The Baltimore Orioles have announced that they have traded relief pitcher Brian Matusz to the Atlanta Braves.
The struggles of relief pitcher Brian Matusz have been well documented. His struggles have limited the Baltimore Orioles to mop up duty. That forced the Orioles hand and in effect shortened their bullpen. In order to rectify the issues that Matusz has brought on the Orioles, they have traded him to the Atlanta Braves.
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They will be receiving two prospects in return. Right handed pitcher Brandon Barker is a 22 year old pitching in AA this season. In nine games (including eight starts), he has a 2.00 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 12 walks in 45 innings. He was traded in the 16th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. They will also be receiving left handed pitcher Trevor Belicek, another 23 year old. He has only pitched in 12 games this season, but has a career 2.43 ERA in the minors in 26 appearances. Belicek is considered to be a reliever. Down the line, he could be a decent left handed bullpen option for the Orioles.
Atlanta is expected to designate Brian Matusz for assignment, so they will be taking on his entire $3.9 million salary in order to get the Orioles’ 76th overall pick. It’s a trade that likely shouldn’t have needed to happen since Matusz likely should have been non-tendered after last season. However, getting Matusz’s $3.9 million salary off the books was important for the Orioles. Getting him off the roster was even more important.
With Matusz’s departure, the last remaining member of the calvary that was supposed to save the Orioles back in 2009? Chris Tillman. Who would have thought that at the time? Goes to show you how unpredictable prospects can be at times.