This week in Cubs Baseball
On Sunday the Chicago Cubs traded Felix Pie who was the organizations top prospect two years ago to Baltimore for lefty pitcher Garrett Olson and right-handed pitcher minor leaguer Henry “Hank” Williamson. Pie showed great athleticism but failed to hit at the major league level.
In 260 at bats Pie hit a measly .223 and only had a .284 on base percentage. The career .299 hitting minor leaguer had his Cubs career come to a close after a long stint with the team. The club signed Pie in 2001 as an amateur free agent. When the Cubs signed outfielder Joey Gathright this offseason it looked like Pie’s days in Chicago were numbered. Pie only 23 years of age still has plenty of time to develop his hitting at the major league level. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry had this to say about Felix Pie "Obviously, Felix has a lot of good qualities, and at his age, even if he was the fifth outfielder, it's hard to paint a scenario where he would've gotten enough at-bats to finish off his development." Garrett Olson one of two players the Cubs received for Pie could provide the Cubs with a possible 5 th starter and or bullpen help. Olson has 33 career starts under his belt and recorded a 9-10 record last year with a 6.87 earned run average. Olson who is only 25 could have a promising future with the Cubs; his ERA at the minor league level was 2.96 in 71 games. Henry Williamson the second player the Cubs received from the deal was in single A baseball with the Orioles last year and had a 4.76 ERA.
In other news:
On Monday the Cubs and relief pitcher Kevin Gregg reached a one year $4.2 million deal. Gregg was traded to the Cubs in November in exchange for minor league pitcher Jose Ceda. In the last two seasons Gregg has had a 3.54 and a 3.41 ERA and has pitched in over 70 games. The contract negotiations will not go to arbitration as the deal was finalized Monday.
On Tuesday the Cubs also agreed to terms with RHP Michael Wuertz. The Cubs and Wuertz settled for $1.1 million for the 2009 MLB season. The 5 year veteran has a career ERA of just 3.57 but with many pitchers fighting for the bullpen spots this year Wuertz will have to show something this spring to make the 25 man roster. The Cubs and Wuertz will not be going to arbitration and the Cubs haven’t gone to arbitration with any player since 1993.
Geovany Soto-Puerto Rico
Aramis Ramirez-Dominican Republic
Carlos Marmol- Dominican Republic
Are all possible Cubs players that will take part in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Zambrano was not sure if he would participate due to having Lasik eye surgery before spring training. Although he is listed as of now on the Venezuelan team. Former Cub and current Cubs special assistant Ivan DeJesus will be the first base coach for the Puerto Rican team.
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