Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pierre wants to be traded

I guess this news shouldn't come as a surprise, but Juan Pierre has asked the Dodgers to trade him this offseason. The reason is pretty cut and dry: playing time. He used to have it, and he wants it again. With the Dodgers, that may be hard to come by.

I can't blame him, and I don't think any Dodger fans should either. Let's look at the facts. He signed a 5-year, $44 million contract for 2007, in which he proceeded to hit .293 with 96 runs and 64 stolen bases. Those numbers look pretty darn good, but there was a flip side. His OBP was only .331, which is way too low for a leadoff hitter. Plus, he was the center fielder with a weak arm, pretty much forcing teams to take extra bases on him. That got old fast.

The Dodgers needed pop coming into 2008, so they signed Andruw Jones. Well, we all know what a complete joke that turned out to be. But, with the emergence of Andre Ethier in Spring Training, Pierre was the odd man out with Matt Kemp already being in right. At the time, he was unhappy, and who could blame him? When Jones flopped worse than the XFL, Manny Ramirez was acquired, and the rest is history.

To Pierre's credit, I believe he has handled his demotion with as much class as possible. When he was given the start in Game 4 of NLCS, Joe Torre commented about how hard Pierre still worked each day, all to stay ready. That game, he played very well with a 2-3 night including a double. That was good to see.

The problem now is that he still has 3 years and $28.5 million left on his contract. Is that easy to trade? Uh, no. Plus, if Manny isn't brought back, the Dodgers would like to have Pierre still on the team as insurance. However, if the right deal comes along, then I can see him being moved. Time will tell.

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