Why a Slice Of This Pie?

Sean LaveryCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2008

With the memories of Thanksgiving pies fresh in our minds it's time to talk about a different slice of pie, Felix Pie (although it's pronounced "pee-ay").

The Cubs' center fielder was a critical part of last year's Brian Roberts trade rumors. Now Pie has emerged again in trade rumors dealing with the Orioles. Baltimore is a potential third team in a trade that could send Jake Peavy to the Cubs, Garrett Olson to the Padres, and Felix Pie to the Orioles. My question for the O's is "why?"

Pie certainly has upside. Only 23, he's a potential five-tool player and left-handed bat who many people think could be a future All-Star. However, he's struggled in parts of two major league seasons, only batting .223 and being demoted back to the minors at various points. Additionally he strikes out far too often.

Much more importantly, the Orioles don't need another outfielder. Adam Jones and Nick Markakis should be starters for years to come. Luke Scott (another lefty) might not be the answer for the future in left field, but he's certainly no slouch (.257 BA and 23 HR).

Some argue that Scott can be moved to DH and Huff to 1B (let's ignore the outside chance the O's land Teixeira). But even in that situation Pie would be starting over two other strong outfield prospects. Lou Montanez hit a homer at his first MLB at bat for the O's last season, and hit .296 with 14 RBIs in 38 games batting at the bottom of the order. Nolan Reimold hit 25 HRs for AA Bowie last season, and is currently on the Orioles major league roster as well.

Beyond that, it's a consensus opinion that the Orioles need to improve their pitching and bolster it's youth talent. They'd be giving up a young pitcher (Olson is only 25), which hurts both of those efforts.

While Olson may not ever develop into an ace, I don't think the O's can give up young pitching without getting more in return. He may be easier to part with than Brian Roberts, but that doesn't mean he should be unloaded.