The newest offseason Juan Pierre article is up on the Dodgers official website, focusing solely on moving to left field and the possibility of sitting for Andre Ethier. In short, he claims to have no problem giving up center field for Andruw Jones, mostly because of his 10 Gold Glove awards. But, when the subject of riding the pine came up, his tone went sour. Here's what he said:
"They said I would more than likely move to left field. They didn't say nothing as far as competing for a job. My approach every year is as if I'm competing for a job so, mentally, it's no different."
He also said that sitting the bench meant that he was not an asset to the team, and that they should look to trade him.
All of this probably isn't exactly breaking news to anyone, but I thought his comments on sitting the bench were interesting. In a way, I can't really blame the guy for not wanting to be on the bench considering the numbers he's put up in the past and the contract he's signed. But, the reality is that barring anything last minute, Ethier won't be traded, so he has just as good a shot at the left field job as he does. It should be a dog fight.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: both guys will see their share of playing time. I don't see a clear-cut favorite emerging. Both guys bring something different to the table, so they'll both be used. For defensive purposes, I would much rather see Ethier, but with Jones and Kemp in the outfield with their great arms, maybe Pierre's lollipop throws won't be as big a deal anymore. Ethier will get on base more, but there's not many people in the majors that are bigger threats on the base paths than Pierre.
At the end of the day, while I can certainly understand Pierre's frustrations, I can see many unhappy nights for him. If he does eventually request a trade, will anyone want to take on that contract? He better hope that he plays well in the time he is given if he wants any sort of trade value.