Monday, January 19, 2009

Olson Out, Orioles Get a Slice of Pie...

The Orioles have acquired OF Felix Pie for SP Garrett Olson and minor league pitcher Henry Williamson.

Pie has been linked to the Orioles in trade rumors since last off-season but the latest round of talks seemed to involve Jay Peavy in a three-way deal. But after the Cubs signed Milton Bradley, Pie got squeezed out of the Cubs outfield picture for the foreseeable future and they shipped him out.

Garrett Olson has been unable to miss bats in the majors and his fly-ball tendencies has led him to post a 6.87 ERA in 33 starts over the last two seasons. I doubt he'll find much more success in Wrigley Field but that may not be his final destination.

Pie has (as of yet) been unable to recreate his success in the minors in the bigs but has only had 287 plate appearances to try to sort it all out. All in all, I'd give the 24-year old Pie a better chance of fulfilling his potential than the 25-year old Olson, especially considering that Pie has been considered one of the best prospects in all of baseball.

According to Andy MacPhail, Pie will be the starter in left field, pushing Luke Scott to DH and Aubrey Huff to full-time at 1B. I mentioned earlier that Nick Markakis and Adam Jones were the best pair of outfielders in the game. Pie adds to that defensive prowess and if there's a better defensive outfield in baseball, I can't think of it.

CHONE is prediciting an OPS of .757
for Pie (which may be a bit optimistic) but if he exceeds .700 with that glove, he's a very useful player starting this season. And before Luke Scott arrived last season, LF was an offensive black hole. And he has real possibilities to improve.

Barring injuries the lineup looks pretty set. Dave Trembley intends to carry 13 pitchers, so Luis Montanez, Oscar Salazar, Scott Moore, Chris Gomez and whoever else gets in to the mix will be battling it out for one roster spot.

1B Huff
2B Roberts
3b Mora
SS Izturis
RF Markakis
CF Jones
LF Pie
OF\IF Freel
DH Scott
Util Gomez\Salazar\Moore
C Zaun
C Moellers\Wieters

Not exactly a world-beating lineup but it has potential.

I like the move overall. It's a risk but one with a lot of upside. And now that Andy MacPhail has his prize (he wouldn't let this one go, would he?), he can move on to other matters this offseason...


FrostKing said...

A Carl Crawford, BJ Upton, Matt Joyce OF in Tampa may give it a run for its money, but I still think the O's would be #1.

DempseysArmy said...

Crawford is superb. Upton is rangy but takes bad angles, doesn't get the as many balls as he should given his speed, but he's still learning the position and the big arm helps make up for some of the mistakes. I haven't seen much of Joyce but the range numbers look good, even if he has the tendency to make errors.

Definitely give them a run for their money, good call.