Sunday, January 18, 2009
Updated: January 19, 3:57 PM ET
Orioles acquire outfielder Pie
ESPN.com news services
Despite being rated as the top prospect in the Cubs' farm system in 2006 and 2007, outfielder Felix Pie never made his mark in Chicago. Now he'll get a chance to make a big-league impact in Baltimore, instead.
The Cubs traded Pie to the Orioles on Sunday for left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson and minor league pitcher Henry Williamson.
Pie, 23, played in 130 major league games for the Cubs the past two seasons. In 2008 he hit .241 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 43 games. Baseball America rated Pie as the Cubs' No. 1 prospect in both 2006 and 2007.
Pie has a .299 career batting average in 628 minor league games. He was signed by the Cubs as an undrafted free agent in 2001 and made his major league debut in April 2007.
Olson, 25, was 9-10 with a 6.65 ERA in 26 starts for Baltimore last season. In 33 career starts for the Orioles, Olson was 10-13 with a 6.87 ERA.
Williamson was the Orioles' 14th round selection in the 2007 amateur draft. He went 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA last season in 20 games at the Class A level.
MASN Sports reports that Pie's acquisition means that Luke Scott will get the bulk of the starts at designated hitter and Aubrey Huff will get several starts at first base.
Orioles team president Andy McPhail, who came to Baltimore from the Cubs' organization, likes what he's getting with Pie.
"Outstanding speed, plus arm, plus defender, he's hit his entire minor league career and he's won at almost every place he's been," McPhail told MASN. "I know the kid. He has great makeup, a great work ethic. He's devoted to becoming the best player he can be. And we'll give him every opportunity to see if he can hit in the majors, which we think he can.
"We said we were really going to emphasize defense, and it's hard to imagine a better defensive outfield in the game than Pie, [Adam] Jones and [Nick] Markakis. It really gives us three center fielders."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.