While checking in at about a 1 on the Richter scale as compared to the 10 the Dodgers registered, the Arizona Diamondbacks completed a deal on Sunday that may not be overlooked for very long. The team traded six win starter Joe Saunders to the Orioles for hard-throwing reliever Matt Lindstrom. It is a move with an eye toward the future without really sacrificing the present.
Arizona is now the fifth Major League club Lindstrom will be pitching for since debuting in 2007. He has a fastball that consistently reaches 95 and higher. The righty saved 23 games in 2010 and thus far was enjoying possibly the best season of his career. His 2.72 ERA in 34 games played a big role in the success of the surprising O’s. The one drawback on Lindstrom throught his career has been his wildness. That alone is why he has been well-traveled in such a short time frame.
As for Saunders, his time with the D-Backs was mixed at best. He did win 12 games and hurled 212 1/3 innings in 2011 for the NL West Champion Snakes but overall was 21-30 during his stay in the desert. He was never able to duplicate his success with the Angels where he won 17 games in 2008 and 16 games in 2009. Growing up two hours from Baltimore, he is no doubt excited to be pitching for the team he rooted for growing up and the Birds are finally in a pennant race. We wish Saunders well in Baltimore.
This trade makes a lot of sense for Arizona. Saunders most likely would have been gone at the end of this season and in exchange for him, the team made a decent addition to the bullpen. Lindstrom gives the team another arm in case innings become an issue for Tyler Skaggs and possibly Trevor Bauer. Lindstrom also is a free agent at the end of the season so he will be pitching for a contract. This is the type of deal that is a win-win for both sides.
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