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Cubs Getting Pierre
by Derek Smart
The Cubs and Marlins have tentatively agreed to a deal that would send Juan Pierre to the Cubs in exchange for some minor league pitching. The Cubs.com piece has them trading a package that includes Renyel Pinto and Ricky Nolasco, while Jayson Stark of ESPN names those two players and specifies Sergio Mitre as the other piece of the puzzle. For now, I'll assume the more specific report is the most accurate.
Having essentially just awakened to the news, I've yet to fully digest it, but my initial reaction is that the team has paid too much for a drastically overrated player who stands a decent chance of being a one-year rental. Allow me, if you will, to re-hash my comments on Pierre from Assuming The Position:
Let me start by disclosing that I simply don't see what all the fuss is about. Never have, never will. I get that he's fast, and gee willikers that's great, but when that's your only discernible skillset aren't you required by the laws of physics to morph into Tom Goodwin?
Reckless aspersion casting you say? Perhaps, as it's true Pierre is slightly better with the stick, but his superiority in that regard hinges almost entirely on his batting average - a career .305 compared to Goodwin's .268 - while everything else is essentially the same or a little worse.
Goodwin had a better walk rate - Pierre walks once every 16.6 PAs in his career, while Goodwin took a pass every 11.8 - and nearly identical isolated power, all while having a higher stolen base success rate (75.8% to 73.6%) and playing better defense in center field according their career RATE2 (99 to Pierre's 97, where 100 is average). In fact, Pierre's 2005 was essentially Tom Goodwin V2003, only with a lot more opportunities to waste outs.
It's still not pretty to see, yet in spite of that I'm inclined to consider Pierre an acceptable stopgap, if that is, indeed, how he's used. My issue at this point stems more from the price paid than anything else, and as I said, I'm not sure how much of that is logic and how much is being groggy and grumpy in the light of morning.
Hopefully, more later when I'm more awake and better able to form a reasoned opinion.