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Still broke Dodgers gain little in Pierre deal

Dec 15, 2009, 7:11 PM EDT

The Dodgers did the disgruntled Juan Pierre a favor by shipping him off to the White Sox and giving him a chance to play regularly, but instead of getting the overpriced pitcher they were looking for in return, the team settled for two modest prospects in right-handers John Ely and Jon Link and ate some salary.
So, now the Dodgers have opened up one more need and saved just $3 million for 2010. That there’s also $5 million of relief coming in 2011 makes it a fine big-picture move.
It’s just that Pierre was probably worth more than $3 million to the 2010 team.
Since the Dodgers have other needs and limited funds, they’ll probably stay in house in finding a replacement for Pierre. Xavier Paul and Jason Repko are both on the 40-man roster and it’s possible that both will make the team unless some minor league veterans are brought in.
The left-handed-hitting Paul missed most of last season, but he hit .328/.378/.500 in 116 at-bats for Triple-A Albuquerque when healthy. While he is a below average center fielder, he’s still playable there. Repko is better suited to being a fifth outfielder. He’s injury-prone and he strikes out a lot, but he’s a legitimate center fielder with pretty good speed, and as a right-handed hitter, he’d complement Paul.
Neither is an ideal solution, but it’d still make more sense for the Dodgers to put the $3 million towards an upgrade at second base rather than target a Randy Winn or a Scott Podsednik. That way, they’d still have the option of going to Blake DeWitt at third and Casey Blake in an outfield corner in the event of a major injury to Manny Ramirez or Andre Ethier. DeWitt currently tops the depth chart at second base, but his glove plays much better at the hot corner and the price tags for Felipe Lopez and Kelly Johnson should prove pretty reasonable.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 15, 2009 at 10:04 PM

    Here’s a great idea: merge the Marlins and the Dodgers. Two pennypinching teams making dumb, niggardly roster moves, two owners about to get their cogliones sliced off and fried like Rocky Mountain Oysters by their ex-wives, two teams that despite all this are both lucky enough to have a much worse team in their respective divisions so that when the season ends they will have gone boi-i-n-n-n-g-g instead of splat! What’s even better, the team that’s left can pare itself down to just the players who won’t be arbitration eligible while the divorces are going through family court.
    I can’t see any reason why the Player’s Association should object to a move like that when it’s all upside. Can you?

  2. StevenEll - Dec 16, 2009 at 3:31 AM

    “It’s just that Pierre was probably worth more than $3 million to the 2010 team.”
    “it’d still make more sense for the Dodgers to put the $3 million towards an upgrade at second base rather than target a Randy Winn or a Scott Podsednik.”
    Now, for those two statements to both be true, you either think
    A) Podsednik and Winn will make more than 3M next season
    B) Pierre is better than Podsednik and Winn
    As far as A) goes, I really don’t know. If you think they’ll make more than 3 mil, then that’s fine.
    As far as A) goes, Winn seems pretty clearly to be the superior player. He had a down year, and Pierre had an up year, but Pierre looks to be even at best compared to Winn offensively and nowhere near him defensively.
    As far as Podsednik goes, you could argue that Pierre’s better, but it’s pretty close. In fact, those two are remarkably similar. They have the exact same career OPS: .720. They have basically the exact same SB%: 75%. They even stole the same amount of bases last year: 32. They both even had big offensive years (for them) with Pierre at a .757 OPS and .764 OPS. They also both hit left handed and have noodle arms. Pierre probably has a slight edge on him defensively, something like 5 runs in LF. Pierre is also 17 months younger.
    So, yeah, with the defense, you could put Pierre slightly ahead of Podsednik, but by maybe 5 runs.
    Anyway, I just don’t see how this isn’t a big win for the Dodgers. 2 c level prospects and 8 million dollars for a 4th outfielder who is extremely replaceable. Even if they weren’t in a bad financial place I’d say that’s a pretty good haul.

  3. Matthew Pouliot - Dec 16, 2009 at 3:48 AM

    I’d rank them: Winn, Pierre, Podsednik.
    And my guess is that Podsednik will make more than $3 million next season. A bunch of short-sighted teams seem to like him. I had Winn down for about $4 million at the beginning of the season, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him end up settling for $2.5 million-$3 million.
    I agree: big picture, it’s a win for the Dodgers. For 2010, though, Pierre was worth the $3 million the Dodgers are saving.

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