Four years ago, almost to the day, the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles traded right-handed pitchers, with the Cubbies sending Scott Feldman to the O’s in exchange for Jake Arrieta. (There were some other players included, but Feldman and Arrieta were the primary pieces in the trade.)

At the time, Arrieta was 27 years old, a former highly touted prospect who had yet to live up to his promise. Feldman had just turned 30 and had really only had one good season in his career, but he had a 3.46 ERA (with good peripheral numbers) at the time and had started 20-plus games in four of the previous five seasons. With the Orioles in second place and chasing Boston in the American League East race, Feldman seemed like a decent bet to shore up an inconsistent rotation.

Over the next three years, Arrieta became an All-Star, finished in the top ten in Cy Young Award voting three times, and won the award in 2015 when he went 22-6 with a 2.35 ERA, leading the league in complete games and shutouts.

Meanwhile, Feldman went 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA for an Orioles club that finished in third place. A free agent at the end of the year, he signed with the Houston Astros. During his two-and-a-half year stint with the ‘Stros, Feldman started 52 games, pitched in relief in 21 more, and was the very definition of a (very) slightly above league-average pitcher during that time: 18-20, 3.64 ERA, 107 ERA+.

His final season in Houston, 2016, Feldman pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen, and was effective. At last season’s trade deadline, he was dealt to Toronto, where he was a disaster in 16 games (all as a reliever), allowing 14 earned runs in 15 innings pitched.

Before this season, as you know, Feldman signed a free agent contract with the Reds, a one-year deal worth $2.3 million. At the time of the signing, Feldman’s role with the Reds was up in the air. With a group of exciting young pitching prospects on the horizon, that was actually Feldman’s primary value to the Reds: his flexibility in being able to pitch out of the rotation or the bullpen.

Read the rest over at Cincinnati Magazine, then come back and let me know what you think about my suggestion for what the Reds should do with Feldman.

20 Responses

  1. Tampa Red

    Feldman has been a Godsend for the Reds this year. As a Reds fan, I’ve appreciated his consistency and competitiveness each and every start. But he is exactly the kind of player the Reds need to be looking to trade at the deadline. There are a few others on this list. Storen, Wood and I guess if they’re not going to bring him back, then Cozart as well. Maybe even Hamilton if you get back a true big league ready CF. Throw in Alcantara and Khivlehan as well I guess, but no one is trading for them.

    I’m not sure what the actual value those players will have to contending teams, but as long as it isn’t a Philips-type return it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think that, individually, any of them are going to net prospects that are big league ready, but hopefully some talented guys a few years away. That would be good enough, I think.

    Now as for the rest of the 40 man roster, hands off. Let’s let this play out for the rest of the year and 2018 as well. The Reds have a dynamic offense and play outstanding defense. Figure out the starting rotation and they are there, ready to compete for the division and more.

  2. David

    Indeed
    Storen, Feldman and Woods should be traded for whatever they can bring. Maybe something of future value, maybe not.

    I would consider keeping Storen, but actually think he might be the most valuable player amongst those three.

    Feldman has value for the Reds now, but the future is a big unknown. Time to clear some names off the 40 man, and make more room for younger guys.

    I would not expect Finnegan to start again, unfortunately. After 2016, many thought he would be a solid starter. I have not much faith in Desclafani starting or pitching again soon. I would wager that before 2017 is over, he will need TJ surgery, and likely be out for all of 2018.
    I think Homer is starting to find his form, but maybe won’t be all the way back until 2018.
    Besides Homer, rotation possibilities for 2018
    Strong likelihood: Luis Castillo.
    Very likely: Jackson Stephens, Sal Romano (both will likely get more starts in 2017, especially if Feldman gets flipped)
    Better than 50% chance: Tyler Mahle, Robert Stephenson, Mike Lorenzen
    That comes to 7 pitchers for a 5 man rotation.

    Less that 50% chance: Finnegan (goes to bullpen for 2018), Desclafani (likely TJ surgery), Reed (head case), Garrett (I think he is hurt now and the Reds are hiding it)

    The older pitchers above really HAVE to go, to make room on the 40 man roster for players that they need to save from Rule 5 status in the Fall.

    • Chuck Schick

      One rental for another? That defies logic.

      • David

        I think it’s a joke. This doesn’t have to be serious all the time. 🙂

      • RedsFanForLife

        I’m sorry that you can’t understand obvious sarcasm

  3. Sliotar

    Chad, great balanced article.

    Trade should be the highest priority by far.

    Should the Reds care about trading in the division? Brewers are acquiring about Jose Quintana, following Chase Anderson’s injury. (I say if the return is right, trade away).

    But, there is no failure if the trade offers are miniscule and he plays out the season in Cincinnati. The Reds could kick the tires on bringing him back for 2018 (at a higher salary, for sure) and flipping him next trade deadline.

    The Reds rebuild won’t be made or broken on anything regarding Scott Feldman.

    • TR

      With the unsettled state of the Reds young starting pitchers with injuries and a lack of maturity, I would not get rid of Feldman unless the Reds get a good offer they can’t overlook. If he’ll sign for another year, his salary is reasonable. Feldman could be a #5 in 2018 with Bailey as the ace and three young pitchers in the middle. If Reed or Stephenson mature, then Feldman could be used in the bullpen.

  4. Satchmo

    Someone should write an article of here examining the 40 man roster inside and out:

    -Who should be traded by this year’s deadline
    -Who is available–for the right price
    -Who is untouchable, unless you’re ready to give up half your system.

    As of now, I see three people who MUST be traded by the deadline: Cozart, Feldman, & Storen. Each has value; each have expiring contracts; each have very little reason to resign with the Reds at below market value.

    • Chuck Schick

      It would be nice to trade those 3 but none have a tremendous amount of value. Stores probably the most and Cozart the least.

      • David

        40 days ago, Cozart could have had a lot of trade value. Now his quad injury makes any buyer who needs a SS afraid.
        He could nurse that quad and play most of the rest of the season, or stretch it bad tomorrow and be done until September. So yes, he is probably about worthless as a trade piece now.

      • brunsfam

        Reference: Zach’s triple off the RF wall last evening complete with head-first dive into 3rd. Leg must be better!

  5. David

    Tyler Naquin would be nice. Very similar to Billy, but a better hitter. But I don’t think the Indians THINK that they need more starting pitching.

  6. james garrett

    No value except to us if you want to continue doing what we are doing.When you sign em you hope to flip em for something better but anybody could have had Storen or Feldman at the same price.Get what you can and move on.Cozy is damaged goods right now so that takes care of that.Its ok sometimes it doesn’t work out

  7. Brian Davis

    The Reds should resign Feldman to a 1-2 year deal. They could get him relatively cheap even if he finishes the year strong. It would be a no down side move for the Reds unless he gets hurt for an extended period of time. Plus now that Arroyo is as good as gone,it gives the team a veteran pitcher and clubhouse presence for the young pitchers to be around.

    • brunsfam

      I like that approach. He’s durable and consistent (except to Rockies pitchers!).

  8. Carl Sayre

    This season has been over and this organisation has shown they are not worried about this team developing a lack of interest in winning! There will be enough interest because of the small contract he should draw some interest!

  9. Carl Sayre

    This season has been over and this organisation has shown they are not worried about this team developing a lack of interest in winning! There will be enough interest because of the small contract he should draw some interest! TRADE. HIM!!