Félix Pié on base for Bravos de León
Transaction Analysis

Transaction Analysis: When a Star Signs with a Bad Team

Piratas de Campeche signed OF-L Félix Pié to an unknown contract

It’s hard for a team like Campeche to compete. They are a staple of the cellar in Liga Mexicana de Béisbol. They simply lack the funds and drawing power to compete with the much more popular and less cash strapped franchises within the circuit. That’s why I was very surprised to read that the Piratas had signed Pié, a borderline LMB superstar. Perhaps this move signals the Piratas are making a run at respectability or it could mean something else altogether.

Let’s start with Pié, a player who has been excellent in his LMB tenure. He’s coming off of a season where he slashed .381/.466/.665 with 22 home runs and 23 doubles in 386 plate appearances for Bravos de León. Those are excellent numbers in any league, and in every respect, the former Chicago Cubs farmhand was a stud for the Bravos. He followed up his excellent 2019 LMB season with a brief stop in Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana where he was meant to help boost an already dominant Toros del Este club. Instead of doing that Pié struggled mightily, hitting for no power and rolling over the top of everything.

It’s easy to look at his LIDOM stint and waver on how good Pié still can be. This is compounded by LMB switching back to the less aerodynamic Franklin ball in a move that should knock hitters down a peg or two. However, if we flashback to the 2018 split LMB season when they were still using the Franklin ball some concern is alleviated. Pié followed up a good first 2018 season with a second half season where he slashed .376/.439/.608 with 10 home runs and 13 doubles in 212 plate appearances for the Bravos. With a deader baseball Pié was just as good, if not better, than he would be a year later with the Rawlings rabbit ball.

In Pié the Piratas are getting themselves a great offensive force and someone who can still play above-average defense across the outfield. If the signing were that simple this would be a closed and shut case of the Piratas doing something good. Since this is the Piratas we are talking about it’s important to consider that there is a distinct possibility they have signed Pié with the sole intention of selling him off to help their financial situation. If Pié plays up to his usual level and the Piratas still aren’t any good I’d look for him to be sold off around mid-season, if not earlier.

No matter their reasoning for the acquisition, it is crystal clear that Campeche just went out and signed one of the best players in LMB. The optimist in me wants to believe that the Pié signing signals the Piratas are about to start competing again. The realist in me understands that Pié will be sold off for cash sooner or later. At least Pié will be good while in a Piratas uniform, that’s more than most of their players ever get to say.

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Unknown

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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