The Orioles have traded struggling reliever Brian Matusz and a competitive balance pick (#76) for minor league pitching prospects Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek.
Brian Matusz’s struggles have been on going almost since the day he arrived in the big leagues. The one time “Future Ace” of the Orioles lost his starting role, when it was determined he may benefit from shorter work in the bullpen. When that didn’t pan out, the Oriole’s attempted to turn Matusz into a left handed specialist. And now that even that hasn’t worked out, the O’s have sent Matusz packing. Matusz was drafted 4th overall in the 2008 draft.
They will be receiving two prospects in return. Right handed pitcher Brandon Barker is a 22 year old pitching in AA this season. In nine games (including eight starts), he has a 2.00 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 12 walks in 45 innings. He was traded in the 16th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. They will also be receiving left handed pitcher Trevor Belicek, another 23 year old. He has only pitched in 12 games this season, but has a career 2.43 ERA in the minors in 26 appearances. Belicek is considered to be a reliever. Down the line, he could be a decent left handed bullpen option for the Orioles.
The Braves are expected to designate Matusz for assignment, eating his entire 3.9 million salary, effectively trading two picks and 3.9 million dollars for a competitive balance pick.
For the O’s this is a big win. Not only do they get his salary off the books, but they open up a much needed roster slot, and get two prospects to boot.
ProfUpdate: Birds ain’t done yet.
Romero, 23, currently has a 2.87 ERA. Career, he is 15-25 with a 3.10 ERA in 78 career minor league games (62 starts).