When Manny Ramirez finally signed with the Dodgers, Juan Pierre was, once again, out of a starting job. The skinny speedster is now relegated to bench duty, despite that lofty (read: ridiculously bad) contract the Dodgers gave him prior to the 2007 season.
Pierre, being a competitor, wants to pursue a trade on his own so he can start everyday. He asked the Dodgers for their permission. They, obviously, granted it. I'm sure they are excited he wants out so badly, but there's no way that contract is going to be taken on by any team in these economic times. Luckily, Pierre's no dummy.
"I realize the economic situation," Pierre said of his contract. "I'll defer if it makes it more attractive. I told [manager Joe] Torre today that I totally understand what's going on, and he said he would try to get me in there whenever he can. I have no beef with that. I told Joe I will be the team guy I've always been."
Well, that's a relief. There are three years and $28.5 million left on Pierre's mammoth deal. Considering the money Pat Burrell, Adam Dunn, and Bobby Abreu had to settle for this offseason, I'm sure there will be teams just lining up for Pierre. They'll probably even part with top prospects as well!
C'mon. Seriously, what is Pierre going to defer? And how? Unless those payments are going to be spaced out over the next 15 years, Pierre's definitely not worth the annual salary. We're talking about a 31 year-old who does two things well. He hits singles and he steals bases (and by the way, his success rate of 75 percent isn't great). That's it. He has a weak arm and an embarrassing lack of power. But, boy, does he rack up those singles. The problem, though, is that he's so unscary to pitchers that he never draws walks. His on-base percentage has been lower than .332 for each of the past four seasons.
Does anyone want to pay a guy who can't throw, get on base or hit for power $28.5 million over the course of the next three years; all because he's pretty good at singles and stolen bases? Remember, he's willing to defer some of the money to sweeten the deal.
I'd get pretty comfortable as a pinch-runner in L.A., Juan.
A final note: If you've never seen the sponsor on his baseball reference page, it's phenomenal. Props to the author of that three sentence piece of work.