With the signing of Vladimir Guerrero the Orioles now have what we call a logjam in left field. This, of course, isn’t a bad thing. The Orioles need to decide what to do with Luke Scott, Felix Pie, and Nolan Reimold.
I know some fans would love for the Orioles to send away one of these guys, but I think the Orioles should stand pat and keep all three players and see how it plays out. However, if the Orioles were to trade one of them, the guy who should be traded is Pie.
I know Pie still has some upside, but with the amount of at bats he has gotten in the majors, I just don’t think he is going to get too much better than what fans have already seen. Don’t be confused, I still think Pie is a very useful player, but I just think he is at that point where his potential is starting to run out.
Pie is probably also the easiest to replace. Remember last year when the Orioles picked up Corey Patterson on a minor league deal? He replaced Pie when he was injured and did a fine job of stepping in. It is much harder to find guys who will hit for consistent power than finding a speedy defensive outfielder like Pie. Not to say you can find them anywhere, but the Orioles probably have more options. One that comes to mind is Matt Angle who is a left handed hitting speedster who hit .278 between Double A and Triple A last year. I can see him coming up from the minors this season and filling the role that Felix Pie will be holding at the start of the season.
I have always been a fan of Reimold and I know he had a horrible season last year, but he seems more motivated than ever coming into this season. He is also a potential 20 to 30 home run guy from the right side of the plate. That is something the Orioles are going to need in future seasons. Lee and Guerrero are only signed for one season. Don’t be fooled by the abundance of right handed power the Orioles have now. Next offseason they are going to be looking for more right handed power hitters again. Having Reimold in the fold could ease some of the pressure.
Luke Scott has actually become even more important to the Orioles with the additions of right handed hitters Reynolds, Hardy, Lee, and Guerrero. The middle of the Orioles lineup now is all right handed and having Scott in their lineup is crucial. Showalter will probably want to use Scott and his left handed power bat to place in the middle of Lee, Reynolds, and Guerrero. Once again, Lee and Guerrero will probably only be with the Orioles for one season. Come next season the Orioles will still need to have power hitters in their lineup and Scott will still be under contract.
I think the Orioles should keep all three guys and worst case scenario is they have to send Reimold down to Triple A to start the season. They won’t be in danger of losing Reimold and I’m sure Showalter will love to have the flexibility to use Pie off the bench and also have Scott give some time off to Guerrero and Lee to keep everyone fresh. What do you think? Should the Orioles trade one of these guys, and if so, which one?