RHP Jake Arrieta was traded along with RHP Pedro Strop and two international signing-bonus slots to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in exchange for RHP Scott Feldman and C Steve Clevenger. Arrieta, 27, went 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in five starts for the Orioles this season. Baltimore selected him in the fifth round of the 2007 draft and he pitched four seasons for the Orioles, going 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in 69 games (63 starts). The Cubs optioned Arrieta to Triple-A Iowa.
OF Dave Sappelt was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take injured OF Ryan Sweeney's outfield spot. Sappelt broke spring training camp with the Cubs this year, and he hit .178 in 20 games before he was optioned to Iowa. He batted .269 with a .398 slugging percentage in 52 games in Triple-A.
LHP Chris Rusin didn't need to hear about the Cubs' three trades Tuesday on the Des Moines news. The starting pitcher on the organization's Triple-A Iowa affiliate got an early heads-up that he'd be needed to replace one of the traded players, RHP Scott Feldman, as the starting pitcher in Oakland on Tuesday night. And that's how Rusin's first big-league start of the season came to be. Rusin isn't considered a candidate to replace Feldman long-term. His outing against the A's demonstrated that. He got cuffed around far worse than the numbers (three runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings) would indicate. The fact is: The Cubs acquired RHP Jake Arrieta from the Orioles, and he'll likely get the first crack at filling Feldman's shoes.
SS Gleyber Torres was ranked No. 2 among undrafted international prospects by Baseball America, No. 3 by MLB.com, when teams were given the green light to pursue him with contracts in hand Tuesday. The Cubs won the bidding war on the Venezuelan, getting him for $1.7 million. What they get is a 16-year-old who has been compared with former National League batting champion Freddy Sanchez as a hitter. Torres is considered a much better fielder. He's only 16, but the fact the Cubs were willing to exhaust about one-third of their international-prospect pool on him indicated just what they think of him as a long-term prospect.
RHP Jefferson Mejia is a lot like many high-school-age baseball prospects. One season, the pitcher from the Dominican Republic is seen as lanky and not demonstrating the type of power you'd expect from a kid 6-foot-7. The next, he's put on 30 pounds, looks like a man at 6-7, 220, and is throwing in the 90s. The 18-year-old made a name for himself in the International Prospects League All-Star Game in January, topping 90 mph with his fastball. On Tuesday, the Cubs paid $850,000 to call him their own. Because he's already turned 18, Mejia is eligible to report to the Cubs' organization immediately. The club is expected to make a decision on where he'll be sent later this week.
RHP Matt Guerrier became a Cub on Tuesday basically for two reasons: 1) The Dodgers got tired of him; and 2) The Cubs got tired of Carlos Marmol. In dealing Marmol for Guerrier, the Cubs are hoping to replace flash with some plain old consistency. Guerrier's numbers for the Dodgers this season -- 4.80 ERA in 34 relief appearances -- weren't terrible and, in most cases, probably wouldn't have warranted getting him designated for assignment. But the Dodgers don't do ordinary anymore, so they prefer guys like Marmol. The Cubs will give Guerrier a shot in the bullpen, which got a bit more crowded Tuesday when the club also acquired RHP Pedro Strop from the Orioles. Guerrier's 112 career holds indicate he not only has the potential to be better than Marmol, but he's also good enough to get a decent job done.
OF Ryan Sweeney was placed on the 60-day disabled list Tuesday after he cracked a rib over the weekend crashing into the wall in Seattle. GM Jed Hoyer said Sweeney would need at least six days of rest before doing anything.
RHP Matt Garza might be making his biggest start of the season Wednesday. Unless he wants to remain a Cub the rest of the season, that is. With the Cubs having already dealt one of their starters, RHP Scott Feldman, Garza moves to the head of the list of Chicago pitchers who are most highly coveted this month. The question is: Which Garza might a contender be acquiring? The one who got bombed for 17 total runs in three starts against the Reds (twice) and Angels? Or the guy who has completely dominated the Mets, Astros and Brewers to the tune of two runs over 22 innings in his last three starts? Clearly, Wednesday's opponent -- the A's -- is the type of team a club is going to want Garza to beat if it deals a prospect or two to get him before the trade deadline. A win over the A's on Wednesday could raise the price.
RHP Pedro Strop was a big reason the Orioles were such a surprise last season. Remember all those one-run wins? Strop was right in the middle of many of them, recording an impressive 2.44 ERA in 70 games as Baltimore's primary setup man. When he went on to star in the World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic, the sky appeared to be the limit for the 28-year-old. However, he's been unable to duplicate any of that success this season, and the win-now Orioles couldn't wait any longer. They dealt Strop and another 2013 disappointment, RHP Jake Arrieta, to the Cubs on Tuesday for dependable starter RHP Scott Feldman. The Cubs might have another Carlos Marmol on their hands, but they don't think so. They see in Strop a guy with a proven history to be better than the 0-3, 7.25 ERA numbers he's put up so far this season.