O's swap Guthrie to Rox for Hammel, Lindstrom
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com | 02/06/12 10:50 AM EST
The Orioles dealt their top starter on Monday morning, sending veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies for pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom.
Word of the trade didn't take long to reach Guthrie. The outgoing pitcher took to his Twitter page early Monday morning to say, "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Baltimore anymore. Just found out I was traded to [the] Rockies."
The Orioles and Rockies announced the deal later in the morning.
The 32-year-old Guthrie, the Orioles' Opening Day starter last year, has posted three consecutive 200-inning seasons. He went 9-17 last year with a 4.33 ERA, leading the American League in losses, and will end his Baltimore career 47-65 with a 4.12 ERA. He is eligible to be a free agent after the 2012 season. The Orioles acquired him off waivers from Cleveland five years ago.
"The Rockies have been one of those teams that has consistently had interest, and I guess that's the silver lining in the big change," Guthrie said. "I get a chance to go to a city and play for a team that's ready to win now and ready to go after it and doing everything in their power to do that. I'm excited to pitch meaningful games all season, right from the start."
Since the Orioles' 40-man roster was at capacity, the team designated left-handed reliever Clay Rapada for assignment to make room for the additions.
Hammel, who was drafted by and started his big league career with Tampa Bay, is coming off a season in which he went 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA in 32 games, 27 of them starts. He will join an already crowded rotation competition that includes Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Dana Eveland, Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada, among others.
Lindstrom, who went 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA and two saves in 63 games for Colorado last season, will give the Orioles another late-inning arm for the bullpen. He is 12-15 with a 3.81 ERA and 45 saves in parts of five Major League seasons.
The Orioles were scheduled to go to arbitration with Guthrie on Monday -- he was asking for more than $10 million -- but he agreed to a one-year deal with Colorado immediately after being dealt.
"Jeremy is excited to join the Rockies and I see this as a positive result for all parties," Guthrie's agent, Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Baseball, wrote in an email. "Negotiations with the Orioles were steady yet slow and an arbitration hearing seemed possible and even likely. Once informed of the trade, Jeremy decided to make a showing of good faith and agreed to a deal within the Rockies' payroll structure, since he felt it important that his relationship with his new team get off on the right foot. Jeremy is excited about a fresh start with a new organization and a contending team close to home."
Guthrie said he was "grateful" for his time with Baltimore.
"Baltimore is where I consider my Major League career starting," he said. "It's where I was an everyday player, I made my first Opening Day start there. ... I was lucky enough and fortunate enough to take advantage of the opportunity and when I look back on the five years, everything is positive. We didn't play as well as we'd like to, I didn't pitch as well as I'd like to, but I can say in the five years I was there, no one was ever doing giving less than all they had."