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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, January 19, 2009

Orioles - Acquired Pie

Baltimore Orioles - Acquired OF Felix Pie from the Chicago Cubs for P Garrett Olson and P Henry Williamson.

And so the saga ends.  After years of rumors linking Pie with every player the Cubs were interested in trading for, he gets cashed in for Garrett Olson, whose mediocre fastball as gotten clubbed in the majors when it’s anywhere near home plate.

The Cubs shouldn’t really get too much blame for not playing Pie.  He hasn’t hit well at all when he’s played and he’s showed little forward progress.  Where they take blame is waiting for the league to think him a huge disappointment instead of trading him when there were some teams that believed otherwise.  Olson will almost certainly be in the minors at the start of the season, though I guess they’ll make a show of giving him a shot in spring training.

For the Orioles, while Pie’s not likely to end up a good player, there’s still a chance and the team is in a position to hold open auditions, whereas the Cubs aren’t.  In an ideal world, the O’s would be looking to trade Huff seriously now, but with a number of quality players still available in the market at below-usual prices, they probably couldn’t get much for Huff.

ZiPS Projection - Felix Pie (CF)
—————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA OBP SLG OPS+
—————————————————————————————————————
2009       440 64 115 19   4 12   63 28 87 15 .261 .308 .405   86
—————————————————————————————————————
Top Offensive Comps:  Rick Manning, Sam West, Corey Patterson

ODDIBE

Offense     %
Top Quintile   3
2nd Quintile   7
Mid Quintile   22
4th Quintile   31
Low Quintile   37

OPS+        %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
160+        0     .400+  0     10+    3     200+  0
140+        0     .375+  1     5+    42     150+  2
130+        1     .350+  6
120+        2     .325+  26     2B     %
110+        8     .300+  65     45+    0
100+        20               30+    4
90+        42
80+        69
60+        89

BA         %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
.350+      0     .550+  0     50+    0     70+    0
.325+      1     .500+  2     40+    0     50+    0
.300+      7     .450+  13     30+    0     30+    2
.275+      33     .400+  56     20+    10     10+    76
.250+      72     .350+  95     10+    77

(Based on Projected PA)

 

ZiPS Projection - Garrett Olson
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
2009     8 13 31 31 158.1 172   91 22 69 120 5.17   88
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Bob Owchinko, Mike Gosling, John Koronka

ERA   %
Top 1/3 10
Mid 1/3 43
Bot 1/3 48

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   0     >26   0
>140   1     >35   0
>130   2     >44   3
>120   4     >53   12
>110   10     >62   34
>100   22     >70   60
>90   47
>80   78     HR     %
>70   95     >12   7
          >18   34
K/9   %    >23   65
>158   4     >28   86
>141   13
>123   39
>106   74

(Based on Projected IP)

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 19, 2009 at 03:52 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Posada Posse Posted: January 19, 2009 at 04:31 PM (#3055123)
Top Offensive Comps: Rick Manning, Sam West, Corey Patterson


Appropriate.
   2. Mike Green Posted: January 19, 2009 at 04:46 PM (#3055129)
Patterson is indeed appropriate, but the Cubs didn't give Patterson the development time he needed. If Pie hits like Sammy West, he's going to be a very valuable commodity. I'll take the over on the ZIPS projection.
   3. Jeff K. Posted: January 19, 2009 at 04:50 PM (#3055133)
Hell yes, I want some pie!
   4. rawagman Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:02 PM (#3055143)
If Pie works out, and he is a legit above-average hitting CF, do the Orioles revisit Adam Jones as an infielder (he did begin his career in the infield, right?)
   5. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3055145)
If Pie works out, and he is a legit above-average hitting CF, do the Orioles revisit Adam Jones as an infielder (he did begin his career in the infield, right?)
No, and yes, respectively.
   6. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:06 PM (#3055148)
And Patterson is exactly who I compared him to on the Orioles' list. Great fielder who should hit for power but doesn't actually do so (*), and has less familiarity with the strike zone than I have with great kosher delis in Marrakesh.



(*) Yes, I know that Patterson did before he got hurt.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:11 PM (#3055157)
There are rumors that Olson's acquisition makes a Peavy deal more likely. I guess I don't understand why the Padres would want Olson as the centerpiece of a Peavy deal? Am I missing something with him? What makes him so much better than say a Sean Marshall? Not that either should be the centerpiece of a Peavy deal, I just don't get why the rumors have the Padres insistent on getting a guy like Olson.
   8. Answer Guy Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:16 PM (#3055162)
Granted, I haven't been impressed with Olson as an Oriole, but I'd still think he'd have a better chance of filling an actual need of the Orioles (starting pitcher) than Pie does, if for no other reason than the fact that they have a young CF with good defense already.
   9. Mike Green Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:22 PM (#3055172)
#6,

Pie walked 42 times and struck out 94 times in 700 PAs in triple A at age 22 and age 23. That's not great, but nothing like Patterson who was well beyond the tipping point. Sometimes you find gold in the strangest places-

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/925003.html
   10. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:23 PM (#3055173)
Granted, I haven't been impressed with Olson as an Oriole, but I'd still think he'd have a better chance of filling an actual need of the Orioles (starting pitcher) than Pie does, if for no other reason than the fact that they have a young CF with good defense already.
They also have a young LF they should be playing.

But the bottom line is, the Orioles didn't seem to have much interest in either that young LF or in Olson, and if they're not going to be willing to use either guy, it makes sense to convert Olson to Pie.
   11. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:46 PM (#3055186)
While I was half-expecting Patterson would show up on a comp list, Pie's about five inches taller. There's a little more reason to think the power will develop.
   12. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:49 PM (#3055189)
And Patterson is exactly who I compared him to on the Orioles' list. Great fielder who should hit for power but doesn't actually do so (*), and has less familiarity with the strike zone than I have with great kosher delis in Marrakesh.

Pie always was compared to Patterson, and that was never fair to Pie. Patterson was a high draft pick who was expected to be a star from the beginning, but he never hit enough in the minors to justify that hype. He's a lot smaller that Pie, but has more natural home run power and a home run swing. He never showed any recognition of the strike zone ever at any level. Pie was always expected to be a star, as well, but he doesn't have the same power. He's got a beautiful line drive swing and actually hit in the minors. He wasn't a walking superstar, but he had much better pitch recognition. Both are fast (Pie has more natural speed, Patterson was a better basestealer) and plus defenders in CF. Corey had an average arm, maybe slightly above but was never very accurate. Pie has a cannon.

I think Patterson was given a lot more chances that Pie, but Pie has more talent and still could be a better player than Patterson ever was.
   13. frenchredsox Posted: January 19, 2009 at 07:44 PM (#3055277)
If Pie works out, and he is a legit above-average hitting CF, do the Orioles revisit Adam Jones as an infielder (he did begin his career in the infield, right?)


No this deal has several ripple effects which McPhail,rightly IMO,considered:

1° adds a young CF with real upside who was "lost" & undervalued in the "win now" Cubs system & had become superfluous considering the OF they have - Bradley/Soriano/Fukudome/Johnson & even Fuld.
2° adds another young OF to go with Jones & Markakis
3° cost them ZERO as Olson is projected at best,now,a 4/5 SP
4° gives them the option to shift Jones to LF & use Scott more as DH

Overall it is a great sell low buy for the O's.

Out of interest what is the ZIPs for the Japanese Import ?
   14. Walt Davis Posted: January 19, 2009 at 09:56 PM (#3055369)
3° cost them ZERO as Olson is projected at best,now,a 4/5 SP

How is this ZERO, especially for a team as desperate for pitching as the O's? 4/5 SP are hard to come by and while that presumably is more Olson's upside, Pie can't project any better at this point than a marginal starting CF or a 4th OF which are not hard to come by.

Now if you (or more importantly the O's) believe that Olson will never be an effective ML pitcher, then this costs "zero" ... but say so. But the idea that guys projected to be 4/5 starters are of zero value makes no sense in the current day.
   15. phoenixscienter Posted: January 19, 2009 at 09:56 PM (#3055370)
Dan- Where are the Transaction Oracle writeups for the Kawakami and Lowe signings? I'm really curious to see what ZIPs thinks of both... Thanks in advance!
   16. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 19, 2009 at 09:59 PM (#3055373)
When I played a few seasons of OOTP Baseball a couple of years ago, Felix Pie came roaring out of nowhere to win the MVP in back to back seasons, and ended up being one of the better players in my league.

It's probably why I stopped playing.
   17. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 19, 2009 at 10:20 PM (#3055390)
Pie can't project any better at this point than a marginal starting CF or a 4th OF which are not hard to come by.

Pie projects as an average CF AFAICT.
   18. Obama Bomaye Posted: January 19, 2009 at 10:23 PM (#3055396)
Pie never did nothing in my OOTP league, which has shown remarkable predictive ability.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2009 at 10:28 PM (#3055400)
Pie hit about .330 last season in my DMB league. Olson posted a 5.43 ERA.
   20. zonk Posted: January 20, 2009 at 12:32 AM (#3055492)
I don't know, Moses -- Patterson's minor league numbers were nothing to be ashamed of.

I suppose they were underwhelming if you bought the Griffey Jr II hype - but as a 19 yo in the Midwest league, he hit 320/354/592 -- that's nothing to sneeze at. He followed it up by jumping to AA the next season with a 261/329/491 line.

Going straight to A ball, then to AA by age 20 -- and posting an OPS over .800 at both levels says legit prospect to me.

It wasn't until the following year, when he flailed a bit in Iowa - that his numbers dived.

I'd also point out that Patterson walk rate almost doubled with each successive move up the org ladder (from awful to bad to not good, but still)... I know it's hard to remember back to 2001/2002 -- but Patterson at least seemed to be moving in the right direction.

I still think that 2003 season doomed him - he was hitting 298/329/511 when he blew out that ankle just before the break. If memory serves, he had either already been tabbed as an all-star reserve (or at least, deserved a strong look). The Cubs went on to come within a few outs of the WS, Kenny Lofton was hailed as a savior -- and I just think Patterson never got mentally right after that.

Sans the 3-peat Pie posted in Iowa -- their minor league numbers aren't that different.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: January 20, 2009 at 12:45 AM (#3055502)
Pie is in the Hall of Fame in my Baseball Mogul league, inducted 2035. He hit 295/360/532, with 579 HR, 2022 runs, 3422 hits (10th all time), 2271 RBI (4th all time), and was a nine-time All-Star.
   22. dcsmyth1 Posted: January 20, 2009 at 01:12 AM (#3055513)
I suspect that the straight projection systems will be wrong about Pie. He doesn't know how to draw walks, and he strikes out a lot. Both of these qualities are very resistant to change. So, he is almost certain to have a low OBA. He could compensate with a hi SLG by hitting lots of homers, but how realistic is that? He is listed at 170 lbs, making him one of the lightest players in MLB. He probably has more pop than the typical player at that weight, but I would expect him to top out at 15 HR or so.

He will be a marginal starting CFer, or a decent backup OFer. He is out of options with the Cubs, so they either have to trade him or keep him on the team. He's not good enough to be their starter, and he probably had more value to the Cubs in 2009 as a trading chip than as a backup CFer.

So, he's gone.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: January 20, 2009 at 02:08 AM (#3055558)
Y'know, when I said that about Pie's projection, I forgot there was a projection right at the top of this page. :-)

Anyway, an 86 OPS+ is nothing to get excited about especially since it's SLG-heavy and you need probably a good +10 defense to get close to average (which Pie might be). True he'll only be 24 but I'll note that Patterson hit better than that in the majors at ages 23, 24 and 26 (not so much 25 :-).

Olson's projection is pretty much a lower-end "intended" 5th starter or a top-end 6th starter. But, fair enough, Olson seems to be getting a big bump from the move to the NL (OPS+ in the O's ZiPS projection was just 78) so he wasn't any better than the 6th best starter on the O's.

It's a perfectly fair trade and, if the Cubs weren't gonna use Pie, I'd rather we had the 6th starter with an option left than the 4th CF with no options left. (I'd rather Pie was in the Gathright role but whatcha gonna do?) But from the O's perspective, given how amazingly bad their starting pitching is (Guthrie is the only one projected to be above an 86 ERA+), I'm really not sure this is worth it even if Pie does have the bigger upside.

And nobody mentions Williamson -- is he totally worthless?
   24. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 20, 2009 at 02:19 AM (#3055564)
I think that Michael Tucker with a better glove might be the best possible outcome for Pie. Modest power, decent secondary skills, but overall lacking the complete package to be a star in the majors... good enough to last a while as a 4th outfielder, but a below-average everyday player.
   25. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 20, 2009 at 02:21 AM (#3055566)
EDIT: Should have said, Pie will have a couple of years during his late 20s when it will seem like he's on the verge of putting it all together only to ultimately disappoint.

And Sabean will give him a lot of money in his mid-30s, if he hasn't been fired (or I haven't gotten around to shooting him yet).
   26. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 20, 2009 at 03:10 AM (#3055612)
B-More Sun says Pie/Freel platoon in LF, Jones CF, Markakis RF, Scott DH, Huff 1B. FWIW. http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.orioles19jan19,0,3876089.story
   27. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 20, 2009 at 03:40 AM (#3055643)
Pie is like Patterson in that he has absolutely no clue in the world what he's doing at the plate. He's pretty different physically though. I think the Cubs ruined him like they did with virtually every position prospect, but he's a pretty talented guy and he could put it together a la Sosa. In the Orioles organization? I don't think so, but he's worth a flyer.
   28. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 20, 2009 at 03:46 AM (#3055646)
Is Scott really that bad a defensive outfielder? I'd rather have him in LF and Reimold at DH, with Pie and Freel on the bench.
   29. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 20, 2009 at 03:53 AM (#3055652)
FWIW, UZR has Scott has an above average corner outfielder.

Also, the Orioles have a really weird roster situation with regards to catchers: no catchers on the 40 man, but 7 NRI catchers (including Wieters). They're at the limit with 40, so they're going to need to waive at least two guys before Opening Day. Plus they'll probably wind up breaking camp with Donnie Murphy. I'm not really sure why they're messing around with a project like David Pauley (just picked up in a trade with Boston for Randor Bierd).
   30. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 20, 2009 at 04:01 AM (#3055657)
Thanks Dan. I like this type of TO better than a scanned pic of burnt toast (unless you're doing an entry on Elvis Patterson.)
   31. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: January 20, 2009 at 04:28 AM (#3055675)
I think Patterson was given a lot more chances that Pie, but Pie has more talent and still could be a better player than Patterson ever was.

I think so too. Pie has his flaws, but he's hit better than Patterson, and has been younger for his levels. Pie didn't really have a place on this year's Cubs, unless they wanted to give him the Gathright spot, which is a poor use of his value (granted, trading him for Garrett Olson might be too), but I think he might turn into something.
   32. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 20, 2009 at 05:09 AM (#3055715)
Also, the Orioles have a really weird roster situation with regards to catchers: no catchers on the 40 man, but 7 NRI catchers (including Wieters). They're at the limit with 40, so they're going to need to waive at least two guys before Opening Day. Plus they'll probably wind up breaking camp with Donnie Murphy. I'm not really sure why they're messing around with a project like David Pauley (just picked up in a trade with Boston for Randor Bierd).
I think you missed that they signed Gregg Zaun the other day.
   33. zonk Posted: January 20, 2009 at 05:23 AM (#3055729)
The only difference between Patterson and Pie's minor league numbers - and that include being young for his league - is that Pie spent 6 years in the minors, while Patterson got 3.

Patterson was in A ball at 19 and AA at 20. Pie played in high A at 20, but other than that - the difference is the 2 years Pie spent at levels where Patterson was a jr and sr in high school. Pie posted better overall numbers in triple A (and spent 3 seasons there), but the only difference I see is that Patterson hit for more power, while Pie consistently posted better averages.

Granted, it was in a hitters park - but people seem to be forgetting that Patterson slugged nearly .600 in a full season of A ball the summer after he graduated high school.
   34. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 20, 2009 at 05:24 AM (#3055730)
williamson - he's a flyer/warm body. good k/w #s, but in short season ball with decent, unspectacular stuff.
   35. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 20, 2009 at 05:24 AM (#3055734)
aha, Gregg Zaun. He was Chris Hoiles's backup on the 95-96 Orioles, now full circle.
   36. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 20, 2009 at 05:50 AM (#3055748)
I think you missed that they signed Gregg Zaun the other day.

Ah, that's right. He hasn't been officially added to the roster (ie, contract isn't official yet).
   37. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2009 at 06:10 AM (#3055762)
Granted, it was in a hitters park - but people seem to be forgetting that Patterson slugged nearly .600 in a full season of A ball the summer after he graduated high school.

And big-Choi slugged .610 with 18 homers in 290 AB. ahh, what could have been.

Choi, Hill (ok he came in 2001), Montanez, Hinske/Gripp, Brown, Patterson, Dubois (2001).
   38. zonk Posted: January 20, 2009 at 01:57 PM (#3055843)
And big-Choi slugged .610 with 18 homers in 290 AB. ahh, what could have been.


That 1999 Lugnut team was (thought to be at the time) loaded -- there was then-prospect Jeff Goldbach, a 19 yo catcher that hits .271/.371/.489. Patterson - Choi as you mention, plus David Kelton and both Tydus Meadows and Nate Frese.

The rotation had Zambrano and Wuertz, plus Steve Smyth and Matt Bruback.

Still - I guess graduating 4 players that spent relatively significant time in the bigs is no small feat for an A ball team.
   39. RTSquared is not on the Rangers' DL...yet... Posted: January 20, 2009 at 05:51 PM (#3056039)
Still - I guess graduating 4 players that spent relatively significant time in the bigs is no small feat for an A ball team.

I haven't done exhaustive research on this (obviously), but I suspect one of the best A ball alumni teams of all time finished an impressive 58-82.

The 1987 Gastonia Rangers had 5 hitters who spent 13+ years in the bigs APIECE. Those five guys hit a combined 1380 MLB homers. They also had two pitchers who became MLB All-Stars.

I'm sure there's more impressive A ball teams than that in the annals of history, but I'd like to see them.
   40. flournoy Posted: January 20, 2009 at 07:07 PM (#3056101)
So I took that as an invitation to guess who the seven players were. I got three. (The left fielder, third baseman, and right handed pitcher)
   41. RTSquared is not on the Rangers' DL...yet... Posted: January 20, 2009 at 07:30 PM (#3056125)
So I took that as an invitation to guess who the seven players were. I got three. (The left fielder, third baseman, and right handed pitcher)

Both pitchers were RHP, if I recall correctly. I'm assuming you got the one who didn't spend his entire career in Texas.

Without looking it up, I would have gotten both OFs, the 3B, and MAYBE the pitcher who didn't spend his career in Texas.
   42. flournoy Posted: January 20, 2009 at 07:48 PM (#3056135)
No, the other guy was definitely a left hander. I was kind of embarrassed to miss the other outfielder, I just blanked on him starting with the Rangers.
   43. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 20, 2009 at 08:36 PM (#3056209)
He was Chris Hoiles's backup on the 95-96 Orioles, now full circle.

Even more full circle, he's Rick Dempsey's nephew.
   44. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: January 20, 2009 at 11:55 PM (#3056454)
I got both OF and the LHP. I figured the other pitcher to be Brown or Rogers, but I guess they had passed A-ball by that point. Blanked on the 3B, should have gotten that one.

The RHP ... I always confuse him with Ed Vosberg for some reason. Even though they are easy to tell apart: mystery RHP had the funny leg kick, Ed Vosberg was arrested for scalping his complimentary tickets to the All-Star game. Thus his nickname, "The Felon."
   45. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: January 21, 2009 at 01:28 AM (#3056519)
I was excited to see this AAA team. One HoF, two others made All-Star games, but there were some disappointments (top twenty prospects in baseball who never did anything) and no pitching. As an added bonus, I just found out that they were managed by a man who would be given the middle name of 'f-ing' by Red Sox fans.
   46. CoastalFan Posted: January 21, 2009 at 04:50 AM (#3056645)
"acquired Pie" just needs to be on a thread of its own. Seriously. Where's that toast pic for Olson? He's not remotely useful...
   47. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: January 21, 2009 at 05:25 AM (#3056682)
I was excited to see this AAA team. One HoF, two others made All-Star games, but there were some disappointments (top twenty prospects in baseball who never did anything) and no pitching.


God, I loved that team.

And as for no pitching, I guess that's the reason I held out hope for Brad Woodall for far too long.
   48. zonk Posted: January 21, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3056980)
"acquired Pie" just needs to be on a thread of its own. Seriously. Where's that toast pic for Olson? He's not remotely useful...


If the rumors had any truth to them - the Padres disagree.

Since I'm the designated "keep hope alive for Peavy" Cubs fanboy, SDUT reports that the Pads are still 5 mil over the Moores' payroll limit for this season.

Only 4 players fit that salary bill -- Adrian Gonzalez presumably isn't going anywhere, and we haven't had a peep about Chris Young. That leaves Giles and Peavy - and considering Giles' reticence to relocate last last summer... that leaves Peavy. The articles goes on to report the Cubs still being the most likely destination.
   49. The Essex Snead Posted: January 21, 2009 at 05:41 PM (#3056991)
And big-Choi slugged .610 with 18 homers in 290 AB. ahh, what could have been.

I'm still blaming Dusty Baker & Jim Tracy for screwing him up. FREE HEE SEOP!
   50. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 30, 2009 at 12:35 AM (#3063716)
No Pettite or Garland updates?
   51. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 06, 2009 at 07:15 PM (#3069544)
No Pettite or Garland updates?

We're still waiting for the Szym-wisdom to drop on Lowe and Kawakami. Get in line.

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