Orioles Trade Olson For Pie, Near Markakis Deal
Forget rest, the Orioles have spent the weekend wheeling and dealing.
According to multiple sources, Baltimore traded Garrett Olson, one of the team's most attractive (performance-related, I don't feel qualified to judge Olson's physical attractiveness) and emerging pitchers, to the Cubs for outfielder Felix Pie. The Orioles also included Single A pitcher Henry Williamson in the deal, which nets Baltimore a player the team's front office has coveted for more than a year, when Pie was previously targeted as a starting point for any potential Brian Roberts trade.
Chicago needed to deal Pie or keep him on the major league roster because he was out of options, so Baltimore must have felt it had competition to pull the trigger on a fairly dramatic deal. Still, Pie gives the team youth and depth in the outfield, and he's the kind of athlete who could develop into a superstar.
The deal also allows the Orioles to move Aubrey Huff to first base, pushing Luke Scott into a primary designated hitter role. In an interview with MASN's Roch Kubatko, Orioles GM Andy MacPhail said that's the alignment the team is likely to take, which will give the Orioles a young outfield of (from left-to-right) Pie, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis.
Speaking of Markakis, the team is reportedly on the verge of signing their talismanic right fielder to a large, long contract extension. The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly is reporting that Markakis and the team are nearing a six-year extension worth somewhere between $64-66 million, with additional incentives that could push the deal upwards likely to be included in the contract language.
If the deal happens as its currently being reported, Markakis, currently only 25, would be locked up with the team through the 2014 season, eating his final three arbitration-eligible seasons in the process.
What do people think? Good deals for the Orioles? The Markakis deal seemed imminent, and it's possible that they're selling high on Olsen, too. Or are they cutting bait too soon with another promising, young starting pitcher?
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