It didn’t take long for Scott Feldman to return to the city that traded him on Wednesday. He went to U.S. Cellular for his debut win with the Baltimore Orioles. Feldman was scratched from his start on Tuesday with the Cubs and immediately flew from Oakland back to Chicago to stay on his rotation schedule and face the Southsiders. Feldman was apart of a trade that sent him and backup catcher Steve Cleavenger to Baltimore in exchange for Pedro Strope and Jake Arrieta. In addition to the players, Chicago got slot money from Baltimore to help sign International Free Agents as the bidding started July 2nd.
With this bonus money, the Cubs will continue to try and develop future stars from abroad. Specifically, the Cubs signed two 16-year-old prospects who might help turn the Cubs are an undeniable force in the NL. The Cubs signed Eloy Jimenez – an outfielder with raw power – as well as Venezuelan SS Gleybar Torres, who doesn’t turn 17 until December 3rd. The prospects are certainly very young, but these IFA’s sometimes hit as some of the biggest names in the game. Consider Cespedes, Puig, Cabrera, Hernandez, Castro and several others. While they don’t always pan out, it’s exciting that the “Yasiel Puigs” are being developed in bulk.
Initially, it seemed as though the Cubs had not gotten enough for Feldman, especially with the kind of year the Cubs have had and Feldman’s ERA. However, to get two players that are younger than the one you’re trading while also compensating for a noteworthy team weakness combine to suggest a good return. And let’s not ignore the IFA Bonus money that was pretty easy to come by considering the Matt Guerrier trade that also included bonus money.
Essentially, the Cubs got three players for one, which is a damn good deal for Theo and Co. Jimenez’ reputation puts him atop the prospect list with the likes of Soler and Anderson. His youth will keep him in the organization long enough that he’ll start to consider himself a life-long Cub. He’s 16 now, which means if he’s playing with the Cubs at 24 he’ll have been in the organization eight years. How many players can lay claim to that kind of longevity with the Cubs?
Just another feather in his cap for Mr. Epstein, who shows us all how seemingly effortless it is to run a baseball team. Now if the Cubs go and sign Miguel Gonzales and get a king’s ransom for Garza, then the team will start to dig itself out of the 107-year hole. It’s always interesting to see bad teams take mid-level signings and watch them pan out, simply to ship them off to a contender when the price is right. Those are the signs of a truly legitimate baseball mind. Epstein’s got that in spades.