Will Arrieta deal be the biggest winner for Cubs?

Will Arrieta deal be the biggest winner for Cubs?

I admit I put a ton of emphasis on the Cubs winning the Matt Garza deal.

The consensus around the game is they did just that. However, the question I have today is will the Scott Feldman deal be the real winner?

Gordon Wittenmyer told us the volume coming back from Texas was the main factor in the Cubs making out for Garza. Could the upside we received from Baltimore trump it? It is early in Jake Arrieta Cubs career, but his upside is undeniable.

Looking at the Feldman deal, I figured Pedro Strop alone would be a nice return if he could settle into a late inning role. Strop already has seven holds in 19 games as a Cub. Strop has struck out 21 and walked seven in 18.2 innings of work. There has been much talk he could close as early as next season.

I viewed Arrieta as taking a no-brainer flyer on a guy who was once a top pitching prospect in the game.

There are not many things White Sox President Kenny Williams did as a GM that impressed me. He did however take some other team’s flamed out arms like Jon Danks and Gavin Floyd and turn them over to his pitching coach to salvage with success.

The Cubs feel the same about pitching coach Chris Bosio and time will tell if he can harness some of the tantalizing tools Arrieta possess. The knock on the 27 year old has mainly been command. ESPN analyst Keith Law told the “Waddle and Silvy Show” that Arrieta would repeatedly tease Baltimore with his top of the rotation performances, before falling back into bad habits.

Arrieta has been critiqued for maybe trying to be too cute with his secondary stuff. His fastball alone has some thinking he could be a very effective late inning option. After watching Arrieta in his two starts with the Cubs (0.69 ERA) , I’m holding out hope they have or can parlay him into much more.  He seems to be aware of his opportunity.


‘‘For me, there’s no question that this change of scenery and this trade was huge for me and my career,’’ Arrieta said. ‘‘Not only for me, but I think for the Cubs as well. I couldn’t be more excited to be here. I’m thankful to the front office for wanting me and bringing me into this organization.’’

‘‘The biggest thing is just being able to get into the routine again,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s a good feeling. I knew it was just a matter of time.
Arrieta struck out seven and walked two, both in the sixth. He ended the inning with a called third strike — one of five — on Matt Holliday.

‘‘That’s really what’s gotten me in the past — too many free passes,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve made a conscious effort to get better at certain things, and it’s starting to show.’’

Sometimes a team and or league change is all a guy needs. Maybe a different voice like Bosio will do the trick.

Imagine Arrieta being a rotation anchor for years to come and Strop closing. Could we remember the Feldman deal as the one that turned the corner for this organization?


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Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: Jake Arrieta, pedro strop



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  • All I can say is Amen brother.

  • Feldman trade looks great, but I think the Cubs got hosed bigtime on the Garza trade. Olt is absolutely awful, beyond awful actually. Grimm looks like a zero. Unless Edwards pans out--and he's pitching in A ball, so who knows--Team Theo got pants-d on the Garza deal.

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    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    It's way too early to evaluate the Garza deal. It's easier to with the Feldman deal, because Cubs received players closer to ML-ready, or ML-ready.

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    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    The biggest get, by far, was Edwards, who has looked very good to this point.

    Olt has struggled. I was concerned before the trade and remained concerned but, if Edwards becomes a solid #3, who cares. And the raw talent is still there -- right now his issues seems to be he isn't making hard contact. Maybe that will return.

    Grimm's ERA isn't that great, but he's struck out 21 guys in 18 innings. Given up a lot of hits and hurt himself with 10 walks, but still seems to have the stuff to contribute out of the bullpen, if nowhere else.

    Trades like this tend to not work, but Theo's gets in the Dempster (both of them), Feldman, and Soriano deals gives me hope that one of these guys will pan out.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    What do you want for a 2 month rental? You got a former top pick, a serviceable pitcher and a high ceiling A ball pitcher. If Edwards pans out it's a huge win since they'll have him for years.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Don't forget there is still the one or two PTBNLs from the Garza deal. Hard to evaluate a deal when we have not even received all the pieces yet.

  • Arrieta can be a BEAST if he can throw strikes consistently. And for the modest cost of Scott Feldman. What a steal.

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    So far so good, but time will tell if Arrieta can be consistent for us. He had many days like yesterday for the Orioles, only to be followed by bad ones, which is why we got him so cheap. We need to see a string of good starts before we get too excited, or think he's turned a corner.

    Dave Duncan and the Cards over the years generated huge value from reclaimation projects. So far, I am impressed with Bosio's ability to work with pitchers that came over with flaws; Strop, Arrieta, Feldman, Maholm, Villanueva, all improved after coming over to Cubs

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Don't forget Travis Wood and Guierrer. I'd have to agree it seems as though pitchers who come to the Cubs improve. Now if only hitters could.

  • As you say w/ Strop's emergence alone I believe one can clearly envision how the Baltimore deal may quickly overshadow the Garza deal. High quality and current MLB pitching talent has a way of doing that. If Arrieta can harness his considerable talents under Bosio's tutelage, this may be viewed as a generational trade that turned the Cubs' franchise around.

    For that to be the case, both pitchers will need to remain healthy and to refine their pitching ability. It's a big IF, but if one or more can do that, this trade stands to make Baltimore look bad IMO.

  • Hey Tom,

    Intriguing questions... While I think it's still too soon to say for certain, I certainly love the haul we got for FELDMAN! If either of those stick long term, we are way ahead. But Arrieta has the chance to be special. Could you imagine the Cubs giving Shark away for a few months rental of an over achieving #4 SP? that's essentially what we got in Arrieta and then Strop too.

    IDK which trade will be the "Real Winner" for us. But I'm feeling pretty good that we have "won" on both of them (and the Hairston deal) right now.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I do not. Lets just hope Arrieta joins Shark in the rotation for years to come.

  • Getting ANYTHING for Feldman was a victory. Getting Strop was a huge victory. Also getting Arrieta? It's almost insane. It's like the undoing of the Garland for Karchner trade after all these years, but Arrieta has better stuff. At the minimum we have two potential closers, at the ceiling, a closer and an ace. It's a shocker.

    Nice to know that for every Stewart or Henry Rodriguez, that the FO is also finding plenty of gems. They seem to winning the majority of the time in their dealings. Olt may be a bust, but CJ Edwards could really be something - his numbers are sick!

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    It's entirely possible that the Feldman trade ends up being the key trade of the 2013 season, and that's not saying that the haul we got from Texas for Garza was a bad return. It wasn't, but it just goes to show how unpredictable these things are.

    In some ways, Theo and Jed getting Arrieta is a lot like Green getting Suttcliffe. Suttcliffe and Arrieta have a lot of similarities, both in terms of stuff and where they were age and career wise.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Except Green gave up Joe Carter and Theo gave up 2 months of Scott Feldman. ;-)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I thought Jim Frey traded Joe Carter, my bad...

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    An excellent point, but I was strictly looking at the Suttcliffe/Arrieta comp.

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    Said it the day this trade was made and i'll say it again. This deal was a complete coup in my opinion. Watching Arrieta he's not one of those guys who's delivery or arm slot suggested he'll never have good command in fact it's the opposite. He has the potential to have solid command. What i've heard/seen is he had most of his problems out of the stretch which lead to implosions with runners on base(weird right considering all the talk of making him a reliever).

    Arrieta + solid command = a very special pitcher.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    His FB is maybe a tick or so below Sharks. Both have plus FB's and can command that pitch well. They both struggle with command of their secondary and off speed stuff. This is MLB, I don't care how good your FB is, you need the secondary stuff to be successful.

    Arrieta tends to throw his Curve too much. He controls his slider better, both are plus offerings and can be OUT pitches when he commands them. He tends to get cute with that hook because it makes the batter look stupid.... Whereas Shark just goes all Nuke La Loosh and wants to over power everyone.

    IDK what his pitch breakdown is since coming over, but if Bosio can get him to move his FB in and out and utilize that slider more than the Curve, he has the chance to be special. The other knock on Arrieta is as you mentioned, he's not nearly as effective with runners on. I think that comes down to a mental issue and trusting your stuff more. As long as he limits the free passes, that's not that big of an issue.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Agreed. The way he consistently painted the corners with a 96mph fastball yesterday made me think "if he can just do that all day and mix in a 91mph slider the get hitters off that's all he needs" IMO the best pitch in baseball is a fastball down and away on the corners. You can dominate a lineup with that alone. He did it with regularity last night. Hope he can be consistent.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    If him and Shark can both learn to consistently command their secondary stuff, we would have two legit TOR guys. Neither may be Kershaw, King felix, etc... but we can win it all with 2 great #2's and three solid #3's... Especially with the position players we have coming...

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Agreed. And both are relatively young and decently cost controlled. The best part is we didn't get up much to get them. Usually to get arms like this requires taking a hit to the farm but this FO takes gambles and it's been paying off so far.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Arm slot, are you a pitching coach?

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    I wonder if any teams are wishing they kicked the tires on Soriano sooner. He is locked in.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Happy but looks like just one of his white hot streaks.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    This was inevitable -- Soriano goes on one of his streaks for the Yankees and suddenly is the greatest player in the history of the game. Imagine what the opinion of him would be if he'd spent his entire career with the Yankees.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Probably so, but his streaks can last longer than many others and the Yankee's as well as some other teams I can think of (like the Rangers), desperately needed offense. I think even their reluctant GM is happy.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    On the MLB Network went on a whole segment about how Soriano has changed his approach. They showed a bunch of his strikeouts as a Cub. Then all his hits as a Yankee. Harold Reynolds goes Yankee hitting coach Kevin Long has gotten him to lay off pitches in the dirt. I just laughed, Sori always lays off that stuff on one of his hot streaks. When he cools off he starts chasing.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    No doubt -- this is exactly why you get a guy like Soriano. He can make an insane impact over a short period of time -- which is what you want going down the stretch.

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    Its amazing to see how much press Soriano has gotten being on a roll with the Yankees, he never got this praise when hot for us..ESPN has become a joke of a network....Thank God for Comcast Sports Net Chicago or I wouldnt watch sports talk on TV anymore

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    In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    MLB network was doing pretty good it's first few years but since then they have become the ESPN of Baseball. There's some "analysts" there that are simply unwatchable.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Are you following @heardonmlb? Simply can't miss.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    No but i'll look into it.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I RT all the time!

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    It has become a joke Marcel, if it wasn't for Sam Ryan..i'd never watch it

  • Hey, 7-0 yesterday; we make the Cardinals look like last year's Cubs, and there's no recap? Can't we gloat for a day?
    Arrieta looked dominant, but how 'bout the patience with the walks, and the timely hitting with RISP?
    A win over the Cards is always sweet. Making them look futile is icing on the cake.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I seem to recall Felzz indicating he was gone til Monday. So with apologies to Felzz, I'll give it a try:

    Just Like Witches At Black Masses

    Saw Sabbath last night at Tinley, right after Jake Arrietta went all Ironman on the team cheered by those toothless possum hunters on the Mississippi. Jake made the Scott FELDMAN! trade look worthy Ringo for Pete Best swap. Onward!

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Nice! Way to drum up a winning recap.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Cardinals are war pigs.

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:


  • Had to watch the cardinal feed yesterday. Best part of the game was hearing that bozo al hrbosky say about four times, why would the orioles give up this guy?
    He ticked me off though when he said Nate the skate would be a fifth outfielder on the cardinals, and he hits cleanup for the cubs.
    also said the cubs were basically a bunch of waiver pickups. Not one player on the field yesterday was a waiver pickup, but the cardinals never let reality get in the way of their fantasy world.

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    Well, in a couple years we'll see if he says that Kris Bryant would be a backup outfielder for the Cardinals but he hits fourth for the Cubs. ;-)

  • Ha! How come that bunch of cast-offs and retreds whooped those Cards yesterday then?

    Sour grapes?

  • Judging by yesterday's defense alone, Nate would be the best Cardinal outfielder. Holliday is a lamppost out there, and Jay's arm rivals that of Raggedy Andy.

  • I remember watching Arietta pitch a couple of games with the Orioles two seasons ago,.... am a transplant to that area - and thinking he had the makings of a quality ML starter.

    Strop was a good add. Arietta is the better end of that trade IMO.

    He looks like he will always be borderline erratic - but many good pitchers are. Shark (for example) can look fantastic one moment, and terrible the next.

    For a couple of months rental on FELDMAN!! - the Cubs got by far the better end of this deal.

  • Its funny how the guys we got for Feldman now look like the best two pitchers on the team! As long as those guys throw strikes this has the potential to be on of the best rental trades in a long time. Jury's still somewhat out for me on the Garza trade but I really like Edwards! Here's hoping he has a really big year next year and we have a top pitching prospect on our hands! Watch out for Pineyro too. Kinda quietly looking like a nice grab! Pound for pound HE may just wind up as the best get of the summer.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    Grimm looking pretty good too. Despite the high era he is striking out a lot of guys. Have 7k in 6 innings tonight. Olt was a sweetener in my opinion so if he eventually becomes a league average 3B i'll be happy. Though we don't have him yet, Neil Ramirez has a pretty good arm. Deal looking solid.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Yeah, Grimm is kinda the forgotten man for me. You're right, he is looking pretty good. I like what he brings to the table. That's a good way to put it. Solid. Just not enough major league time/success for me to call it a win. Yet. Here's hoping its a huge win! 2013 has definitely been a banner year for talent acquisition! Wish they gave out rings for that.

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