Scott Feldman – CIN – 102.2 IP, 3.94 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 1.5 WAR
Contract: 1 year/$2.3 million, free agency: 2018
In his half-season on the North Side of Chicago, Scott Feldman put together a solid body of work. He made 15 starts for a rebuilding Cubs team before he was packaged with Steve Clevenger that brought Pedro Strop and Jake Arrieta to the Windy City in 2013.
Since then, of course, Strop has emerged as one of the most lethal (albeit underrated) relievers in the National League. Arrieta, meanwhile, won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award and played a critical role in the team’s 103 wins and World Series title last season.
Feldman, meanwhile, has spent time in Baltimore, Houston, Toronto and, this season, Cincinnati, since departing Chicago. Since 2014, the right-hander made 70 starts and appeared in 35 games as a reliever, totaling 468 1/3 innings in the process. Last year, he worked almost exclusively as a reliever for the Astros and Blue Jays. He struggled badly in the Great White North – but has since regained his form as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.
With the Reds, Feldman has made 18 starts this year, pitching largely to the tune of his career averages. He may very well break 200 innings pitched for the first time, pitching in the National League for a full season for the first time (barring a trade).
Similar to Straily, Feldman is familiar with Chicago. Over the course of his career, he’s been a dependable arm. Nothing flashy to be sure, but still a valuable member of several pitching staffs.
Most importantly, he’s on a one-year deal with the Reds, which means his trade value as a rental middle man is much lower than those guys who have long-term control. So, even if he doesn’t come to the North Side this month, don’t count out a reunion come this winter.
He’s a rental and whether or not the Reds really want to help a division rival is questionable. While he’ll give you quality innings, he’s not going to alter the look of a starting rotation. Feldman isn’t a guy you run out in a best-of-five playoff series.