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Orioles acquire SP Feldman; send Strop-Arrieta to Cubs

Posted on 02 July 2013 by WNST Staff

The Orioles today announced that they have acquired RHP SCOTT FELDMAN and CA STEVE CLEVENGER from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for RHPs JAKE ARRIETA and PEDRO STROP and INTERNATIONAL SIGNING BONUS SLOTS 3 and 4. Clevenger has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Additionally, OF NOLAN REIMOLD has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Feldman, 30, is 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA (91.0IP, 35ER) and nine Quality Starts in 15 outings for the Cubs this season, including a 4-1 mark and 2.25 ERA (40.0IP, 10ER) in six starts in May. He is 46-50 with a 4.66 ERA (818.2IP, 424ER) in 219 career games (116 starts) over nine seasons with Texas (2005-12) and the Cubs (2013). Since 2011, Feldman has improved his strikeout rate to 17.8% of batters faced and lowered his walk rate to 6.4%, compared to 12.7% and 8.4%, respectively, over the first six years of his career.

“Feldman is a proven starter with postseason experience who should help stabilize our rotation for the second half,” Orioles Executive VP of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said.

He appeared in nine postseason games for Texas in 2011, going 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA (13.2IP, 5ER) while pitching in the ALDS (one game), ALCS (three games) and World Series (five games). Feldman set career-highs with 17 wins, 31 starts and 189.2 innings pitched for the Rangers in 2009.

“We’re having a good season & need to stabilize our starting pitching to advance to the playoffs,” Duquette told MASN. “And that’s what this deal is aimed to addressed.”

Feldman, who was scheduled to start Tuesday for the Cubs against the Oakland Athletics, will fly out to Chicago tonight to join the Orioles, and will start Wednesday against the White Sox, according to an interview Feldman did with Sirius XM.

“I know Maryland’s known for Crabcakes and Football,” Feldman joked while on with former GM Jim Bowden.

He will be the third Hawaiian-born player in Orioles history, joining INF LENN SAKATA (1980-85) and LHP SID FERNANDEZ (1994-95).

Clevenger, 27, has batted .327/.426/.596 in 15 games for Triple-A Iowa and is 1-for-8 in eight games for the Cubs this season. He is a .199/.262/.275 hitter in 79 major league games with the Cubs since 2011. The Baltimore-born Clevenger was selected by the Cubs in the 7th round of the 2006 First Year Player Draft and has batted .310/.372/.429 in 563 career minor league games. He graduated from Mount St. Joseph’s High School.

Arrieta, 27, is 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA (23.2IP, 19ER) in five starts for the Orioles this season. He has gone 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA (358.0IP, 217ER) in 69 games (63 starts) in four seasons with Baltimore after being selected by the O’s in the 5th round of the 2007 First Year Player Draft.

Arrieta was shocked by the trade, but ultimately he understood the decision the Orioles had to make, and he knows that it benefits both he and the two clubs involved.

“I think for both sides, it kind of came to that fork in the road and they chose to make a trade,” Arrieta told the Sun. “I think that is really the best way to look at it. This is something that is going to do me a lot of good.”

Strop, 28, is 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA (22.1IP, 18ER) in 29 games for the Orioles this season. He went 7-5 with a 3.30 ERA (101.0IP, 37ER) and three saves in 111 games for the Orioles after being acquired on September 1, 2011 from Texas.

“It was frustrating knowing you can do better than what you are doing,” Strop told MLB.com.

Reimold, 29, was placed on the disabled list on May 12 with a right hamstring strain. He is batting .188/.257/.327 in 31 games for the Orioles this season.

The Orioles will not have to make a corresponding roster move with Reimold until Feldman arrives with the team.

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Looking Forward past the Break

Posted on 08 July 2012 by scottzolotorow

With trade rumors swirling this week of the Orioles going to get an arm at the possible expense of Manny Machado, some O’s fans are pleased and others are strongly against it. This season in Double-A Bowie, Machado is hitting a modest .264 in 84 games. He does have an impressive 48 RBI’s, a strong 10 stolen bases and a decent OBP of .347. But are those numbers good enough for the Orioles to still have the utmost confidence in their first round pick of a few seasons ago?

The Baltimore Sun was amongst many media outlets that first reported that the Orioles are shopping around for Zack Greinke, the ace of the Milwaukee Brewers. Greinke was ejected in yesterday’s ballgame against the Astros for spiking a baseball after a call at first base, clearly he’s frustrated with his play in Milwaukee. The Orioles have a very strong need for another starting pitcher to counteract with Tampa and the Yankees. With Hammel and Chen both having outstanding seasons, one more great pitcher would be a huge help. And Greinke who is 9-3 with a 3.17 ERA, would absolutely fit that need. Greinke won the Cy Young while winning 16 games with one of the worst teams in baseball that season. He is a stud on the hill and the Orioles as well as every organization in baseball would be lucky to have him. But the question that Orioles fans are asking; is Machado too much to give up?

JJ Hardy is locked up for another 2 seasons after this season and he has been one of the best shortstops in baseball. With the Orioles competing at the All-Star Break, and getting to the point they are at with some dismal starting pitching of late, I believe it is an obvious move. Machado has been good in the minors, but not great. Matt Wieters was great in the minors and it showed how quickly he was called up. Machado was drafted a year before Dylan Bundy, yet Bundy has gained a significant amount more of attention as far as call-ups go. I understand many Orioles fans will disagree with me, but Greinke is only 28 years old. He has shown no sign of slowing down. The Orioles haven’t made the playoffs in over 15 years and with a legitimate line-up this season, my opinion is you have got to make the move.

A friend of mine made the argument that we wouldn’t win the World Series if we reached the playoffs, but he didn’t quite think that through did he? We would have made the playoffs for the first time in 16 seasons. This city needs a baseball home playoff game. That should be the goal. So in my opinion, make the move Birds.

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The Thome Acquisition: Analyzed

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The Thome Acquisition: Analyzed

Posted on 30 June 2012 by James Finn

He has been an Indian, a Phillie (twice), a White Sox, a Twin, a Dodger, and now, we can call Jim Thome a Oriole.  Thome was acquired this afternoon from Philadelphia.  In return, we send RHP Kyle Simon and C Gabriel Lino.  Thome has a hall-of-fame pedigree. 609 Home Runs ties him with (former Oriole) Sammy Sosa for 7th place all time.  He’s a 5 time All-Star, 2 time Man of the Year, and is the All time record holder (modern era) for Walk off Home Runs.

The Orioles have a propensity for adding aging talent to their roster.  We’ve seen before:  names like Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, Miguel Tejada, Jamie Moyer, Javy Lopez, Kevin Millar…and that’s just the last few years.  Thome is no different, as he turns 42 years young on August 27th.  Thome does indeed add a Veteran presence , and has a reputation for being a positive impact in the clubhouse.

The Phillies chose to part ways with Thome.  He wasn’t able to be their every day First Baseman, due to back issues.  He struggled this season as a pinch hitter, but during interleauge play, where he was able to be the DH for 9 consecutive games, his stats were fantastic for any power hitter .333/4/14 with a .722 slugging percentage.  The Orioles have completed inter league play, and would  only face a National League team should they advance to World Series play.  As an Oriole,  Thome is an every day player at DH, something the Orioles have lacked this season, with Showalter moving position  players in and out of that role on a day to day basis.

While this trade does not fix our fielding issues, this does add a man with a proven history to put Runs on the board.  The O’s had won many of games this season despite their sloppy defense, they haven’t won game where they couldn’t produce runs.

From the business side of the deal, the Orioles have a win.  While it’s too soon to tell if the a-ball talents Simon or Lino will develop into big name talents, we didn’t deal away any of our key developing prospects to trigger this trade (Bundy, Machado, Schoop, etc).  Financially, Thome has very little impact.  His contract this season is a mere $1.25M, half of which the Phillies will pay.  Comparatively, Mark Reynolds is set to earn $7.5M (and worth every penny, right?).  Perhaps adding a Left Handed Power Bat like Thome make it a bit easier to put Reynolds on the trade block, and not need as much in return.

Most importantly, the front office making a roster move that will seriously keep the club in contention, I see as a huge leap of faith to the fanbase.  Even if Thome doesn’t jump in and begin producing, that fact that the organization wasn’t satisfied to leave well enough alone, well, makes me hopeful that this won’t be the only roster addition before the trade deadline.

Thome is likely to be in the lineup on Sunday, as the Orioles try to split their 4 game series against Thome’s former club, the Cleveland Indians.



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