Orioles Acquire Joe Saunders – Bolster Rotation

Orioles News

Diamondbacks Trade Saunders to Orioles

Knowing that their first post-season berth since 1997 is within reach, the Baltimore Orioles acquired 31-year-old left-hander Joe Saunders from Arizona in an effort to upgrade their starting rotation.

The Orioles also received cash from the Diamondbacks for reliever Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named later. As Baseball News Source reported earlier this week, Saunders cleared waivers and was free to be dealt to any team.

A first round pick (12th overall) by the Angels out of Virginia Tech in 2002, Saunders was 6-10 with a 4.42 ERA in 21 starts this season for Arizona. He is 75-62 with a 4.17 ERA over eight Major League seasons with the Angels and Diamondbacks.

At 69-57, the Orioles are tied with Oakland for the second wild card spot and sit a half-game behind Tampa Bay for the top wild card. Also, Baltimore has climbed within four games of the New York Yankees in the American League East.

Saunders joins a Baltimore rotation that features left-hander Wei-Yin Chin (12-7, 3.87 ERA), right-hander Chris Tillman (6-2, 3.71 ERA) and righty Miguel Gonzalez (5-3, 3.66 ERA).

The Orioles announced on Sunday that they recalled 26-year-old Jake Arrieta, who was 3-9 with a 6.13 ERA in 18 starts at the Major League level earlier this year. Zach Britton (3-1, 5.59 ERA, seven starts) and Steve Johnson (2-0, 3.18 ERA in five games and two starts) could be replaced in the rotation by Saunders and Arrieta.

The Diamondbacks, which are 64-63 and 5.5 games behind St. Louis for the second wild card spot, have an abundance of starting pitching depth and did not plan to bring back Saunders, who is eligible for free agency after the season.

The young, right-handed arms of Ian Kennedy and Trevor Cahill anchor the current Diamondbacks rotation, and the organization has a plethors of promising starting pitching prospects.

Two of the high-profile prospects, left-handers Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin, have been called up to the Diamondbacks. Trevor Bauer could join them next season and Archie Bradley is on the fast track to the majors as well.

Wade Miley, a 25-year-old left-hander, has been a pleasant surprise for Arizona this season in the rotation. He is 14-8 with a 2.80 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 25 games, including 22 starts.

In 2013, the Diamondbacks could feature a young and talented rotation composed of Kennedy, Cahill, Miley and two of Skaggs, Corbin and Bauer.

The 32-year-old Lindstrom has now been traded five times in the last six years. He was 1-0 with a 2.72 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 34 games for the Orioles this season.

 


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One Response

  1. […] to lead Baltimore to a 5-1 victory over the defending American League champions Texas Rangers. The Orioles acquired Saunders from Arizona in an effort to upgrade their starting rotation in late August.  Yu Darvish pitched 6 2/3 innings […]

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