Former O's executive Jim Duquette provides his take on Feldman trade (draft picks debut)

Former Orioles executive Jim Duquette feels the club made a good trade today when it acquired pitcher Scott Feldman from the Chicago Cubs, sending Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to Chicago.

"I like it because they took two struggling pieces and turned it into a real consistent contributor in Scott Feldman," Duquette said. "He's not a top-of-rotation starter, but that would have cost you a top prospect like (Dylan) Bundy or (Kevin) Gausman.

"The other benefit they got is getting out front of this and not waiting until the end of July. They kind of threw the first strike of the trade deadline. This will give them another four or five starts out of Feldman."

Duquette co-hosts a national radio show on Sirius-XM Radio and also is part of the "Baltimore Baseball Tonight" show heard in Baltimore on 105.7 FM the Fan.

Feldman pitched to an ERA of 4.81 in eight seasons in Texas, but was pitching better than that for the Cubs, going 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA. He had an ERA of 2.25 in six starts in May.

Can he carry those stats back into the American League with the Orioles?

"The fact that he has pitched well in the American League in the past is a factor," Duquette said. "He can be a six- or seven-inning pitcher and the reason he can do that is his command - the command of the fastball and the cutter. I've seen him a few times this year and his delivery is real athletic and he's a strike-thrower, and those type of guys tend not to go into slumps very much.

"I think he is a No. 4 starter pitching like a three right now. Some nights he might give up four or five runs, but he'll keep you in the ballgame. The prior relationship (in Texas) with Buck (Showalter) and Rick Adair is helpful. He'll be comfortable right away."

Feldman signed just a one-year deal with the Cubs and could turn into a three-month rental for the Orioles as a pending free agent. But Duquette thinks there is a chance the club will try to sign him for beyond this season.

"If he pitches well down the stretch, this could be a good fit. He just turned 30. Going into next year, he is definitely someone they could look to sign beyond this year," he said.

Draft picks debuted today: Two of the Orioles' top draft picks made their pro debuts this afternoon in the Gulf Coast League in Florida.

Josh Hart, the Orioles' second pick and the draft's 37th overall selection, started in center field and batted leadoff. He went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Hart is out of Parkview High in Lilburn, Ga.

The O's fourth-round pick, high school catcher Jonah Heim, batted ninth as the DH and went 0-for-2 with a walk in his first pro game.

O's second-round pick Chance Sisco added a hit as the GCL O's beat the Twins 3-2. In five games, Sisco is 8-for-18 with eight singles and five RBIs.

Pitcher Hunter Harvey, the Orioles' first-round pick, has begun a throwing program that will lead to his addition to the GCL roster. But there is no set timetable for his debut, and he still has to throw some bullpen sessions before he gets into his first professional game.

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