The move was made to make room on the Orioles' 40-man roster for utility man Jake Fox, who was called up from Triple-A Norfolk. Baltimore also recalled outfielder Matt Angle from the Tides.
"Hopefully it's a win-win for Felix," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "We were looking for ways to get him back being the guy that we know he might be capable of being. For us, we hope he clears [waivers] and decides to go to Norfolk and get some at-bats, and gets back to doing what he's capable of doing.
"The bad side of that is, somebody can pick him up or he can become a free agent if he wants to. But we got to the point where if he can't get some at-bats and get back to being what he's capable of being, it's probably not going to work out with him."
In his fourth season with the Orioles, Pie hit .220 with seven RBIs in 85 games this season. In 268 games over the past three years, Pie batted .259 with 14 home runs and 67 RBIs.
For two years, in 2006-07, Pie was the Cubs' top prospect. But he never found a solid role in Chicago, and was traded to the Orioles in '09 for two Minor League pitchers. Pie was expected to be the everyday left fielder for the O's, but offensive inconsistencies and struggles on the bases and in left field kept him from fulfilling that role.
Pie, who had been struggling defensively, saw his playing time decrease significantly, as he started only one of the Orioles' previous eight games. Nolan Reimold has become the club's everyday left fielder.
"Felix has been with us close to [four] years," Showalter said. "I got to see him pretty well last year, so you know the potential is there. But we had to create a scenario where he can get back to being that guy."