The Orioles announced minutes ago that they have agreed to a deal with the Chicago Cubs that would send pitcher Garrett Olson and a minor league prospect to the Windy City for big-potential outfielder Felix Pie (left, standing). The trade was first reported by former Sun columnist Ken Rosenthal on the FoxSports.com.
It's not a total surprise. The O's discussed this kind of swap as part of a bigger deal involving San Diego pitching ace Jack Peavy earlier in the offseason, but Andy MacPhail seemed doubtful at the time that he could get it done as a stand-alone trade. The other player in the deal is Class-A pitcher Henry Williamson, a 23-year-old right-hander who was 2-6 with a 4.00 ERA as a starter and reliever in two low-level minor league seasons.
Makes a lot of sense for the O's. Pie, based on a conversation I had a few months ago with an O's official, probably will get the Adam Jones treatment. He figures to start every day in left field and get a chance to make good on his untapped talent. Luke Scott would move into the designated hitter role, pushing Aubrey Huff to first base full-time.
That would pretty much set the Orioles lineup going into spring training next month, since the O's are about to finalize the Gregg Zaun signing. It probably doesn't bode well for bubble outfielder Lou Montanez and bubble first baseman Oscar Salazar, but spring training lasts a long time and other dominoes could fall that would make them more viable, including a solid pitching acquisition that would allow the O's to go with a 12-man pitching staff.
Associated Press photo