Blog Entry

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

Posted on: January 30, 2008 6:19 pm

I really cannot explain why I feel that it would be a long term mistake to trade Pie, but I feel that way.  Now, if some drunk GM wants to give us a young, speedy, LH, CF who has produced in the league in return, Then Hell Yeah, trade him.  But, including him to get either Brian Roberts, Erik Bedard, Joe Blanton, or most other players that the Cubs are rumored to have an interest in does not appeal to me.

I am aware of all the arguments.  He is a just a prospect, even worse, a Cubs prospect.  So therefore, he is doubly cursed not to ever amount to a decent MLB hitter.  Well, I cannot agree with that.  The Cubs do have a poor history of developing positional players and are only mildly better with developing pitchers.  My argument to that is that while true, it has no connection with the instructors, coaches and managers the Cubs have in place today.  As people within the organization change, does not the organizational abiilities change?  I know the change may not be for the better, but my point is these people did not ruin Gary Scott, Corey Patterson, or any other failed prospect from the past.  I am of the opinion to give this version of Cubs leadership the chance to see what they can do with this intriguing combination of talent and skill. 

The other argument is that he cannot hit MLB pitching.  I can agree that he has not hit MLB pitching well thus far.  But, he has had 177 MLB ABs.  Ther are plenty of players who go on to have decent to great careers that needed the chance to find their way at the plate.  What we have seen from him to date can improve.  I understand there is no guarantee.  But, if Hendry is holding out Pie from a currently rumored trade, I'm not mad at him. 

Some prospects become tomorrow's greats.  Even the Cubs hierarchy is allowed to gamble on one of their prospects from time to time.  Of course, you'd like to be right.  But, IMO, Felix Pie is one worth taking that gamble on. 

Category: MLB

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: May 11, 2008 9:15 pm

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

I would have to pretty much agree with you on all accounts. But, if you can get some proven players in positions that the Team ranks "weak" then you trade the prospect because you want to win sooner than later. And the name of the game is "Win Win Win." 

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2008 1:27 pm

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

Excellent blog Jazz, I always enjoy reading your posts. I am a Braves fan but I grew up through the 80's watching both the Braves and Cubs on the 2 Superstations so I still have a soft spot for the Cubbies. I caught a few games that Felix played last yr and it looks like the guy has all the tools except the hitting. He took some serious at bats in the minors and produced a nice average, strikeouts are about par for his age and level (his walks are low so as he aquires more plate awareness his walks should increase and strikeouts decrease) and his basestealing seams to be getting more refined, so there is no way I would give up on the guy at this point.

Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2008 9:14 am

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

For the folks saying the team should trade Pie, can I ask one tiny practical question? If he Cubs trade Felix, who is going to play center field? Sam Fuld? I'm not trying to be a jerk here, I'm just honestly curious what the Cubs other options are. Taking a quick look over the free agents that are still available, I see such options as Kenny Lofton, Shannon Stewart, and let's not forget our favorite Cub of all Corey Patterson. But I don't think any of these really fit terribly well (though I suppose all three would be interesting out of the leadoff spot...and yes, I'm joking there about Patterson.)

I would like to keep Pie out of a Bedard deal because it's my understanding that Bedard has two seasons left before free agency. Am I disappointed in what I'm hearing about Pie coming out of winter ball? Of course. Am I concerned? Yes. And maybe I will regret my opinion later. But right now I have some hope that Pie is going to turn out all right and be at least a decent center fielder. I think you have a good point here Jazzman...there's no point in hiring new instructors if you're not going to see how what could be their finest product turn out.

Since: Feb 13, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2008 2:44 pm

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

While Jim Hendry has said repeatedly he is not interested in trading Felix Pie, there have been rumors that he may be included in a Brian Roberts trade.  Also, there is a heavy anti-Pie vibe from some Cubs fans who feel his 177 ABs last year defines his future as a hitter.  So this whole blog was to make an argument for allowing the kid to develop. 

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2008 2:22 am

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

I think the argument in favor of not trading Pie or any other top prospect is that the Cubs traditionally have tried for the quick fix by dealing off players before they were mature. This list is endless and is perhaps not always being fair to the team. In rare cases, the Cubs got somebody in return who helped.

The meat of the matter, however, is that the team hasn't got very much to show for its trades over the years, which has been expressed over and over and over again.

The trend in baseball is to find a top free agent, sign him for 4 years and hope like mad you benefit from that. If you have wads of money to throw at your mistakes, like NYY or Boston or NYM, fine ... and the Cubs apparently have this bankroll in place as well.

Being well-heeled doesn't mean you have to be stupid.

If Pie is or isn't an upcoming star ... would it not be interesting to see how it plays out? Depending on the rest of the order, if he hits .240, that would be enough to tell if he has a future. If he hits .340, well ... you got a good deal.

What the Cubs need to avoid is to load up with overpriced free agents who can't be unloaded.

This team is competitive and a contender. Being a contender is about all the fans really can ask for.

Bottom line: Put the guy in center field and tell him to earn his job.
He knows what to do. Also assume he's gotten some hitting instruction over the winter. MLB doesn't let its potential star players sit around and gather dust in the off-season.

BTW, I have not seen any evidence that the Cubs are even considering a trade for Pie.

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2008 5:45 pm

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

Agreed, and anyways What is the fascination with Brian Roberts(as per rumors)?  99 strikeouts last year for a non-power guy.  Is this guy the answer? Also, Bedard might be good, but I'd rather start the season with Pie, at least.  I could be wrong but Ernie Broglio looked pretty good too.  Look if we've totally lost confidence with him there will be a pitcher available in late June that can help us this year.

Since: Feb 13, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2008 4:35 pm

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

I think the change is more than a few new hires.  But, at any rate, my point is they have not been given that chance.  Without having that chance, we do not know that they can or cannot.  The Logo nor the history of the club does not develop players.  Coaches and instructors do.  Then, every player is an individual personality.  They have to listen and work hard.  I do not know Felix Pie personally so, perhaps his makeup is not conducive to finding himself.  But, if Jim Hendry's gut, scouts, or instructors tell him to hold on to the guy, I am cool with that.  Some prospect do blossom.   Expecting the same results from new instructors because they are now Cubs instuctors makes no sense.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2008 3:36 pm

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

There's nothing nonsensical about it.  It's an organization-wide problem that isn't going to go away with new hires.  If those new hires actually show they're up to the task of developing young talent, then you have something.  I can tell you, it would make me a very happy Cubs fan.  But until results are produced and our farm system starts building some decent hitters (Soto hopefully), we have a problem.  New coaches are nothing without concrete results.

And loosely tied to that conversation, I still think if we have the opportunity to swing a deal for Bedard with Pie as the centerpiece, we go for it.  He would be a huge addition and make us the frontrunner to win the division.  And if we do, in a 5 game series you have Z, Bedard and Hill/Lilly going 1, 2, 3.  That is a formidable staff. 

Since: Feb 13, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2008 2:52 pm

Do Not Trade Felix Pie


Since the failure of Corey Patterson, the Cubs managemnet staff has changed at the MLB level, AAA level, and both AA teams.  Hendry has added scouts and other instuctors as well.  My point is that the "teaching" staff has changed.  This is not the same organization that tried to develop previous hitters.  I can live with giving the chance to succeed or fail with a select few of the current crop of prospects before saying that they cannot develop non-pitching talent. 

I think it's a nonsensical argument to blame the present instuctors for the failures of past instructors. 

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2008 1:57 pm

Do Not Trade Felix Pie

I follow your logic here, but have to disagree slightly.  The Cubs know how to develop pitchers - proven track record of that.  They have also proven without a doubt that they cannot develop hitters - proven track record of that. 

Pie certainly is the "toolsy" type of player that is easy to fall in love with.  He's fast, athletic, great arm, etc.  And there is no way I would include him in a deal for Brian Roberts.  I wouldn't even complete that thought, much less trade.  But if you can send him over for Bedard, I'd say that is too tempting to pass up.  The Cubs would be overwhelming favorites to win the division with the addition of a pitcher like him.  And he's still a young man, so you wouldn't be loaning him for a year before his arm falls off (assuming we are smart enough to lock him down to a long-term deal before we acquire him).  Zambrano, Bedard, Lilly, Hill and whoever, look a heck of a lot better to me than what we're shaping up to have right now.

Pie would be a steep price to pay, but I'd rather have the known commodity (Bedard) than the prospect who might turn a corner (Pie).

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