Well this is nothing if not interesting. The Orioles address their need in the starting rotation by acquiring Scott Feldman, taking catcher and Maryland-native Steve (not Tony) Clevenger along in the process. Baltimore sends yo-yo starter Jake Arrieta, formerly lights-out reliever Pedro Strop and international bonus slots to Chicago.

On the surface, looks like a good deal both ways. Is it so simple?

The Cubs teach a class in asset management with Feldman, who they signed to a one-year deal this off-season and now have a potentially valuable reliever (who has been dreadful this season), a long shot starting prospect (who might himself be a reliever) and more money to spend on the international market.

The Orioles get a marginal upgrade for their starting rotation without sacrificing much of their clearly important present. Arrieta could emerge as a post-hype sleeper the O’s regret giving up on or he could be well on his way to bustdom. Either way, languishing in triple-A, he wasn’t helping the current playoff-aspirant edition of the Baltimore Orioles.

Might Feldman help them? While his strikeout numbers are less than desirable, he keeps his Brandon McCarthy impression going by keeping the ball in the ballpark and benefiting from some in-play batted ball luck. Considering the long line of middling arms to take the hill for the Orioles this season, Feldman can help the Orioles in their playoff push provided his move to the AL East doesn’t coincide with a rush of long balls.

The Cubs get rich on the international spending scene, where they need the cash most. In addition to making this move for Feldman, they also moved Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers for recently DFA’d reliever Matt Guierrer and even more international money as well as another deal for international cap money with the Astros for a minor league second baseman.

The Cubs are loading up, looking to continue their work solidifying their talent pipeline. Turning non-assets like Marmol into human-sized lottery tickets is good business, which is how the international free agent landscape appears in my mind. Getting Feldman for a song, then turning him into something potentially helpful (like Pedro Strop in 2012) or potentially valuable (Jake Arrieta if everything breaks just so) is a great way to improve your team.

The Orioles get better now and the Cubs get better later – pretty much the ideal deadline deal, is it not?