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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?

By Cameron Smith  |  January 18, 2009; 7:45 PM ET
Categories:  Cubs , Orioles  
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Comments

Great deals for the O's. Somebody must have locked Peter away for the weekend. Olson has fallen behind Matusz,Tillman,Arrieta,Erbe,Hernandez and others while Pie could give us our Outfield for the next decade. Only downside is if this blocks Reimold and he goes somewhere else and outshines Pie. Look for the O's to see if Garland,Sheets or Looper's price falls enough to become attractive to sign. Or maybe sign Wigginton and package Scott with a minor leaguer(Reimold? Hernandez?) to get a starter.

Posted by: bulldog23 | January 18, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

It's a good deal for the Orioles. Precious few young starting pitchers develop into good major league starters -- most are derailed by injuries or a lack of command. Olson's ceiling is as a back of the rotation starter. Pie has more upside, is far less likely to be derailed by injury, and allows Luke Scott to play DH and Huff to slide to first. It's Luke Scott, by the way, not Adam Scott - you must have had Adam Jones on your mind.

Posted by: jsher | January 18, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

It's a good deal. Olsen needed some new scenery (he's a good pitcher), but just couldn't pull it together for O's. Younger players, with power, are more than welcome to the Os!

Posted by: WashView | January 18, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

there's no way i would have made this deal. pie looks overmatched in the majors and if he's out of options then you have to keep him on your 40 man if i'm correct. the guy can't hit a lick but they'll probably try to make him their leadoff hitter because he's "fast". his stolen base % in the minors was around 60. that's awful.

maybe i'm wrong, but i think trading a relatively young pitching prospect striking out a batter an inning in the minors with an era under 3 for a guy who is looking like a bust is a bad move.

Posted by: adampschroeder | January 18, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I think you mean Luke Scott will move to DH for the Orioles. Adam Scott seems perfectly content making his millions by playing golf all over the world.

A defensive outfield of Pie, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis looks pretty good, but the O's seem to have a glut of talented but unproven young outfielders and a dire shortage of good young pitching. I'm not sure this deal makes sense now.

Posted by: JoeDalhart | January 19, 2009 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Mmmm...pie.

Posted by: ParticipatoryDemocracyNow | January 19, 2009 2:44 AM | Report abuse

BALTIMORE`S THREE MAJOR WEAKNESS`...PITCHING, PITCHING, PITCHING.
ANYTHING THEY CAN DO TO STRENGTHEN THEIR STAFF{STARTERS AND RELIEVERS}IS A POSITIVE. GETTINGT RID OF CABRARA WAS A GOOD FIRST STEP.
OLSON..DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER PITCH..NOR ENOUGH CONTROL TO BE REALLY EFFECTIVE IN BALTIMORE. THE O`S SCORED PLENTY OFR RUNS LAST YEAR..BUT THEIR STARTERS/RELIEVERS COULD NOT GET IT DONE. HOW HAVE THEY IMPROVED PITCHING SINCE LAST YEAR? THE YANKEES SURE DID!!! WHEN THE METS WON THE SERIES..IN THE LATE 60`S..THEY HAD A TEAM BA. OF LOW 220`S..BUT 4 GREAT PITCHERS GOOD RELIEVERS..AND A GREAT CLOSER...END OF STORY.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | January 19, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Just a horrible deal. Not necessarily for the Os, but for my AL Fantasy team because I have Reimold on my farm team.

Darn you, MacPhail, darn you to heck.

But seriously, I suppose there are more moves coming. Olson would be a 5th/6th starter at best for the Cubs, so I wonder if this is preparations for another Peavy run. Supposedly SD really had interest in Olson.

For the O's, I guess they give Pie a real good shot, and if he hits, they can move Reimold (perhaps Montanez) or hang onto him and deal either Scott or Huff later. They have Rowell and Snyder to maybe replace Huff at 1st, so among those guys, plus Reimold, 1st /DH is covered. They still have long term problems in the infield, with age and expiring contracts at 3d and 2d and a SS, Izturis, who is only useful if everyone else carries his bat.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 19, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

there's no way i would have made this deal. pie looks overmatched in the majors and if he's out of options then you have to keep him on your 40 man if i'm correct. the guy can't hit a lick but they'll probably try to make him their leadoff hitter because he's "fast". his stolen base % in the minors was around 60. that's awful.

maybe i'm wrong, but i think trading a relatively young pitching prospect striking out a batter an inning in the minors with an era under 3 for a guy who is looking like a bust is a bad move.

Posted by: adampschroeder | January 18, 2009 11:19 PM

I disagree 100% The Orioles have pleanty of pitching in the system and the stat you quoted about Olsen is meaningless if he can't get guys out consistantly. What the Orioles lack are young, athletic position players that are ready to play at the Major League level. This deal moves a pitcher that would not be a future starter for a potential long term outfielder or trade bait if/when Riemold is ready as an everyday player. Also, as long as Roberts is on the team (and I believe he will be long term), no way Pie hits lead off. Pie just needs a chance to play everyday as Adam Jones did. His inconsistency at the plate in the Major Leagues has a lot to do with the Cubs lack of patience with a young player because they are in a win now mode.

Posted by: virtueandvice | January 19, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

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