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White Sox look just about set after Pierre trade

Dec 15, 2009, 11:53 AM EDT

Swinging a trade with the Dodgers for Juan Pierre this morning has the White Sox’s lineup looking more or less set for 2010:
C – A.J. Pierzynski (.300/.331/.425 in 2009)
1B – Paul Konerko (.277/.353/.489)
2B – Gordon Beckham (.270/.347/.460)
SS – Alexei Ramirez (.277/.333/.389)
3B – Mark Teahen (.271/.325/.408)
LF – Carlos Quentin (.236/.323/.456)
CF – Juan Pierre (.308/.365/.392)
RF – Alex Rios (.247/.296/.395)
DH – Andruw Jones (.214/.323/.459)
While fairly solid top to bottom that group certainly doesn’t look likely to score a ton of runs, although Quentin getting back to his 2008 form and Beckham improving upon his solid rookie campaign could change that somewhat. Rios and Ramirez are also good bets to bounce back with better seasons, and re-signing Jim Thome to perhaps platoon with Jones would bring significant pop to the DH slot. Bringing back Thome would also help balance out what is now a very right-handed group.
Pierre gets overrated by people who focus on his speed and batting average rather than his lack of power and plate discipline, but he’s a decent fit for the White Sox’s lineup given the lack of on-base threats. Konerko is the only other hitter in the lineup who had an OBP above .350 in 2009 and he’s obviously not a leadoff option, so by adding Pierre the White Sox can use Beckham in more of a run-production spot and keep the various .300-.330 OBPs lower in the order. Of course, Pierre’s career .348 OBP is hardly great either.
Barring any further changes I’d peg that lineup for somewhere in the middle of the pack, perhaps in the 8-10 range, which doesn’t sound very good until you consider that they ranked 12th in scoring in 2009. Plus, with the deep, talented pitching staff that general manager Ken Williams has assembled the White Sox won’t necessarily have to do a ton of scoring to have success in 2010:
SP – Jake Peavy
SP – Mark Buehrle
SP – John Danks
SP – Gavin Floyd
SP – Freddy Garcia
CL – Bobby Jenks
RP – Matt Thornton
RP – J.J. Putz
RP – Scott Linebrink
RP – Tony Pena
RP – Daniel Hudson
Buehrle, Danks, and Floyd combined to start 95 games with a 3.89 ERA in 2009, so with a healthy Peavy added to the mix that rotation should be among the league’s very best. The bullpen isn’t as strong because Jenks and Linebrink have declined, but Thornton is an elite setup man and Putz getting back on track would be a huge addition. Overall the White Sox have the look a good team rather than a great one, but in a division where 88 wins often gets the job done they’re in solid shape.

  1. Bodhizefa - Dec 15, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Why wouldn’t the White Sox use Quentin at DH while having Andruw Jones play the outfield? That would save them an awful lot of runs as Quentin is a horrible defender while Jones can still play a corner decently.

  2. Jason Alexander - Dec 15, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    Juan Pierre and lack of power yes but lack of discipline? I was actually hoping the Dodgers were going to keep him. Did you see any games the Dodgers played last season? Pierre was the catalyst for them in many games.

  3. Jamie - Dec 15, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    Did you mean to refer to Juan Pierre as an “on-base threat”? His .365 last year was nice, but it was his best showing since 2004. When he doesn’t hit over .300 (and he probably won’t, playing full-time in a tougher league next year) he’s right in that .300-.330 OBP pack. It’s not a terrible pickup for the Sox, but not much of an improvement over Scott Podsednik.

  4. Skids - Dec 15, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    Great point. Jones can still play very good defense. He can make that pitching staff look even better, he did it in Atlanta.

  5. palehose67 - Dec 15, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Rios needs to stay in center. That’s where his true value is. Q, if he plays the field, is a natural right fielder. The French man can play left. But that doesn’t mean that Ozzie will agree with me.

  6. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Dec 15, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Juan Pierre and lack of power yes but lack of discipline? I was actually hoping the Dodgers were going to keep him. Did you see any games the Dodgers played last season? Pierre was the catalyst for them in many games.

    He has a career average of 33 walks/162 games. His OBP is inflated by a high BA as mentioned by Jamie above.

  7. BIGBRUCE11047 - Dec 15, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    I am a devout Dodger fan and the Chicago White Sox got probably the most underrated player in the major leagues. The last two seasons he played in the shadows of Manny Ramirez and still held his own. Look what he did during Manny’s 50-game suspension. Without him the Dodgers would not have stayed in first place in the National League West. I am sorry to see Pierre go to another team but then I can understand him wanting to play on a regular basis. Good luck Juan!!

  8. ScottK - Dec 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    I watched Juan play 1 bad season for the Cubs. He almost never walks, and his arm may be the worst in all MLB. I’m not sure he could throw the ball in the air to the plate while standing on 2nd.
    I guess this is what you do when resources are limited. I don’t know the WS farm system, but you’d think they have somebody who could do as well in the minors somewhere.

  9. Mattwithanh - Dec 15, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    I don’t understand why the white sox keep getting corner outfielders to play center for them and eating contracts. Also “Juan Pierre is probably the most underrated player in the majors,” must be a typo. He probably meant to say “Juan Pierre got paid 44 million dollars because despite previously having a OPS+ over 100 once ever, he hit well in an arbitrary 50 game sample.”

  10. HrbekRules - Dec 15, 2009 at 1:46 PM

    Juan Pierre to the Chisox…pitiful. It don’t matter who you get because you are graping at baseball straws when you do something this stupid. Go ahead, Ken, keep making more dumb moves and spending money foolishly because you will continue to be the Twins proverbial red headed step child and yes, Hrbek still Rules!!!

  11. HawkBlowsLittleBoys - Dec 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    great move for the bitch sox if you want to continue to finish in third.

  12. E. Fitzer - Dec 15, 2009 at 4:25 PM

    Pods vs. Pierre
    Basically the same type of player except Pierre doesn’t live on the DL.

  13. TinyTim - Dec 15, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    I think you are off with the lineup there. Pierre was brought in to lead off…

  14. StevenEll - Dec 16, 2009 at 2:04 AM

    Are you joking?
    I don’t think Aaron thinks A.J. is going to lead off. He just put them in order by position. He says in the post that he’ll be at the top of the lineup.

  15. washedupjock - Dec 16, 2009 at 8:37 AM

    Pierre’s career OBP is no different than Pods’, and Pods was/is way better at seeing a lot of pitches with each at bat than Pierre ever will be (for their respective careers, 4.2 pitches/AB for Pods, and 3.4/AB for Pierre). I’d call this pickup a wash for the Sox, since Pods was healthy all of 09- and it still doesn’t address their more glaring need: replacing about 200 RBI’s (that used to be routine for Dye + Thome).

  16. washedupjock - Dec 16, 2009 at 8:55 AM

    And BTW: get ready for a lot of right handed pitching vs: the Sox next year, if the lineup stays as it is right now. All those .275 averages look nice above, but here’s what the Sox righties did last year against right handed pitching:
    Rios: .242 (for the whole year)
    Konerko: .253
    Ramirez: .248
    Beckham: .250
    Quentin: .245
    Nix: .195
    Andruw Jones: .210
    I’d say they still need a lefty with some pop.

  17. joel m.. - Dec 16, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    pierre will help Sox… Sox gat better? Yes…Yankees Gat better? No. The Chicago White Sox Will be a contenders for American Crown….yes this team its better than that one from last year!! no other team improve better than W- Sox

  18. Nellie Fox - Dec 17, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    Pierre will play in LF or do some DH duty. He won’t play CF, that’s where Alex Rios will play, while Quentin moves to his natural position in RF. Jones can come in off the bench as a defensive replacement for Pierre in the late innings.
    The White Sox need to win the Central before they can worry about the Yankees and the playoffs. They have great starting pitching, a decent pen and have acquired more contact hitters (Teahan, Pierre and a full season from Gordon Beckham) to provide more base runners and hence more runs.
    Kenny Williams has done a good job of improving the bench for 2010. Compare it to what he had at the start of 2009.

  19. JB (the original) - Dec 18, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    With the $$$ the Dodgers sent over, Pierre will cost the Sox $3M this year, $5M next year, and the 2 PTBNL. To me, I think the White Sox were able to help shore up a few problem areas for a pretty reasonable price, and are only committed for 2 years.
    Would there been a better option at those prices (trade or FA) assuming that’s what they had budgeted for that slot/area of need?

  20. Cheapest Laser Hair Removal - Jan 9, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    That is an especially astounding article you have put up there!

  21. Estefana Holleman - Feb 15, 2010 at 7:24 AM

    Hey, just curious if you’ve gotten any further details so I can find a lttle bit more about it?

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