Pierre is official

The signing of Juan Pierre is now official and while it’s clear on this blog and others that it hasn’t been lauded by many of you, I sure you hope you will all give him a chance to win you over. I’m sure there are more moves coming, so let’s wait until we see the finished product before everyone judges the 2007 team.

I guess the one thing I’m surprised is how much everyone seems to be stunned by the price tag compared to other players around the league. I think that you have to look at each free agent market separately and not compare them from year to year. Putting Soriano’s contract aside, if Gary Matthews, a 32-year-old, is a $50 million player over five years and he’s got a career average of .263, a career OBP of .336 and only 78 homers and 315 RBI, I think that’s an indication of what it costs to get players on the open market this offseason. And if the reports are correct and he was offered four years with comparable annual money by the Giants, I’d certainly rather him with us than playing for our rivals.

I also think that when you talk about hard workers, it’s hard to cast that aside as just something nice to have. We’ve all seen players over the years who, once they sign a big contract, they’re not nearly as motivated (with the exception of a walk year). With Pierre, we’re not only getting a very talented leadoff man in his prime, but I don’t think we’re going to have some guy dogging it five years from now. Plus, with the way the market has currently been going, who’s to say that five years from now, $9 million won’t be a bargain for a leadoff hitter.

My final thought has to do with Matt Kemp, who many believe gets hindered by this signing. While I think most people agree that he’s still got some seasoning left in the minors, he’s actually played as much, if not more games in right field during his career than in center field. So maybe, when Pierre wins his second world championship, Kemp will be playing alongside him somewhere. Maybe not, but only time will tell.


  1. benny_the_jet_rodriguez@yahoo.com

    WELCOME JP! I like the way he plays hardball. Let’s go for some pitching now! Re-sign Biemel and Saito and sign Schmidt and Maddux or Suppan!

  2. khgates@gmail.com

    As I have been thinking over this move for the last couple of days, I have come to the following realizations:

    1. In the context of the Angels giving Matthews a 50 mil contract. This is a great deal. At least Pierre is a solid player not comming off his one and only good year. (Think Beltre and his big contract in Seattle. What has Seattle gotten…the old Beltre…no hitting in first half, etc.) The Angels are going to suffer, while the Pierre is going to do what he does every year.

    2. Pierre hitting behind Furcal and in front of Nomar, will produce some runs and hopefully excitement.

    3. Kemp is going to grow physically out of his ability to play center field. He is 6 ft 4 in and will be putting on some more weight in the next several years. He will be better suited to play right or left.

    4. Sign some pitching help and trade for a hitter. Wow…I bet Seattle will trade us Beltre! I would rather see us get a Sexson and bat him 5th behind Kent. It would take some pressure off Sexson and give us a big bat to generate some home runs with.

    So, overall I think this is a good move. With Furcal and Nomar hitting around him, we will generate a lot of runs. The problem comes about in 2 years when Furcal and Nomars contracts expire…

  3. garysmith@glsmith.com

    Wow Josh, you really do read all of our postings. I’m sure you got a real thrill out of Harolds ‘Bonds in Dodger Blue” posting !! You make a very good point and I for one think we’re much better off with Drew out and JP in !! And for less money !! Keep it up Ned and Go get’em !!

    Go Ned !!

    Go Dodgers !!

  4. fliegel@ptd.net

    JP is an upgrade over Lofton. The market is what it is, and if that’s what you have to pay, then that’s what you have to pay. I only hope Ned can find us what we really need a Power RBI guy and another starting pitcher. Schmidt would be nice. Also I would look to try and extend Furcals contract as soon as possible. Also don’t trade Loney.

  5. kday01@charter.net

    Finally got the cable system repaired. Have a lot of comments to read. Good to be back on Inside the Dodgers.


  6. lohmeyet@fleishman.com

    Signing on tonight I was halfway expecting euhlman to announce that the Dodgers are considering signing Bobby Thompson.

    Welcome JP I’m already a fan.

    Go Dodgers!

  7. fansince53@yahoo.com

    Welcome back kday01!

    Please pardon my redundancy, but I want to include this portion of my post from the previous thread:

    “I hear what you are saying sangabrielad, but you are overlooking one very important factor – that being the team that Pierre played for last season, the lowly Cubs.

    As you well know, the Dodgers are historically a very aggressive hit and run (and run and hit) team. This most certainly favors a guy with good wheels like Juan Pierre.

    I believe that, with the right coaching (say, like Maury Wills and Eddie Murray), Pierre will only get better.

    I don’t imagine that there is anything that I nor anyone else can say that will change your opinion of Juan Pierre, but I seriously believe that you will be very pleasantly surprised with him by this time next year.”

    Welcome to the Dodgers JP!


  8. kday01@charter.net

    Thanks (53)

    Harold really had me going crazy reading his BARRY BONDS stuff. I was about ready to E-MAIL him and Inform him that he was no longer welcome. But all came out in the wash and I ended up having a good laugh in the end. Thanks Harold.

    FAN SINCE (51)


  9. kssparkuhl@msn.com

    Well… nothing else left to do but get on board now with Juan Pierre as a Dodger. I hope Ned knows what he’s doing and that we don’t end up hating this deal in the next year or two.

    Welcom to LA JP. Now who’s going to bat leadoff?

  10. euhlman@bwr.eastlink.ca

    Welcome back 51. Sorry to give you heart palpatations. I had one phone call threatening to trade me for a Yankee fan – think it was 53 since he loves the Yankees so much. Just kidding. Josh, I don’t think it’s JP’s contract. I think we are just amazed at the contracts in all pro sports. We have trouble relating to it and also big contracts seem to handcuff GM’s when a few players take so much of the payroll. In addition to that, players at much lower salaries often seem to produce more accordingly. Relatively speaking, Juan is a good bet. Plays every game, hits, steals, bunts, catches the ball, has a good attitude. What he has might not satisfy us everyday, but he gives all he has everyday. What more can you ask? JP doesn’t give us power but I know there is more to come. I can also see Ned is hesitant to trade blue chip prospects. He might have to, but something very good will come in return. I like adding players in the 25-30 age range. lohmeyet – Bobby Thompson hit that home run the year before I signed on as a Dodger fan. kday01 signed on that very year. Gary, no snow in Nova Scotia. Usually not until around Christmas. Very crisp at night now but quite warm in the daytime. Great Hot Stove weather. Go Ned!! Go Dodgers!!

  11. messagebear@yahoo.com

    I am glad to have JP on board. Sounds like a solid and hard working player who will be good for the team, and who’s to say that he can’t improve further being still at a young age. The contract actually seems reasonable for his experience and level of performance, given the times of inflationary contracts all around. We still need that power player and a starting pitcher, and those may need to come through trade rather than off the free agency roster. That’s what Ned is for, and we need to trust him. Have a great Turkey Day, everyone!

  12. euhlman@bwr.eastlink.ca

    Dodgers and Mariners leading candidates to sign Schmidt. That’s where Ned has an advantage. Wells Angels number 1 priority now. How is it that everyone seems to know whish teams are pursuing which players? It must be leaked by agents to drive up bids for players?

  13. max_power_05@yahoo.com

    so much for a power bat. I hope we spend the rest of the money on Pitching. I guess Loney or Ethier will be traded

  14. lilraider@hotmail.com

    I’m curious about the perspective on this forum on the following:

    Last year, Pierre ranked 130 out of 160 hitters on getting on base (OB%). How much value does some speed provide when you are one of the worst hitters at actually getting on base?

    just not sure about paying $9 million for a guy who is among the league leaders in outs made at the plate when offense is predicated on having many hitters who DON’T make outs often.

  15. bluebleeder88@yahoo.com

    i have to admit (like Furcal) i have to see what Pierre brings to a team before i can TRULLY like ’em. I’m an optomist so we shall see.


  16. drj884@yaho.com

    JP is near the bottom of the league in OBP and has less power than Brad Penny. I pretty much trust Ned, but this move still stinks. Just doesnt improve the team enough. That said- attitude means alot to me so ill support JP and welcome him to the team. Mickey Hatcher still an all time fav.

  17. drj884@yaho.com

    If you don’t want to get really depressed about this deal avoid Keith Law’s ESPN insider piece titled “huh?”

  18. lilraider@hotmail.com

    I’m thinking we could have re-signed Lofton for one year and taken the $43 million left over and used it for Schmidt or Zito. Would the offense be much worse? Not really.

  19. mt1169@txstate.edu

    Actually Pierre is a good bet to almost double loftons sb total. And everyone talks about how many outs Pierre makes, but nobody mentions that most lead-off hitters lead in this category because they get more at-bats! Woulda thought. It’s a good signing that will help us, and honestly I don’t really feel like handing out contracts to both zito and schmidt because both will be overpaid, and wouldn’t it **** to have both choke. Zito is consistent and he’ll probably benefit from the NL switch, but Schmidt you could get for less years and that change-up he has saves his velocity loss. Take your pick. I’ll take zito. One other thing no one is mentioning is Billingsley; I think Chad is really going to be a haus in 2007. He definately has ace material; we may already have an ace and not know it yet. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  20. eilandesq@hotmail.com

    I’ve seen this act before, back in the 80’s. Back then, his name was Ken Landreaux and he remained as an ongoing drain on the Dodgers for seven full seasons–culminating in serving as an excuse for the Dodgers not to sign the brilliant Tim Raines as a free agent. Except for one major difference, of course–Landreaux was a substantially better hitter relative to his league than Pierre, as a cursory glance at baseball reference.com reveals. Pierre is a 73% base stealer–worthless or worse than worthless in this high offense era. He’s got decent range in CF but no arm. His OBP is atrocious–causing him to score less than 90 runs in 162 games in an excellent hitters park this season. The Dodgers have an abundance of young outfield talent on their roster and in their minor league system, and Lofton at 40 is a better player than Pierre at 30.

    In short, this is a move that only a stat illiterate like Bill Plaschke could love–and one that never would have been made if Dodger management hadn’t let said illiterates bully them into running Paul DePodesta out of LA on a rail.

  21. eduardosoto0301@sbcglobal.net

    Great job dodgers in signing another stiff. After the stiff JD Drew did you a favor by opting out of his contract and saving you guys some money, you guys use the money to go out and sign another stiff. Juan Pierr is a below average center fielder with no arm, he also has one of the worst onbase percentages in the league. What also can you expect from those idiots in the front office. No wonder the dodgers have only won one playoff game in the last 18 years. We are the new Cubs of the west. But at least they have Aramis Ramirez and Alfonzo Soriano. We missed Peter Omely and the true dodger tradition.

  22. claytonl@ucla.edu

    I like the work you do, Josh, and I’m sure JP is a heckuva guy. But this is a bad signing. There are any number of players who are just as productive as Pierre for a fraction of the price.

  23. mark@uswatersystems.com

    A few assertions I must challenge:

    1. While Wrigley is a hitter’s park, it favors power hitters. Pierre will hit much better in Dodger Stadium.

    2. The Marlins won a World Series with Pierre as the leadoff hitter and CF and by the way, he had 2 statues playing beside him in Conine and Cabrera.

    3. Juan Pierre is a high character person who is very smart, adaptable and has a great work ethic. He’s a guy you want to “go to war” with. Ask “Nancy” Drew’s teammates about him. They were joyous when he opted out. He is the king of the meaningless hit or walk when we need a hit. If you are a stats geek, Drew looks good, but this is real life baseball, not some fantasy league. Based upon that and my 40+ years of baseball experience, I’ll take Juan Pierre over JD Drew anyday!

    4. Those of you who “blame” Ned for trades or signings know little of how the Dodgers (and other teams) operate. Ned recently promoted Logan White and relies heavily on him, Bill LaJoie, Kim Ng and others within the Dodgers organization. Promoting Logan was a somewhat dangerous move by Ned because Logan could be the next GM (he’s that good), so you can be certain that Logan White, Ng and LaJoie were in agreement on this (and other deals – deals that may have lokked bad).

    6. When Juan Pierre gets on base several things happen:

    a. The pitcher isn’t concentrating on the batter as much;

    b. He singles, steals 2B and scores on any single;

    c. He hits one of his 13 triples (probably 20 in Dodger Stadium) and scores on a sac fly;

    d. He doubles, steals second and scores on anything; and

    e. Everyone behind him becomes a better hitter because they see more fastballs.

    7. Why do peole talk about Pierre (at 29) losing his speed, but don’t mention Roberts (35) or Lofton (40) losing theirs? Wierd!

    8. Pierre has a career OB% of .350 – Furcal has an OB% of .351 – Why the hating on Pierre? I can only assume you live in a baseball fantasy world! I follow the real game. Fantasy stats screw with your head!

    9. I predict 4 things:

    1. Pierre will win a batting title in LA;

    2. Pierre will improve his SB% in LA and win at least 2 SB titles;

    3. The Dodgers will score more runs next year than last year; and

    4. Juan Pierre will have more than one World Series rings by the end of his contract!

    10. I love the move – Josh has it right!

  24. mark@uswatersystems.com

    eduardosoto0301@sbcglobal.net ,

    If you say it – it must be true!

    Your exploits and baseball accumen are so legendary, we bow down to you!


    I would be glad to debate the facts with you but I won’t try to match wits. I never attack an unarmed person (assuming you are indeed a person).

  25. paulrickels@cableone.net

    I apologize for not reading every single post – in case someone has previously mentioned that – how sweet it will be to manage a lineup where you know one player will always be there! Looking forward to JP. I have never minded being an idiot. Great company I keep:-) Go Blue!

  26. eilandesq@hotmail.com

    A couple of facts for consideration:

    1) Dodger Stadium is not a great triples park–Dodger Stadium is a very bad triples park. The reason the Dodgers led the NL in triples this year is that they had a lot of fast young hitters, along with Kenny Lofton–who hit more triples per AB than the esteemed Mr. Pierre–who was also playing in a park that did not favor triples (for doubters, go to ESPN.com and check the home/road splits for triples for Dodger hitters. As far as I can tell, only Furcal had more triples at Dodger Stadium than on the road among Dodgers with multiple triples.

    2) A 73% basestealer–for all of the mumbo jumbo that is attributed to distracting the pitcher and whatnot–is as useless as a comb is to Barry Bonds. Juan Pierre scored less than 90 runs playing full time as a leadoff hitter last year, and made well over 500 outs–one of the 15 highest totals of all time. He’s a *terrible* leadoff hitter, and all of the “intangibles” in the world won’t change that.

    3. Yeah, Juan Pierre played for a World Champion–so did Benny Bengough, Ken Landreaux, Buddy Biancalana, and–just last month–David Eckstine: a lot of players who would have to pay admission to Cooperstown if they had been five times the players they actually were. Not impressed.

    4. No matter how many drooling one-sentence paragraphs Bill Plaschke directs at him after his departure–J.D. Drew was the best offensive player overall on the 2006 Dodgers. Replacing him with Juan Pierre represents not just one but several levels downward as far as production goes–and the fact that he’s durable means that he’s denying playing time to players who are better than him; namely, every other outfielder on the Dodger roster.

  27. mark@uswatersystems.com

    I would use “speculation and opinion” instead of “facts” because they are a little devoid in your post.

    1. Want more speculation on Dodger Stadium’s effects on hitting? Read the Hardball Times:


    Line-drive slap hitters like Pierre (and Lofton) benefit from Dodger Stadium.

    2. Here’s where we agree. 73% IS bad! He can do better and I think he will. I guarantee the Dodgers have a “plan” to improve that (Wills and the new Dodgers baserunning coach will help).

    Furcal has a career .351 OB% and Pierre has a career .350 OB% – That makes him a “terrible leadoff hitter?” Not in my book.

    3. But Pierre played beside statues, and who says everyone has to be HOF material? JD Drew won’t ever be there! David Eckstine stepped up in the clutch – he’s a guy most players would go to war with!

    4. I think Furcal was the best offensive player on the Dodgers last year. With Lofton, Furcal, Nomar and sometimes Kent hitting ahead of him JD Drew should have had 135 RBI if he wasn’t such a passive, non-clutch hitter! Drew and Pierre are different players, but I often said last year that JD Drew was a #2 hitter. In the #3, #4 or #5 spots, JD Drew is too soft for me.

    And then there is this from the Boston Globe- “Drew, who had just two singles in 13 at-bats while the Dodgers were being swept by the Mets in their National League Division Series and was one of the two players tagged out at the plate on the same play in the most bizarre moment of the postseason, also has been the subject of intense media criticism for a perceived lack of passion, especially when it came to playing hurt. His nickname in the Dodger clubhouse, according to one big league coach, was “Nancy Drew,” and according to one major leaguer who has played against Drew for much of his career, one Dodger player greeted the news of Drew’s departure by phoning friends in jubilation.”

    Pierre is a good guy, good teammate who is respected in the clubhouse, not disrespected by his teammates like JD Drew.

    Here it is in a nutshell:

    1. JD Drew is respected by the Stat Geeks and disrespected by people who know and play the game.

    2. Juan Pierre is disrespected by the Stat Geeks but respected by people who know and play the game.

    I’ll still take Pierre over Drew on THIS team anyday!

    …and some ***** who should know better, who just paid $51 million to “talk” to a pitcher will sign Nancy to a $75 mil contract – and get burned! I am so glad we are out of that deal!

  28. eilandesq@hotmail.com

    Good grief–did you actually read the piece you linked to as the proof of Pierre’s alleged hidden value? The author concluded that the park was tough on ground balls, probably neutral on line drives (as one would expect–line drives are generally hits in whatever park they’re hit), and beneficial to power hitters, as this paragraph makes clear:

    “In the past, I’ve theorized that Dodger Stadium was a better park for fly ball pitchers because it reduces the number of doubles hit. That appears to be absolutely wrong, as while it does reduce the number of doubles on fly balls it does so by turning them into home runs; for the number of fly balls that become doubles, triples, and home runs combined Dodger Stadium has been neutral. By turning extra fly balls into home runs, Dodger Stadium increases the run value of a fly ball.”

    As for OBP, for the last two seasons Pierre’s OBP has been .326 and .330: given that most players peak in or before their late 20’s, this does not bode well for Pierre’s ability to do better in 2007.

    Nice of you to admit that Pierre’s basestealing is utterly useless at the moment–and I’ll just add that the odds of Pierre suddenly finding his inner percentage runner is about the same as that of Jack Black winning the next Olympic Decathlon.

    As for thinking that Furcal was the best offensive player on the Dodgers, well, there are people who still think the Earth is flat, but it doesn’t make it so. Drew had Furcal beat in OPS .891 to .814–and 37 SB at a 74% clip ain’t nearly enough to close that gap. Drew’s clutch numbers–readily available at ESPN.com–disprove your take on his performance rather effortlessly.

    As for “people who know and respect the game,” why not just come out and say “Bill Plaschke and his apologists”? It’ll save the effort of translating.

  29. mark@uswatersystems.com

    Averages are just that “averages.” Put one foot in icewater and the other in boiling water and see if you are comfortable “on average.” I doubt it. Stats are good, but not defining. I base what I believe on what I see and I saw over 130 games last year. When the game was on the line in 2006, here’s the guys I most wanted to see up there (in order):

    1. Nomar

    1A. Kent

    2. Martin

    3. Furcal

    4. Lofton

    5. Drew

    The Dodgers leading RBI guy is behind 5 other players you want up to bat when the game is on the line. That’s my opinion, based upon watching baseball for over 40 years. I could be wrong – I thought JD was a decent addition when he came – I no longer think that.

    I will say this: JD Drew has amazing talent and prodigious power. He routinely hits shots in batting practice that amaze people. Too bad he doesn’t do it in a game.

  30. eduardosoto0301@sbcglobal.net

    Yes I’m a real person with common sence who does not get fooled easely like the rest of the dodger fans do. I am armed with stats and facts not like Ned Coletti. Lets look at all the great moves the dodgers have made since 1988 the last time they won a champion ship. We traded away Pedro Martinez for Delino Deshields, then we get the best catcher in baseball history and trade him away for gary Shettfield and a bunch of scrubs. We also traded away one of the best young power hitting first baseman wich was Paul Konerko, then we go out and trade our club house leader Paul LoDuca and one of the best set up man that year in Guillermo Mota for a cry baby in Brad Penny who when it counts the most he folds down and starts to cry. So yeah what do you have to say about that I hope you get to read this and I want to hear your reply. By the way who uses LOL what are you like 12 years old.

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