Baltimore Orioles: An Up and Down History Involving Trades With The NL Central
By Nick Stevens
Part two of our look back at the most memorable trades in Baltimore Orioles history dives into moves involving National League Central teams.
Welcome back for part two of our series looking at the most memorable trades made with every team across the league, discussed division-by-division. Yesterday, we dove into the history books and looked at some of the more noteworthy Baltimore Orioles trades involving National League West teams.
If you missed it, you can check out that story here.
Today, let’s work our way through the National League Central division, where some of the best and worst trades in Baltimore Orioles history have been made. We’re going to start with the Chicago Cubs and I’m sure you already know what famous trade we are going to look.
The Baltimore Orioles haven’t been lucky when trading with the Chicago Cubs.
It’s been more than four years since the Orioles and Cubs swapped players, a 2015 deal that saw the unforgettable Tommy Hunter moved to Chicago in exchange for highly forgettable outfielder Junior Lake. The two franchises have been frequent trade partners, 13 player-for-player deals in total, with the Cubs typically coming out on top of each, especially that one trade.
- To Baltimore: RHP Scott Feldman, C/1B Steve Clevenger
- To Chicago: RHP Jake Arrieta, RHP Pedro Strop, cash
Feldman made just 15 starts with the Orioles before jetting out via free agency. He went 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA, striking out just 65 hitters across 90 innings. Clevenger would make 217 plate appearances and record 53 hits in an Orioles uniform.
Chicago saw quite the opposite in terms of production from their haul. Arrieta went from struggling starter to a Cy Young winner for Chicago, going 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA in 128 starts (also made one All-Star appearance). Strop became a highly-effective bullpen piece for the Cubs, compiling 425 strikeouts and a bWAR of 7.4 in 411 appearances from 2013-2019.
In total, Chicago’s return was worth 27.5 bWAR, while Baltimore saw just 0.8 bWAR in less than a full season’s worth of games.
And how could we forget about the trade that sent a 36-year-old Sammy Sosa to Baltimore for a quick pit stop on his way to retirement. Sosa played in 102 games, hit 14 home runs, and was worth -1.0 bWAR. It was the only season from 1990-2007 that saw Sosa post a negative WAR value.
Baltimore sent infielders Mike Fontenot and Jerry Hairston Jr to Chicago. Fontenot played inn parts of five seasons with the Cubs, including a 3.3 bWAR year in 2008, while Hairston would go on to play for another nine seasons with eight franchises.