The Orioles didn’t wait until the final hours of the non-waiver trade deadline to acquire a starting pitcher.
Looking to improve their rotation, the Orioles have obtained pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher/corner infielder Steve Clevenger from the Chicago Cubs for pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop, and international signing bonus slots 3 and 4.
Feldman, 30, is 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA and nine quality starts in 15 outings with the Cubs, with 79 hits, 25 walks and 67 strikeouts in 91 innings. He spent the previous eight seasons with the Texas Rangers, giving him strong ties to Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
Feldman is 46-50 with a 4.66 ERA in 219 major league games, including 116 starts. The Orioles had interest in him during the winter before he signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Cubs. He can become a free agent over the winter.
He is 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in seven games (three starts) at Camden Yards.
Feldman told MLB Network Radio that the plan is for him to start Wednesday in Chicago. Miguel Gonzalez was scheduled to start Wednesday, but he could be pushed back to Thursday, when the Orioles are listing TBA as their starter.
Since 2011, Feldman has improved his strikeout rate to 17.8 percent of batters faced and lowered his walk rate to 6.4 percent, compared to 12.7 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively, over the first six years of his career.
Feldman appeared in nine postseason games for Texas in 2011, going 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA while pitching in the American League Division Series (one game), American League Championship Series (three games) and World Series (five games). He set career highs with 17 wins, 31 starts and 189 2/3 innings pitched for the Rangers in 2009.
Feldman will be the third Hawaiian-born player in Orioles history, joining infielder Lenn Sakata (1980-85) and left-hander Sid Fernandez (1994-95).
Clevenger, 27, went 1-for-8 in eight games with the Cubs this season and has posted a .199/.262/.275 line in 79 games over three seasons. He’s a local product, having graduated from Mount St. Joseph in Baltimore. The Cubs chose him in the seventh round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Feldman will join the Orioles in Chicago this week. Clevenger has been sent to Triple-A Norfolk.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold has been activated from the disabled list and will take Strop’s place on the 25-man roster.
“Feldman is a proven veteran starting pitcher and should help stabalize our rotation in the second half of the season. He’s having a very good year this year,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette.
Clevenger is a local player. He’s got a good bat and he’s also a good receiver. He could make a contribution to the team this season, as well.”
The rotation also will receive a boost from the return of Wei-Yin Chen, who will make one more start with Norfolk this week before coming off the disabled list.
Arrieta, 27, could benefit from a change of scenery. He’s 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in five starts for the Orioles this season and has gone 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in 69 games (63 starts) in four seasons after being chosen in the fifth round of the 2007 First Year Player Draft.
Strop, 28, is 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA in 29 games for the Orioles this season, with 15 walks in 22 1/3 innings. He went 7-5 with a 3.30 ERA and three saves in 111 games for the Orioles after being acquired from the Rangers on Sept. 1, 2011.
Showalter no longer could trust Strop in pressure situations, and he couldn’t be sent down because he’s out of minor league options.
The Orioles turned down trade proposals for Arrieta last summer and were reluctant to part with Strop.
“We’re having a good season and need to stabilize our starting pitching to advance to the playoffs, and that’s what this deal is aimed to address,” Duquette said.