The Cubs looked to the future.
They also looked far and wide.
Those were the double realities of Tuesday's triple-trade day, as Cubs management embarked on its second straight July of clearing out veterans. The Cubs also acquired monies for the signing of international free agents in a crop they seem to like a lot.
"We had a flurry of activity today," understated general manager Jed Hoyer. "It's not very often you consummate three deals on the same day, really within an hour or so."
Here is how it all shook out:
čThe Cubs traded starting pitcher Scott Feldman and minor-league catcher-infielder Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles for pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. The Cubs also received two international signing-bonus slots, worth about $388,000.
Feldman, who had been a pleasant surprise, was supposed to start Tuesday night's series opener at Oakland. The Cubs recalled lefty Chris Rusin to start.
Hoyer said Rusin would be "start by start" and that the Cubs likely would "stretch out" reliever Carlos Villanueva to start, as he did to open the season.
čIn the second deal, the Cubs traded embattled former closer Carlos Marmol and international signing-bonus slot No. 4 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for reliever Matt Guerrier.
The Cubs figure to save $500,000 of what's left of Marmol's $9.8 million salary for this year. Guerrier, a middle reliever who had past success with the Minnesota Twins, has about $1.8 million left on a three-year, $12 million deal. Both Marmol and Guerrier recently were designated for assignment.
čThe Cubs traded minor-league infielder Ronald Torreyes to Houston for international signing-bonus slots 2 and 3.
The nonwaiver trading deadline is July 31, but the Cubs didn't waste any time, and more deals may be coming, what with starting pitcher Matt Garza and closer Kevin Gregg, among others, still on the roster.
The Cubs clearly aren't going to win this year, but what the players in the clubhouse want to avoid is another 100-plus loss season, as happened last year after a trade-deadline purge and injuries depleted the starting rotation.
"The way I look at it, 25 guys on our team should never like deals where you give up a guy in your rotation to get young players," Hoyer said. "You want players on the field who always want to be adding and are buyers. That's the nature of it.
"Our job is to try to build a great organization. The players on the field, their job is to play hard every single night and look to win."
The Cubs will add Strop and Guerrier to the bullpen as early as Wednesday, which could spell the end for relievers Shawn Camp and Henry Rodriguez.
Arrieta, who has struggled in the big leagues, will go to Class AAA Iowa. The 27-year-old Arrieta is 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in 69 major-league appearances, all but 6 as a starter, in all or part of the last four seasons with Baltimore.
He was a member of Baltimore's 2013 opening-day roster and has had three stints with the big-league club this season, going 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in 5 starts.
Strop, 28, last season served as one of Baltimore's primary setup men, going 5-2 with 3 saves, 24 holds and a 2.44 ERA in 70 relief appearances, all single-season career bests.
"The focus for us was adding two more power arms that are controllable for a long time," Hoyer said. "That was our focus in that deal. (Arrieta) pitched really well the other night in Triple-A (Norfolk) for the Orioles. Get him there, get him acclimated. We'll start him off (at Iowa), get him comfortable and have him pitch in the same environment he was pitching in Baltimore."
The other interesting aspect to Tuesday's trades was the focus on international talent. Hoyer said the Cubs netted $963,000 in international money from the trades, bringing their total to $5,520,300.
"Looking at the international class, our scouts really like it," Hoyer said. "We feel like it's very deep. We really like some of the impact talent in this year's international class. We feel there's more depth and premier guys, and we're hopeful we can add a number of those guys."
The Cubs reportedly have signed 16-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres out of Venezuela for $1.7 million and right-handed pitcher Jefferson Mejia out of the Dominican Republic for $850,000.
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