WORST OFFSEASON DEAL SO FAR
More on Juan Pierre from ESPN’s Keith Law, who absolutely lays the smackdown on the Dodgers. I do not totally agree with Law–Pierre is better than a bench player–but even so, it’s a great take.
The early contender for the worst contract of the offseason has to be the five-year deal just handed to Juan Pierre by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are working as diligently as possible to undo all the good work done to their farm system over the last five years.
Pierre is a slap-hitting speedster who has drawn 50 walks in a season just once in his career (2003), and whose above-average range in center is mitigated somewhat by his below-average throwing arm. His primary asset, his ability to run, is generally the first skill to decline as a player ages, and since Pierre turns 30 in August, he’s headed quickly towards the edge of the cliff. On a good team, he’s a bench player — even at his current level of ability; if he can’t run, he’s a 4A player. The fact that the Dodgers just committed five years and what will probably be way too much money to a player whose ideal role is “defensive replacement/pinch runner” is mind-boggling. It’s almost certain that Pierre will bat first or second in the Dodgers’ lineup (you don’t bat a $9 million player eighth, even if that’s where he belongs) and those 500-odd outs he makes every year will go a long way towards holding the Dodgers’ offense down.
And while this looks like a bad deal, wait until they start handing out contracts to all of the league average pitchers that are free agents. It just might get nuttier still.