The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced that they have acquired right-handed reliever Matt Lindstrom from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders, in what looks like a trade that could be beneficial to both teams heading down the playoff stretch.
Saunders says he's excited to be traded to a playoff contending team, and that he has family close to the Maryland area. "It's going to be nice to hang out with them more, and they're going to get a chance to see me pitch a little bit more." Saunders said, "As soon as we went to a six man rotation, I pretty much figured I knew I had a few more days here." He said it was easier knowing that it would probably happen, and that it made sense for both sides. Saunders was called into the office last night and told he was traded, but wasn't informed which team he was going to until this morning. When asked if he was an Orioles fan growing up, Saunders said, "I was actually. I went to a lot of O's games when I was a kid."
Saunders was 6-10 with a 4.21 ERA in 21 starts for the Diamondbacks this season. He was 21-30 with a 3.96 ERA, throwing three complete games in 67 starts with Arizona. Saunders has played eight Major League seasons, including stints with the Angels and Diamondbacks, and holds a career 75-62 record, with a 4.17 ERA.
With Matt Lindstrom the Diamondbacks are getting a 32 year old right-handed reliever who has 30 strikeouts in 34 innings of relief for the Orioles this season. He was 1-0 with a 2.72 ERA for Baltimore. Lindstrom has also spent time with the Marlins, Astros, and Rockies during his six Major League seasons, going 13-15 with a 3.68 ERA, and completing 45 saves in 346 appearances.
Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson said part of what made Saunders expendable was, "Our young guys developing in the minor leagues." Gibson announced that the Diamondbacks would be keeping one of those young guys, Tyler Skaggs, in the rotation, saying that he wants to provide Skaggs with the exposure of playing in a pennant race. The fact that Saunders was going to be a free agent at the end of the season also played into the equation.
When speaking of new addition Matt Lindstrom, Gibson said he is another right handed power arm that should help the bullpen. The bullpen seemed to be a place where the Orioles had a surplus, and the team was looking to pick up another starter. The Orioles are in the thick of things in the American League wild card race, and the Diamondbacks still have an outside chance to make the playoffs in the National League.