11/27 One more look at Feldman
Signing Scott Feldman doesn’t excite you? Read what Dave Cameron of FanGraphs has to say about the right-handed pitcher, who signed a one-year deal with the Cubs on Tuesday, and maybe that will change your view. Sure, Feldman doesn’t have much of a ”wow” factor but that was the same reaction one year ago when the Cubs signed Paul Maholm. As Cameron notes, there’s a trend here. The Cubs are looking for quality arms without committing to long-term deals or giving up impact players in return.
“Feldman might not have the reputation of a quality starter yet, but he’s shown the skills necessary to become a perfectly acceptable middle-of-the-rotation innings eater,” Cameron writes. “Last year, he ran a 3/1 K/BB ratio while maintaining an average ground ball rate, putting him in the same xFIP range as guys like Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren. [Feldman] doesn’t have the same track record of success as those guys but he’s also going to cost a fraction of the price and offers the same low BB/average K/average GB skill set.
“In a more friendly home ballpark and with better results at stranding runners, Feldman projects to be something not too far from a league average starting pitcher in 2013. And, while he’s going to be labeled a stop-gap type of signing, he doesn’t turn 30-years-old until February, so there’s no reason to think that the Cubs can’t extract longer term value from him if he pitches well in 2013. With Feldman and Baker, the Cubs have added a couple of pieces to their rotation who aren’t just pump-and-dump guys, but could be solid pieces to build future rotations around as well. This isn’t just patching a hole because the Cubs need arms for next season — these deals are investments in buying low on pitchers who could be part of the next good Cubs team, even if that team is still several years away.”
Cameron notes that Feldman may not be an ace but he can give the Cubs 180 innings, and gives the team kudos for the deal.
“Don’t be surprised if they’re announcing another contract with him at some point in 2013, rewarding him for his breakout season and keeping him on the north side beyond just this one season,” Cameron writes.
– Carrie Muskat