The trade of Cubs prospect Felix Pie to the Baltimore Orioles is a fair one. It's one in which both sides traded things pieces they didn't need, and replaced them with pieces they did. No one was fleeced, at least not obviously, though trades have a way of looking much sillier in retrospect than they do on the day they're finalized. All in all, it was fair.
But Cubs fans should be sad, and perhaps slightly upset, that the Cubs needed to trade Felix Pie at all.
Who to be upset with? Pie, for one. The highly regarded outfield prospect was given years to develop in the Cubs' system. He posted impressive numbers at every level of minor league baseball. He flashed a glove in the outfield that was well above-average for a pro player. He had all the tools -- a bat, a glove, speed, and so on. But when Pie lined up to bat in the majors, something different happened -- he swung too much. He was too aggressive, too testy. He always appeared to have some sort of weird mental block. The talent was always there.
Cubs fans can also blame the Cubs, and many likely will. After all, Pie is regarded by most in baseball as having been a legitimate top-tier prospect. The Cubs never seem to have those in their system. When they do, they usually fail to develop them, and the dearth of home-grown talent on the 2008 roster is a testament to those failures. Pie was supposed to be different.
Sunday's trade was fair, and everyone was a winner in a deal. But that doesn't make it any less frustrating that another can't-miss Cubs prospect did exactly that: missed.
Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.