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January 18, 2009

O's: Garrett Olson says goodbye

olsonAP.jpgJeff Zrebiec, the Orioles' beat writer for The Sun, spoke to Garrett Olson today. Here are his thoughts on the trade.

First reaction to trade: "It was a surprise. I didn’t look at anything online. I hadn’t been paying attention to any trade talks. I just tried to ignore that this offseason. I got the call from [Andy] MacPhail this morning and it did catch me by surprise. It kind of hit me strange. It is exciting, a new challenge. But part of me is also sad to be leaving. It’s like a family in Baltimore. It was always awesome to play there and I’ll never forget that. But I’m also forward to going to Chicago. They’re rich in tradition. I grew up watching games on WGN. It will be an adventure because I really don’t know anyone there."

On whether he thinks he still may be headed to San Diego in potential Jake Peavy deal: "I don’t believe in looking way ahead to see what the possibilities are. I really believe that whatever you’re given, that’s what you have. Right now, I plan on being a Cub. It’s out of my hands. That’s something that hasn’t been talked about. When I talked to [Cubs general manager] Jim Hendry today, that wasn’t an option. He didn’t even bring it up to me. If that’s going on, that’s up to them."

Were you surprised because Orioles have so much uncertainty in rotation: "It kind of hits you by surprise. I've been up and down the last year and a half. I figured I had a great chance to come in and contribute this year. But I’m sure it will work out better for both sides. I think [Felix] Pie was somebody Andy has been trying to get for a while and he had to sacrifice something. I understood that and didn’t take it to heart. I’m sure it will work out for both teams. Going to the Cubs, I realize that there aren’t as many opportunities in the rotation. I feel like I have to prove myself again. But either way, I’m ready to go. I see the pros and cons in both. I think it will be a good change."

Did you get enough of an opportunity as an Oriole: "I feel like I was given plenty of opportunities and I feel like I did what I could. I’m grateful for it. I’m very proud to say I put in time with the Orioles. It was an amazing time. I felt like it made me a better pitcher and person. I feel like this is a new chapter to my career. What I got from developing and growing up in that organization, I feel like I can use that always."

Associated Press photo

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 11:50 PM | | Comments (33)
Categories: Just baseball


We must give MacPhail credit for one thing here, he is certainly ROLLING THE DICE on this trade !-------- It may turn out that neither player becomes a regular, but if Garrett Olsen becomes even an average starter down the road, this trade will haunt MacPhail for a long time.--------- It's for sure that neither club thinks that much about the player they traded !--------- Pete, How long do we control that big slice of Pie ?

Peter's reply: Probably five seasons.

a classy guy. good luck

Overall a good trade for both teams. Both players show lots of potential and under the right circumstances will flourish.

This is an excellent trade for the O's.

I was hoping we might pick up Pie last year, but hey, this works.

I'm not too worried about letting go of Olson, but wish him the best.

There's still more work to be done on this team and rebuilding process, but Andy's vision is becoming a little clearer now and I like where it's headed.

Congrats to the Ravens for a good season and here's to hoping the O's suprise some people this year and at least give the Sox and Yanks a headache every now and then!

Pie looks like he could be another Corey Patterson, which isn't a good thing...I am surprised the O's gave up on Olsen so soon, especially with the shortage of starters.
Time will tell.

Mr. Olson,

This interview shows pure class on your part. I'll be rooting for you to reach your full potential with the Cubs, or whoever.

Peter - thank you very much.


Garrett Olsen? Did not, do not, and will not miss him. Why? He lacks tenacity. We need more starters with a manic Bob Gibson-like mentality, the "plate is mine" mind-set. The song should be more like "where have you gone Bobby Gibson"??

Nice work all around Peter.

Best of luck Garrett.

This hopefully will work out for both clubs.

I wish we would have put the trade effort into getting a future 1st baseman rather than another OF.It's amazing how mcphail is willing to give someone outside the org. a shot but not his own minor leaguers.

Gotta love the calculated moves by MacPhail. Only time will tell how this trade works out for either side, but at least MacPhail appears to be sticking to his plan. Go O's!!

I am betting that there will be a signing of a free agent pitcher coming soon. If they add someone ( or two) like Looper, Wolf, Byrd or Garland it will give more stability to the rotation. Which we really need. And given the past, we should count on 40% of the initial starting rotation being injured for a good part of the season. So many of those names listed will get auditions as starters.

Olson will be a fine MLB starter. I still can't fathom how he scrapped together a 9-10 last year.

This trade has to be considered a no-brainer. Olsen had two full opportunities to succeed as a starter and failed due to a combination of ineffectiveness and injuries. His production will be easily replaced by a modest free agent. Pie has been on a yo-yo with Iowa and the Cubs and brings far more natural talent to his position than Olsen could ever hope to bring to his. But, as it stands now, the rotation is not even more than half filled out and the RH "power" in the order is Ryan Freel, Adam Jones and Melvin Mora. Ouch! So here's the million dollar question: Is Andy MacPhail waiting in the free agent weeds or is this what we can expect to see going into spring training?

Pete's reply: I think there is more to come.

I think this trade makes sense if the O's go out and pick up another pitcher (either by trade or fee agent). Hats off to Olson and the way he handeled the news, sounded like a real class act.

Pete's reply: Garrett is a good guy. He may benefit from a new start, though he'll have trouble cracking that rotation.

I didn't see this coming, especially since the O's are short on starting pitching. However, it does round out the defense/offense. Pie in LF, Huff att 1B, and Scott at DH. Not bad. I just hope another veteran arm is added to the rotation.

Trade makes a lot of sense if McPhail is now ready to bottem feed for a rotation guy. Ben Sheets and Jon Garland amoung others have got to pitch some where.

It seems some of these guys are now willing to look at 3 year deals to find a job. Locking down one more rotation slot with an experienced starter for three years would be a real solid move.

Give the wave of young arms a little more seasoning in the minors, don't make the mistake the Birds have made with Caberra, Olsen, and Liz by hurrying guys to the majors because there's no experienced major league pitchers on the roster.

Signing another starter or even two would fit the overall plan not hinder it.

Will the Orioles consider moving Montanez to third and get a year in at triple A ball. That is a looming hole on the horizon. Lou could be an ideal guy from the organization to fill it.

I had a chance to talk with Garrett at Brian's Baseball Bash last August and he's an awesome guy. One of the things we talked about was making the trip to Wrigley last season, and it was obvious that he'll really appreciate what it means to get to play there. I wish him the best.

A class guy who could have been given another year to prove what he learned.

Now our offense against lefties is atrocious.

When McPhail states about Pie, "He's going to be with us all year," I have to wonder what goes through the heads of Reimold, Montanez and Scott (and Freel for that matter or even Jones). Essentially, McPhail has given Pie the LF job despite his Cpat numbers.

This is actually a significant gamble on McPhail's part. If Pie proves to be a no hit, all field player, essentially Isturis in LF, and Olson rebounds to put up John Maine numbers in the NL he's going to look pretty stupid. If a guy like Luke Scott starts grumbling about lack of playing time in the field. If Lou Montanez goes elsewhere after crushing the ball in ST, and Reimold is disgruntled about going to Norfolk after vastly proving himself in Spring Training and Pie is kept to hit .240 we've got a problem.

I don't get McPhail's love affair with Pie. I could see it last year when we had nothing in LF, but we have a lot of depth out there. To essentially promise a lackluster hitter like Pie the job was in my opinion a slap in the face to solid offensive players like Scott, Montanez, and Reimold.

And Pete, I'd be curious based on this what your projected starting rotation will now be with the loss of Olson. Here's mine:

1. Guthrie
2. Uehara
3. Waters
4. Penn
5. Bass or Hendrickson.

I exepct Liz could be in that number 5 spot, but he's shown nothing. As to Albers I beleive due to injury he should ease into anything to not place undue duress on that arm, and Patton and Baez are coming off a year of not pitching. Hennesey could surprise and improve that 7.12 ERA as well. What a mess. DCab should have been kept if McPhail planned on dumping Olson at least for a year.

This has got to be the weakest starting rotation I have ever seen in all my years of ever following the O's. I had expected significant improvement from Olson this year. I wish him well in the future as I did John Maine.

I hope Pie is not Cpat, but from what I've seen they're both good fielders and Cpat at least is a good base stealer and has better power than Pie. Neither can hit for average, take a walk and both strike out a lot. Tough decision between the two. I'd lean towards CPat.

I hope this isn't another trade that comes back to bite us (John Maine). Garrett Olson is an extremely intelligent person and pitcher, and I believe his brain along with his arm will make him a formidable ML pitcher.

Olson did show incredible class on his way out.....wish him well.
It just seems we have so many other SPs on the bubble---Liz, Penn, Patton, Albers, etc.
But now we have a chance to have a world-class outfield.

A horrible trade! Olson has much more of an upside, and now we have 3 pitchers at the bottom of our lineup in Zaun, Pie and Izturis. I can't believe McPhail would rather have Pie then an Adam Dunn type player.

Both players are basically in the same stage of their development and demonstrate roughly the same amount of potential, perhaps slight edge to Pie. Therefore, why in the world would we want another outfielder; don't get me wrong I love Pie, the player not the dessert, although I do love the dessert, but we need as many arms with immediate major league potential as possible right now, right!? This only affirms that we will waste Lou Montaez's talent for yet another year, the gu is 27 and dying to breakout and what do you we do, trade one of our only known starters for a replacement.

Though his struggles, he never complained or made excuses. Hopefully a change of scenery will help him in his progression.

You stay classy, Garrett Olson.

i would think if pie shows he can hit the o's might look to trade roberts later in the season and bat pie at leadoff and play freel at 2nd considering the o's probably don't have a quality 2nd baseman in the minors (nor do they have a quality ss, 3rd base, 1b or cf in the minors)

What took McPhail so long to rid of another punk pitcher with a punk attitude?

If I were Kranitz, after Olson pulled his sit outside the pitchers meeting stunt, Olsen would have found himself in Sarasota on an attitude adjustment program.

When the Pitching Coach calls a meeting, EVERYONE attends the meeting, including you Mr. Olsen REGARDLESS of your experience and status on the roster.

Garret was not traded only for his baseball abilities. He was traded because of his lousy unprofessional attitude.

I wonder how long Garrett will be Cub with Lou Pinella as his manager? Lou, for sure, won't put up with Olsen's childish behavior.

Change you attitude, Garrett, and you might become a more confident pitcher.


Lets keep the jury out on this one for a little while. I think both players offer potential, who would have thought Jamie Moyer would have won so many games or John Maine for that matter. I think Pie presents some real potential, but also a glut of OFs but I guess that just means we have trading materiel if needed. We now pretty much know our line-up and while we have increased our team speed with Pie, replacing Millar's dingers will be difficult. I quess with Hudson still out there Brob will be with us for a while longer, but it will be difficult to replace our entire infield following the season!

For the record: We do have plethora of talent in the minors at the positions aforementioned. Brandon Snyder and Salazar are both competent 1b/3b, of was mentioned but I will refrain from discussion because everyone should know how deep we are at the position, and I think Turner's power will make him a future option; furthermore, Brandon Waring (he is a Pedoria clone, seriously, go to and compare) I really believe will be one our future infielders. We must give Montaez and Salazar a shot, they have outperformed everyone in Triple A, come on! Someone should also look at Troy Patton's stats, the guy should without a doubt be in our make-shift rotation, nevertheless, Baez will never be the starter he was but is more than apt to solidify our heaping pile of questions marks.

Horrible trade!! This will turn into a left handed version of the Mets trade for John Maine!! Olson has a much better upside that Pie, who can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag. Also, this hurts Montenez and Reimold, who are both better hitters than Pie!! STUPID!!!!! Enough said!

Does anyone remember the best pitcher from last year? JIM JOHNSON ringing any bells? With the shortage of starters, and the return of Chris Ray, how in the world is this guy not getting a look?

Pete's reply: He will get a look, but he might be in the right role.

Doug. You are correct about the shaky starting pitching for '09. I've followed the O's for years and don't recall a more dismal projected starting rotation. Even in the bad years, we always seemed to have at least one ace and a couple of 10-12 game winners. Guthrie is decent but he's no Mussina, Erickson, Palmer..after that who knows??? A part of me says that maybe we should have given Olsen another year or at least half season to prove himself but on the other hand, maybe it's better to cut your losses. We probably stuck with Cabrera too long so who knows with Olsen. I'd be real surprised if he takes it to the next level but I'm feeling the same way with Pie.

Heah. First off I want to say as a fan of football in general and a Steeler's fan first and for most. I am glad that Willis McGahee will be OK to play another day.

But it so awesome to have you eat all your worthless talk that you have been spewing all week about the city of Pittsburgh and it's fans!

The Ravens proved yesterday that they can talk a mean game but they can't measure up. It is the Steeler's, that no body wants to "Play" now!

So until next season when the Ravens are looking at another "o'fer" against the Steelers just keep flappling your gums and waging bounty's!

From Dave a very happy Steeler's fan!

Pete's reply: I'm just glad that in the aftermath of another great Steelers win, you thought of me and visited my blog again. Mission accomplished.

Just when you think MacPhail wont trade; he does. Looks like there are still going to be a couple more moves that affect the roster by sthe start of Spring Training.

The Orioles seem to have their OF of the future set with Markakis, Jones and Pie.

Picking up Pauley from the Red Sox has promise, too.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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