Salvaging the Offseason

December 7, 2005 at 4:16 am Leave a comment

The Cubs finally did something right this offseason. After letting the Dodgers leapfrog over them in the Rafael Furcal negotiations, the Cubs have traded for Juan Pierre from the Marlins. According to ESPN, here are the details:

The Florida Marlins have tentatively agreed on a four-player deal that would send Juan Pierre to the Chicago Cubs, for three young pitchers — Sergio Mitre and prospects Renyel Pinto and Ricky Nolasco

The acquisition of Pierre is a good for a few reasons. One, it gives the Cubs a legitimate leadoff threat. Pierre gets on base at a high clip and steals the bags with the best of them. He is also relatively young at 28, which means, barring injury, he has at least 4 more years of peak performance left in him. Two, it makes Corey Patterson expendable. With Pierre at the top of the lineup, we can afford to dangle Patterson and see who is willing to overpay for his “Five Tool Prospect” potential. I’ve grown tired of Patterson’s free-swinging ways in the last few years. He has never hit for a high average at the Major League level and has not demonstrated the plate patience required to be a leadoff hitter an any level. Quite frankly, I’ll be glad when he packs up all his “potential” and brings it elsewhere. Third, it was relatively cheap. Sergio Mitre is the only notable prospect in the deal, and like Patterson, he’s a case of potential and nothing more. Mitre has been generally unimpressive everytime he’s called up from Triple A. In his MLB career, he’s pitched 120 innings with a 6.12 ERA. Last season, it was 5.37, still too high to be considered a drastic improvement. Quite frankly, I was glad to see Mitre and his gay ass goatee leave town. He never amounted to anything here anyways. Acquiring Pierre definitely softens the blow of losing out on Furcal. Both have very similar numbers. At the plate, it’s tough to make an arguement of one’s superiority over the other. Furcal hit for a higher average, about 10 points, and has a slightly higher On Base Percentage, about 20 points, last season. But Pierre, throughout his career, has consistently stolen more bases and struck out less. Defensively, both are superior fielders. Based on their fielding alone, either could be up for Gold Glove consideration at any time during their career. The distinguishing factor on defense is that Furcal has a strong arm while Pierre does not. There’s also the question of need. The exit of Nomar made Shortstop the most pressing need at the moment. Taking that all into account, Furcal probably would’ve been the best pickup, but Juan Pierre is not too shabby either.


Entry filed under: Sports.

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