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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Feed the Poor
2006-11-20 16:52
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Ned Colletti did it.

With one reported contract offer, the Dodger general manager validated the worst fears of anyone who suspected he was too enamored of pointless statistics - yes, statistics - to make sensible decisions.

Worse than trading Dioner Navarro or Joel Guzman, who continue to generate mixed reviews, worse than acquiring Brett Tomko, Mark Hendrickson or Julio Lugo, today's news of a five-year offer to free agent outfielder Juan Pierre for $45 million has crushed all remaining faith.

Everyone knows how much I hate to validate an unsourced report, but there is reason to make an exception in this case. (And I'll take the heat if I was wrong to pile on so soon - believe me, the mea culpa will be hugely rewarding.) In the absence of confirmation from the Dodgers of this offer, consider the following a plea against it. On the chance that this reported contract has not been inked, I would urge the Dodgers to pull the escape cord.

We all understood the desire to give young outfielder Matt Kemp a few months more development time - but this is overkill, to say the least. By the end of 2007, if not this afternoon, Kemp will probably be a better player than Pierre. By the end of 2007, if not this afternoon, Jason Repko might well be a better player than Pierre.

Meanwhile, Pierre could reign as the Dodgers single-largest monetary commitment over time.

I don't want to ignore what Pierre can do. He plays 162 games a year, gets about 200 hits a year, and steals about 50 bases a year. In his best season, he had an on-base percentage of .374, which at the top of the lineup is an asset.

Oh, but the buts ...

In the thick of his prime, the 29-year-old Pierre is a below-average hitter - with a career EQA of .257, a .255 mark playing half his games in Wrigley Field this past season and a listless career-high of .276.

Aside from not tempting official scorers into giving him errors, he is considered by many observers as well as statisticians to be no more than an average center fielder. Dodger Thoughts commenter BigCPA points out that according to The Fielding Bible, from 2003-2005, Pierre had a negative rating defensively with a throwing arm ranked 30th at his position.

As a baserunner, he has a history of piling up stolen bases but at the cost of 20 caught stealings or so per year. Overall, he adds more value on the bases than he subtracts, but not nearly as much as his stolen bases alone might suggest.

And boy, does he need that value. He has never slugged more than .375 in a season. But he must consistently make that up in on-base percentage, right? Nope. His career mark is .350, which is barely adequate for someone who depends on that skill. Basically, in a year that his batting average is clicking, he will get on base at a decent rate. But the same could presumably be said of a career backup like Repko, who OBPed .345 in only his second major league season, injury-plagued at that.

The comments I've made throughout the offseason about the Dodger payroll still stand. Without knowing how high the team payroll will rise, without knowing how big a drop in the bucket a given contract is, there's no way to completely evaluate a signing.

But when you are signing a player who is barely above replacement value, then you can fairly question how much sense it makes. And Pierre, playing every game of 2006, came in 18th among major league centerfielders in Value Over Replacement Player, according to Baseball Prospectus. In VORPr, which measures a players VORP per game played, Pierre came in 25th.

In 2005, playing only 72 games, the maligned J.D. Drew had more than double the 2005 VORP of Pierre playing a full season. That means even if you give the rest of Drew's 2005 games to a player below replacement value, that combo was still likely better than Pierre. With Drew, if nothing else, at least the upside was big. With Pierre, no such luck or skill.

Pierre is above-average in the narrow sense. And his annual salary may be in line with an above-average player in this 2006-2007 offseason. And perhaps this is the kind of security blanket Colletti needs to avoid giving away a valuable prospect and getting too little in return.

But it shouldn't come to this. It shouldn't require this. Pierre is not sufficiently above-average to make much of a positive difference in 2007, and with each passing year, the chances diminish exponentially. The best the Dodgers can hope for is that by 2011, if the Dodgers haven't unloaded Pierre, baseball has become such a lucrative business that a contract with an average annual value of $9 million is fit for a spare part.

I don't want people to think this signing is the end of the world. It doesn't aggressively hurt the team. If Kemp comes out blasting the ball in AAA, he will find a spot in a major-league starting lineup. But it is a depressing, disturbing allotment of resources. Ever since he was hired, I have made a concerted effort to be open-minded about Colletti, but one can only be so forgiving. There simply has to be a better way to spend $45 million than on Juan Pierre.

Comments (139)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-20 16:56:14
1.   Xeifrank
Feed The Poor?
I missed it by "that" much.
vr, Xei
2006-11-20 16:58:29
2.   Greg Brock
Preach, Brother.

Preach.

2006-11-20 16:58:55
3.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Excellent post, Jon.
You're probably right about this prospective signing not "aggressively" hurting the Dodgers. But it sure would be an expensive symbol that Ned simply Doesn't Get It.
2006-11-20 16:59:44
4.   Zak
If Kemp comes out blasting the ball in AAA, he will find a spot in a major-league starting lineup.

Yeah, but whose major-league lineup? This has a Jason Jennings for Matt Kemp type of deal written all over it.

I shudder. This would easily be the worse Dodger contract since K. Brown.

2006-11-20 17:00:08
5.   Vaudeville Villain
Great stuff.
2006-11-20 17:00:23
6.   Nolan
1) I am in a state of shock.

2) Not to quibble with your analysis (which is appropriately funerial) but I don't think it would be appropriate to characterize a "replacement level" player as "average." My understanding is that the "average" player is, in actuality, quite a good player because of the way that super players (like Pujols) pulls up the average. So, that said, I would venture to say that Pierre is far, far below average.

2006-11-20 17:00:27
7.   Uncle Miltie
I'm going to curl up and listen to Mad World over and over again.

"And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had"

2006-11-20 17:00:33
8.   Vaudeville Villain
Jon's post, I mean.
2006-11-20 17:00:35
9.   Curtis Lowe
"There simply has to be a better way to spend $45 million than on Juan Pierre."

$45 Million Frosties from Wendys?

2006-11-20 17:01:04
10.   Xeifrank
Unless part of the plan is to trade Pierre in a year or two and to eat much of his salary I am of the belief that Ned is a double agent (SF). vr, Xei
2006-11-20 17:01:54
11.   Curtis Lowe
$45 Million Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers?
2006-11-20 17:02:43
12.   natepurcell
im going to gain 20lbs eating 3 buckets of ice cream tonight.

then im going to sue colletti because it would have been his fault.

then im going to take that money and bribe McCourt to fire Colletti and give me the GM position.

see, there is light behind the large black french cloud.

2006-11-20 17:03:47
13.   Zak
3 I agree. This is the one where Colletti has finally shown the General Palpatine is indeed the Sith Lord.

All hyperbole aside, how can Colletti think this is a good move? What is so enamoring about JP? He seems like a nice guy, but forget sabremetric stats, in pretty much every respect, he is not a $9 million a year guy. That's how much Derek Lowe makes, almost as much as JD Drew was making. Wow! I'm really amazed that Colletti would pull this off. Why? The SBs? Seriously? This one's going to hurt for a while.

2006-11-20 17:03:52
14.   Granfallooner
90 million Jack-in-the-Box Tacos.
2006-11-20 17:04:05
15.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
At least now, one can really say there is a significant difference between Depodesta and Colletti.

Not to fan the flames or anything, but I don't think a single stat-head in the world would have made that deal.

2006-11-20 17:04:15
16.   Xeifrank
12. but who's going to take Pierre off your hands? Can we just plea insanity!? vr, Xei
2006-11-20 17:04:49
17.   Jacob L
10 The idea that Colletti signed Pierre knowing he stinks, but that he'll be able to pawn him off on some other sucker in a year or two is a bit too clever.

On another note, we all love Vin, but he should not be the GM. Can Pedro Feliz be far behind?

2006-11-20 17:05:17
18.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
but who's going to take Pierre off your hands?
Two words: Sunk. Costs.
2006-11-20 17:05:31
19.   Uncle Miltie
I'm really hoping that before every game, Brad Penny bets Juan Pierre a thousand dollars that he can't drink a gallon of milk without vomiting.
2006-11-20 17:06:25
20.   Uncle Miltie
19- in less than an hour
2006-11-20 17:06:36
21.   Zak
So really, what happens to Kemp now? Is he expendable or will they move him to a corner OF position. The sick gut feeling I get is they will look to trade him for starting pitching and we already know Ned's record with what he thinks is helpful pitching (Tomko, Henderson..).
2006-11-20 17:06:38
22.   Vaudeville Villain
Posted this on the other thread, and figured I'd put it up here, just 'cause I like Pynchon.

----------------------------
"In honor of Thomas Pynchon's new book, let's have a little reading that seems approppriate...

"A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.

It is too late..."

2006-11-20 17:06:39
23.   Marty
7 That's my favorite part of Donnie Darko.
2006-11-20 17:06:52
24.   natepurcell
why 5 years? honestly... why 5 years?
2006-11-20 17:07:16
25.   regfairfield
Well, my girlfriend taught me something. How can Juan Pierre be African American, have a Hispanic first name, and a french last name?

Answer: he's cajun.

Had the Dodgers never acquired Juan Pierre, I never would have learned that. So some good has come from this.

2006-11-20 17:08:09
26.   Xeifrank
24. Because 6 would be wrong! :)
vr, Xei
2006-11-20 17:08:14
27.   natepurcell
other news...

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/sports/16059408.htm

Former Detroit Tigers star and coach Lance Parrish was hired Monday as manager of the Great Lakes Loons.

Loons are our new low A team!

2006-11-20 17:08:41
28.   Zak
25 Good. Now you pay the $45 million.
2006-11-20 17:09:29
29.   Zak
27 Appropriately named.
2006-11-20 17:09:32
30.   natepurcell
this from someone from primer made me LOL quite a bit.

WOW. It's like Colletti saw the Soriano deal and said, "#### Hendry. THIS is how you #### the market!"

2006-11-20 17:09:59
31.   Uncle Miltie
There's still a small chance that Sabean will top the Dodgers offer and Pierre will pull a Carlos Boozer.
2006-11-20 17:10:24
32.   Greg Brock
30 Yeah, the Primer folks are having a BLAST with this.
2006-11-20 17:10:53
33.   Xeifrank
Why didn't we just sign Darrin Erstad for 5 years instead. Atleast he is good at bowling over catchers. Good thing Niefi Perez isn't a free agent. Otherwise Ned would give him 4 or 5 years too. vr, Xei
2006-11-20 17:11:04
34.   natepurcell
32

the only person that pisses me off is leveski. i hate seeing him laughing at our misery.

2006-11-20 17:11:16
35.   Greg S
Can you imagine how much money JD Drew is going to get?
The writing is on the wall: The owners have lots and lots of money and labor peace has made them ready to spend it.
$9 million is the new $3 million.
2006-11-20 17:12:19
36.   Vaudeville Villain
31-

It's embarrassing that we need for Brian Sabean to come to our rescue.

2006-11-20 17:12:20
37.   Greg Brock
34 Meh. Buncha Dodger haters anyway.

But this time they're right!

2006-11-20 17:13:05
38.   natepurcell
35

if we dont offer jd drew arbitration, that might just be the nail in the coffin for colletti.

2006-11-20 17:13:38
39.   Xeifrank
35. I can see the lots of money part, but 5 years is the killer. Unless you are planning to just eat the last 3-4 years of his contract (money wise). vr, Xei
2006-11-20 17:14:33
40.   Greg S
38 After the Soriano signing, Drew might win $20M in arbitration. Seriously.
2006-11-20 17:14:55
41.   Xeifrank
Today is one of those days you wish you had a time machine. vr, Xei
2006-11-20 17:15:30
42.   Vaudeville Villain
This was posted on the last thread by CanuckDodger:

Who considers Pierre a "below average average center fielder?" Obviously just about everybody here. The sabermetric community, very likely. However, the scouting community rates Pierre's ability to hit for average and fielding as "above average" and his speed as "plus", or way above average. They don't like his arm, and his power is worse than his arm, but scouts never hold a center fielder's lack of power against him. In total, the scouting community LIKES Pierre. That the Dodgers under Colletti make moves based on what the scouting community thinks and not what sabermetricians think is something that I can understand people here deploring, but at this stage of the Colleti Administration people expressing shock over it is being naive. Now I suppose I am going to be told I am "insulting" people here by using the word "naive," but really I am not trying to offend anyone, and I only use the word because I think it is appropriate when people here do KNOW by now that Colletti is not making decisions based on peripheral offensive stats and defensive metrics. Colletti is trusting his scouts.

No refutation, but an aside.

Our scouts need to be fired immediately.

2006-11-20 17:15:30
43.   the OZ
Do the Dodgers get a tax credit for hiring someone that is mentally disabled to be their General Manager? If so, this deal may be financially justifiable after all!
2006-11-20 17:16:26
44.   Greg S
39. Okay but Soriano and Pierre have now set the market. In that market, Drew is worth at least 5 years/60-70M.
2006-11-20 17:16:46
45.   checkityahla
Hopefully this signing did not kill us for top free agent pitching like Zito and Schmidt, but damn its really hard to like this... I do like the speed at the top of the line up furcal and pierre should score about 200 runs with Nomar and Kent and hopefully a HITTER via free agency or trade we need a bat and some pitching...

Ned if you are listening please help this team...

2006-11-20 17:16:47
46.   Greg Brock
I think Bob made a quick run down to the effigy district.

Profiteer.

2006-11-20 17:16:48
47.   dsfan
I'm not quite getting the Pierre-Kemp connection.

I had assumed Kemp unfit for CF other than in emergencies. Did some really consider him a viable CF? He appeared lost out there when I saw him. Seems to me, he's a RF who can be above average there but really isn't a natural CF. Beyond his questionable instincts for CF, Kemp seemingly down the road will be a bit large for all that running around in CF. He's having enough trouble adjusting to major-league pitching -- why add the forced fit of CF to his chores?

I agreed with the thrust of Jon's post but tend to think getting out of Wrigley will only help Pierre as a hitter. Again, not defending the signing. I would have flipped Lofton a one-year deal.

2006-11-20 17:17:51
48.   bluegold
If you posters are to be believed, Colletti must be an idiot of a GM. First of all, it is not your money he is spending. Second, you don't have any information that he has.

Pierre is an upgrade over Lofton.

In a key situation, I would rather have Pierre at the plate than Repko anyday.

Am I the lone voice in welcoming Pierre to the Dodgers?

2006-11-20 17:19:34
49.   Greg Brock
48
bluegold, meet EJM.

EJM, meet bluegold.

2006-11-20 17:19:38
50.   natepurcell
42

chris dial rates pierre as quite good though.

first in the NL for CF

http://tinyurl.com/z3j74

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-20 17:20:14
51.   Jacob L
42 - Do scouts not expect leadoff hitters or reputed speedsters to get on base? Do they not expect base stealers to steal bases successfully?

I don't think this a stats vs. scouts thing. The guy's attributes and warts are in plain view.

2006-11-20 17:20:29
52.   jakewoods
A leadoff guy who doesnt walk, only hits singles and his an arm worse than his grandma?

Good going Ned!!

2006-11-20 17:20:32
53.   Vaudeville Villain
48-

You can disagree, but you can't make statements with no evidence.

How can you argue that Pierre is worth five years, or even that he's a better player than Kenny Lofton?

2006-11-20 17:20:38
54.   Nolan
49 - I hope you are the lone voice, or I will start questioning my sanity and my place in the universe.

"you don't have any information that he has"

The irony of that statement is that, in fact, I do have all of the information relevant to Juan Pierre and it is Colletti who, somehow, has failed to read or understand it.

2006-11-20 17:20:53
55.   checkityahla
I think you are absolutely right bluegold well said... Pierre over Lofton and much better than Repko I love the speed I can see maybe 225 runs scored by Furcal and Repko ... Nomar and Kent 100 plus rbi's for sure..
2006-11-20 17:21:08
56.   Disabled List
27 Loons are our new low A team!

Loons are apparently in our front office, too.

2006-11-20 17:22:14
57.   Telemachos
(somewhat tongue-in-cheek)

Baseball is dead to me.

2006-11-20 17:22:53
58.   Marty
48 Please don't make the "you don't know what Ned knows" and "it's not your money" argument. Of course it isn't our money, and of course we don't know all the info that Ned has.
But that's not a premise to like/dislike this (alleged) signing. Also, it would make for a pretty silent board here.
2006-11-20 17:23:20
59.   Telemachos
After my initial annoyance, I could probably get over a 2 year deal or so. 5 years at that salary is completely incomprehensible.
2006-11-20 17:23:34
60.   Jon Weisman
48 - I don't have all the information that he has, but I have a good deal of information, including some I'm guessing he might not have considered.

How is Pierre an upgrade over Lofton?

And the Repko comparison is extreme to prove a point. I'll concede that tonight, Pierre is better than Repko. But how long will that be true. More importantly, the options between Repko and Pierre are considerable - and considerably cheaper.

2006-11-20 17:24:34
61.   checkityahla
Pierre is on steriods he will hit 40 + homers this year duh!!!
2006-11-20 17:24:38
62.   dsfan
I would rather have Pierre than Lofton, but not for those dollars.
2006-11-20 17:25:48
63.   Greg S
I'll be the sacraficial lamb and state a semi-dissenting opinion... I think the Dodgers are better today than yesterday. As a fan, one could argue that that's all that should matter (Sorry Marty.. just making a point). But I do agree that the contract is borderline insane. Too much for too long. I think that the top of the lineup will be a serious pain to get through.
I'm not as stat minded as some but the point about VORP per game seems unimportant. The fact that he plays 162 can't be thrown out the window. It means as much as any other stat. And if Kemp can hit like everyone hopes, he'll play. If Kemp and Ethier are both studs, we'll be fine no matter how you slice it.
I don't believe this is the end of times. Just a waste of resources.
2006-11-20 17:27:03
64.   Greg Brock
The lack of input from D4P, Andrew and Steve is scaring me.

Seriously, I hope they're all alive.

2006-11-20 17:27:29
65.   Steve
I'm numb right now. I don't feel anger, pity, excitement, hope, despair, sadness. There is a gnawing there though, I guess of what could have been and just doesn't look like will be. Foreboding maybe?
2006-11-20 17:27:47
66.   Nolan
63 - If you are going to count, why not count his outs?
2006-11-20 17:28:34
67.   Nolan
Does anyone have this year's Bill James Handbook handy?

I would guess that Juan led the NL in outs by a long, long shot...True?

2006-11-20 17:28:48
68.   Jon Weisman
63 - I don't disagree with where you're coming from, Greg, at least in the first paragraph. The point about VORP per game is that Pierre's is so low that it diminishes the value of his playing 162 games a year.
2006-11-20 17:29:08
69.   Vaudeville Villain
63-

How are we improved? Lofton is better, right now, than Pierre. He is cheaper. He could be had for a shorter contract.

162 games of a CFer not even as good as Kenny Lofton, with no JD Drew, is not a better team.

2006-11-20 17:29:14
70.   DodgerHobbit
25 pretty sure your girlfriend is inorrect, slightly.

If Juan Pierre's name has anything to do with his ethnic heritage (since many descended from african slaves have the last names of their owner...) Pierre is probably Creole as opposed to Cajun. Cajuns tend to be white/not mixed with african ancestry and live in country areas while Creoles tend to come from at least a little african ancestry and tended to be city people.

2006-11-20 17:29:47
71.   Greg Brock
I can't decide between "Slappy McPutout" and "The Human Out Machine"

You can abbreviate Human Out Machine, so it's in the lead right now.

HOM

2006-11-20 17:30:18
72.   ssjames
63 My main problem with this deal is that it essentially assures that Pierre and his unmatched out-making ability will be in CF for at least 3 years, while we could have someone above average there. There is no explanation for the length of this deal. We didn't get a Beltran/Wells or A. Jones. We got basic average production right now, and for years to come for ridiculous money that could have been better spent almost anywhere else.

This is the problem that some people saw coming with Ned's "I must make a deal to look busy" philosphy.

2006-11-20 17:31:18
73.   checkityahla
Hopefully we don't pay half that money maybe a trade down the line.. we will see... a little much and maybe to long of a deal but I like the guy's speed and ability to score.. Defense is a problem but there really isn't many center fielders throwing guys out, more worried about runners going 1st to 3rd on him and challenge forcing the issue which can hurt our defense...
2006-11-20 17:31:20
74.   dsfan
63

Agreed.

2006-11-20 17:31:54
75.   Jon Weisman
65 - The feeling I have is that the whole point of rebuilding your farm system is not to have to sign Juan Pierre for five years. It's to allow you to spend money on exciting players.

So my feeling is a little like being told dreams don't come true.

I was talking to a friend earlier today about how sad I was when I read in the Times as a 7-year-old that the Brady Bunch had been canceled. I didn't really even know at that point that a TV show could be canceled.

I don't feel as bad today as I did then, but the disappointment is there.

2006-11-20 17:31:58
76.   Greg S
69 Have you seen Kenny Lofton walk? He can barely do it. I like Lofton a lot (I certainly backed him a lot in '06). But his age makes him a ticking time bomb. I think Pierre is similar to Lofton, just a lot more likely to play a lot more games.
2006-11-20 17:32:37
77.   Nolan
72 - Juan Pierre is far from average. He's way below it.
2006-11-20 17:33:24
78.   WellsforKemp
so where are we now for next year is it? Loney Ethier/Kemp Pierre how did we exactly add more power by somehow downgrading from Loftens 2 or so HR last year? and do we have anymore money for another out fielder if we sign a pitcher or two? Im scared to see what else Ned plans on doing after this one unless it involves Pierre
2006-11-20 17:34:01
79.   Disabled List
I have a friend who just LOVES this signing. Loves the .292 BA and 58 SBs. I tried to explain why this is an awful deal, and why Pierre is so overrated, but he wasn't listening. He said that except for Reyes and Furcal, who was a better leadoff hitter than Pierre? I looked at the NL only, and this is what I came up with (not using esoteric stats like VORP and EQA, which he wouldn't understand):

Furcal, Reyes, Roberts, Rollins, Soriano, Ryan Freel (higher OBP and SLG, better
SB percentage), Marcus Giles (even though he had a down year), Hanley Ramirez, and Rickie Weeks (slightly better OBP and SLG, better SB percentage).

Even David Eckstein had a better OBP than Pierre, and he sucks too. Eckstein, Craig Counsell, Randy Winn, and Chris Duffy are the only regular leadoff hitters in the NL who were demonstrably worse than Pierre in 2006. And I didn't even look at at the AL, which has leadoff guys like Damon and Ichiro.

Dave Roberts had almost identical (in fact, better) numbers than Pierre. I'll bet the Dodgers could've signed him for half the price.

This is a crippling signing. The Dodgers might still win the West in 2007, but it'll be in spite of Juan Pierre, not because of him.

2006-11-20 17:34:54
80.   dsfan
Are we sure Pierre didn't get a no-trade proviso as part of the deal?
2006-11-20 17:34:57
81.   Jacob L
76 Okay, I'll take the bait there. Have you seen Juan Pierre walk? 32 times last year.
2006-11-20 17:35:16
82.   WellsforKemp
71. Greg Brock

I still like Juan "I hope my little dribbler finds another hole between SS and 3rd again" Pierre

2006-11-20 17:35:39
83.   Fearing Blue
The bright sides that I can see are:

1) This lowers the probability that Ned will trade quality rookies for a below-average outfielder.

2) Trashing $9 million a year in the National League West isn't going to kill us.

3) Other teams are dumb too, so when someone more capable is ready to take over, we can probably trade Pierre and only have to eat $3-4 million / year.

That's the best I've got. Otherwise, I share Steve's hollow feelings inside.

2006-11-20 17:35:47
84.   Bob Timmermann
75
But just two years later, we got "The Brady Bunch Hour"!
2006-11-20 17:36:03
85.   regfairfield
67 Rank in outs year by year (via Baseball Reference):

2003-1
2004-2
2005-2
2006-1

2006-11-20 17:36:04
86.   Vaudeville Villain
76-

Kenny Lofton drew more walks than Pierre did last year in less plate appearances.

If you're talking about Lofton's speed and defense, yes, it's bad, but Pierre is rated as a worse defensive center fielder, which is an awful portent if you remember the Lofton adventures last year.

I'd rather have an old, average, short-term Lofton, than a below average hitter in the lineup every day for five years.

2006-11-20 17:36:20
87.   WellsforKemp
JIHMLDFAHBSA3AP
2006-11-20 17:36:24
88.   Fallout
There is a lot to be critical of 5 yrs for 45M but who would you have play CF? Lofton?
Repko? 3.5? I don't like any of those choices. I think that most agree here that Lofton misplays way too many balls. Repko is still an unknown quantity. After his rookie season most here wanted to dump him.
3.5 is not a CF. So, who is your choice? Kemp is at least a year away and his play in CF wasn't much different than Lofton. Looks like to me you get who you can get.
2006-11-20 17:37:19
89.   Telemachos
So what's our (tentative) lineup, as of today?

Pierre
Furcal
Nomar
Kent
Ethier
Kemp
Betemit
Martin

Maybe swap Martin and Betemit? (I have Martin as a #8 because of how fond Grady was of him in that spot)

2006-11-20 17:38:56
90.   Greg S
81 Not sure if you're just making a joke but I was literally talking about Kenny's ability to get from one side of the room to the other, not his ability to draw four balls. I would not bet on him to play 100 again in his life.

Jon- How can you be below average but make it up for it in volume? Help me understand b/c I'm probably not getting it.

2006-11-20 17:39:54
91.   CanuckDodger
51 -- Actually, scouts usually DON'T care that much about OBA. They like hitters to be aggressive. And as long as a guy steals a lot of bases, scouts accept "caught stealing" outs as the price of doing business. Personally, I don't share those views, but it is traditional baseball thinking, and I have no expectations that scouts are going to lay down with statheads in the foreseeable future.

I am still waiting for somebody to come out and say, without sarcasm, that they are "shocked" that Colletti is a baseball traditionalist. I mean, I think we knew that when he was hired, or shortly thereafter, or every time he made a personnel move of any description in the last year.

2006-11-20 17:40:44
92.   Jacob L
90 Yeah, that was a joke, or at least an attempt. Believe me the last thing I wanted this offseason was to re-up with Lofton.

Make that the second to last thing.

2006-11-20 17:40:47
93.   Vaudeville Villain
88-

I hate to sound frustrated, but have you read what's been posted?

Lofton is better than Pierre right now, by any metric you can find, any worthwhile stat you can dig up.

2006-11-20 17:41:18
94.   Disabled List
63 Your last sentence says it all: Just a waste of resources.

Some teams, like the Yankees and Red Sox, can get away with wasting money like this. Other teams have to stick to budgets, and therefore have to be more judicious with their resources in order to field competitive teams.

The Dodgers should ostensibly be in that first group, but history has proven that they are squarely in the latter group. Albatross contracts like Dreifort, Ashby, Carlos Perez, et al are what doomed the Dodgers in the late 90s-early 00s. The team couldn't make needed upgrades because so much money was tied up in unproductive players.

2006-11-20 17:42:27
95.   Suffering Bruin
I really hope the Dodgers physical is a demanding one. Like, really, really demanding.
2006-11-20 17:43:21
96.   Jon Weisman
91 - Explain again what you want out of us in the second paragraph? I'm not following.

90 - Not understanding your question either. I never said you could be below average but make up for it in volume.

2006-11-20 17:43:22
97.   Greg Brock
95 LOL
2006-11-20 17:43:37
98.   overkill94
As long as we only have Pierre as our starting CF during the month of July, I think we'll be okay, check out these career stats:

.336/.383/.418

That's an OPS over .800 baby!

2006-11-20 17:44:22
99.   Greg S
94 (et al) I'll say it again... it's a whole new market and welcome to it. You'll be greeting at the door by Mr. Soriano and Mr. Pierre. Soon Mr. Drew will shock you with breathtaking heights. My Zito will make your jaw drop and your head spin. Please, don't be shocked as the numbers get higher and higher. Just bring oxygen.
2006-11-20 17:46:16
100.   overkill94
In all seriousness, Pierre does seem to be one of those 2nd-half hitters (.699 pre, .759 post). Between him and Furcal, our offense might struggle a bit in the early part of next year.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-11-20 17:48:16
101.   Kayaker7
I haven't been on dodgers.com, but I'd imagine that the fans there are in an ecstatic frenzy. So, Smallball comes to town. Woohoo!!
2006-11-20 17:48:56
102.   Fallout
Have you seen Juan Pierre walk? 32 times last year.
Have you seen him SO?
2006-11-20 17:49:48
103.   Uncle Miltie
I think "The Profressional Outmaker" fits Pierre pretty well. That was my nickname for Old Maid when he was slumping.
2006-11-20 17:50:54
104.   FirstMohican
Well, I guess I don't care that the pavillion seats went up last year because I won't be sitting there ever again. I can put up with drunk Raider fans, beachballs and 50-year-old wood benches. I won't voluntarily sit that close to the MLB leader in $-to-talent ratio.

In fact, after the Drew opt-out (and Colletti's subsequent deal-breaking tirade) and this deal, I'm about as un-excited about the Dodgers as I've been in a very, very long time. Hopefully the bright spots can outshine the black hole in CF.

2006-11-20 17:51:29
105.   Jacob L
99, 94, etc. along those lines.

The money doesn't really bother me at all. Who knows the value of a dollar, anymore? Its the years. And more than that, its the player.

I don't want Juan Pierre playing CF for the Dodgers in 2007.

Nor in 2008.

Nor in 2009.

Got a crazy hunch about 2010.

2011, though, I don't like.

2006-11-20 17:51:50
106.   Vaudeville Villain
102-

Not striking out is not a significant skill.

2006-11-20 17:55:02
107.   caseybarker
This board tonight reminds me of the chicken lady on Kids in the Hall. I don't want anyone here to asplode.
2006-11-20 17:56:45
108.   FirstMohican
Found it:

"He's another guy with great qualities as a human being, like Nomar," Colletti said.

-AP

If Colletti was GM of the Lakers, the only player on the roster right now would be a 43-year-old A.C. Green.

2006-11-20 17:57:27
109.   Marty
Well, I'm not going to get hysterical. It's just not a good deal if it goes through. I'll live though. These may be the Ted Tollner years for the Dodgers. I survived that, I'll survive this.
2006-11-20 17:59:15
110.   Paul B
70 According to this story, you're right: les Pierres are of Creole descent.

http://tinyurl.com/yaqnqz

I wonder if the picture of Juan included with this story makes people feel better or worse (is it possible?) about the impending transaction.

2006-11-20 18:01:13
111.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Does LA have a sizable Creole community?
2006-11-20 18:01:25
112.   DodgerfaninNY
In my hopes & dreams, I believe the Dodgers will unload Pierre by year 3. Going on the assumption that it will end up being a 2 yrs./18 mil. contract, I would rather have Juan Pierre, a below avg. outfielder in every respect, than Kenny Lofton. Please think back to Kenny's ABs in the NLDS. I really thought he had to be hiding an injury to look so bad. And I'm just not sure Kemp is a CF. I'm a Vernon Wells guy and the fact that he wasn't an option means that maybe they will hold on to the youngsters.
2006-11-20 18:02:11
113.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
110 - As for the photo, I kinda like the 'stache. Between Pierre and Kent, that's quite a combo.
2006-11-20 18:02:12
114.   Improbable88
I am well aware of the SABR sacred doctrine of not wasting outs in preparation for the long ball. And it would be nice to have such a team.

But we don't. As of now, our 3-5 guys aren't gonna do much homerun damage upwards of 20.
They should, however, hit for average.

It would seem to me, then, that the extra base Furcal and Pierre can steal/advance on the single is valuable at a risk, because the risk is necessary for us to score runs.

2006-11-20 18:02:46
115.   Improbable88
I am well aware of the SABR sacred doctrine of not wasting outs in preparation for the long ball. And it would be nice to have such a team.

But we don't. As of now, our 3-5 guys aren't gonna do much homerun damage upwards of 20.
They should, however, hit for average.

It would seem to me, then, that the extra base Furcal and Pierre can steal/advance on the single is valuable at a risk, because the risk is necessary for us to score runs.

2006-11-20 18:02:48
116.   Bob Timmermann
109
Some of us liked the Ted Tollner years. Liked them a lot!

Even better was the second John Robinson administration. Ahh.....

Sniff
Sniff

I'm can't help for blubberin'

2006-11-20 18:03:02
117.   Steve
Yeah, jon, except this doesn't feel like the cancellation of the brady bunch but the hellish permanent renewal of it forever and ever. For twenty years, we keep getting fed the same garbage by egocentric GMs who insist that this splashy free agent or that one big purchase will out is over the top. Ideology is just a red herring (like communism and the use of the word "stathead"); these guys come in all different shapes and sizes, just like TV network pinheads like comedy or drama or reality, but what they really like is whatever is getting ratings (forget quality - espn always does) they're getting on channel nine.

And one always hopes that will play itself out differently, and it seemed like we had something going. And now it seems like whatever the case, nope, were going to do it just like everyone else does it.

And NBC and CBS and ABC go on their runs, they may win for a year or two then drop back and etc., and the years they win the executives will get credit for it and the years they lose they will get fired, and random chance will explain just about all of it anyway. And we seemed, with our young guys and Logan white and the other things going for is that we might beat that formula. I guess I just don't like dancing with lady luck.

2006-11-20 18:03:38
118.   Bob Timmermann
114
I am well aware of the SABR sacred doctrine

I do not choose to fight this fight anymore...

2006-11-20 18:04:08
119.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
108 - Makes me wonder if Frank and Jamie have a standing order that Character Counts.
2006-11-20 18:04:22
120.   Uncle Miltie
110- if Pierre grows back that mustache, he might be worth half his contract.
2006-11-20 18:04:37
121.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2006-11-20 18:05:25
122.   Improbable88
118- OBP and SLG aren't important all of the sudden?
2006-11-20 18:05:52
123.   regfairfield
115 But since the Dodgers need guys on base to score runs, why on Earth would you sign the biggest out machine in baseball?
2006-11-20 18:06:18
124.   Jon Weisman
117 - Agreed.
2006-11-20 18:06:19
125.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
118 - Yeah, that line carries a bad vibe, doesn't it?
I'll second Bob T's motion to pass.
2006-11-20 18:08:04
126.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
122 - You're BlueBleeder, aren't you?
2006-11-20 18:10:21
127.   Bob Timmermann
122

SABR

http://www.sabr.org/

Sabermetrics example

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/statpages/glossary/

2006-11-20 18:16:46
128.   Improbable88
Ugh. This discussion of old school/new school seems to always devolve into my religion against yours.

So let me clarify. I'm a secular guy, so I'll take a secualr approach, say literary theory.

If you read a text, you can apply all sorts of analyses to it, feminist, marxist, reader response. They can all uncover valuable information.

I'm not stressing old school over new school with regards to Pierre. I'm just saying, multiple readings are necessary to really assess his possible worth to the team: yes, he will make a lot of outs, and that it huge. But won't he also be in scoring position pretty routinely those times he does get on base. That is all.

I apologize for the sentiment evoked with "doctrine." I'll be less literary.

2006-11-20 18:20:42
129.   zenboy
Sorry folks...I just don't get the amount of anger over this signing. 5 years is a bit more than I would go on Pierre, I agree with that. BUT...

Pierre is not going to be our leadoff hitter, he is going to bat number 2. You want your #2 hitter to make contact and I don't see anyone better at that than Pierre. BTW, Pierre was very good in both 2003 and 2004, not that long ago.

Mentioning Repko (who will NEVER be a starter on any team) as a better option is just silly. Lofton just didn't and won't play in enough games. If we had Lofton 5 years ago, I would agree he would be the better option.

As long as this signing doesn't preclude us from getting another big bat and at least 1 front line starting pitcher, I don't see how this is bad.

BTW, check out my new Dodger Blog site at http://www.dodgerjunkie.com

2006-11-20 18:26:16
130.   s choir
Colletti appears to be building a different type of team than people expect, which is why this signing is underrated. It's a balanced lineup without a centerpiece power hitter. It's great to have a lineup with Pujols or Howard in the middle, but in order to acquire one of those players, unless you're the Yanks or Red Sox, you're going to have to sacrifice in other areas.

Juan Pierre is an ideal player for this kind of lineup. He walks more than he strikes out (a very underrated characteristic!). He steals lots and lots of bases. If you have a lineup without a dominant power hitter, stolen bases are that much more valuable, because a runner on first is unlikely to score. Sure, Pierre gets thrown out a lot, but in this kind of lineup it doesn't matter as much.

He is basically Kenny Lofton, but 10 years younger. Pierre is in his prime right now, and will be in his prime for the first three years of his contract. After that, his salary will be even less of a drop in the bucket than it is now.

Colletti's Dodgers scored plenty of runs last year with Kenny Lofton in the lineup (and sieved plenty with him in the outfield). Because of that, I'm willing to give this signing the benefit of the doubt. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this signing is neither great nor horrible. It's just interesting.

2006-11-20 21:05:24
131.   mountainmover
I will go out on a limb. Stats don't play. Players do!

The Juan Pierre signing will go down as a stroke of genius on the part of Ned.

How many of you blasted the Furcal signing a year ago? Looks pretty good now, wouldn't you say?

Ned's not done.

Watch and learn!

2006-11-20 23:15:08
132.   Louis in SF
A five year deal that is what I don't get. I almost would have perfered bringing back Dave Roberts, who would have only required 2-3 years. Another interesting move might have been to go after Abrury Huff.

The good news that I see with Pierre is that it should force Grady to play Kemp, Either, Repko and Loney.

2006-11-21 00:11:38
133.   Sharkie
Here's the thing about Pierre: No power. No average (away from Wrigley). No OBP. What's to like about Pierre's offense?

Home runs or OBP. Bombs or Chinese-water torture. Pierre provides neither.

Of course the Bill Plaschke wannabes will be saying that Pierre has heart or has character or has cool socks or has good work ethic. That's great, but why can Colletti find ONE guy who has those qualities AND can play ball? Can't we find someone who has both?

One contradition made by the Pro-Pierre crowd is that they discount people who use modern stats to evaluate players, and bash the use of stats. Then they say Pierre is good because he hits .290 or steals 50 bases or gets lots of hits (but no walks). Um, those last numbers are um, like stats, n'stuff, you know.

The reality is Pierre is a slightly better hitter than Izturis for a lot more money. OPS around 720. Bad walk rate. Yes he gets a lot of hits, but that's because he doesn't walk and gets 700 PAs.

So the Dodgers spent 45 million on a #8 hitter. Why not just go one more step and sign Zito for 75 million?

2006-11-21 02:24:24
134.   Andrew Shimmin
128- Late to the party, but if you should chance by. . .Bob wasn't taking issue with your overall point, just that you titled the stat geek community SABR. SABR is a group of people with no common philosophy. They just like baseball. Some like fancy stats, some like talking about baseball stadiums that were demolished before the first world war. SABR as a synonym for stat geek is a long standing pet peeve of his.
2006-11-21 10:31:15
135.   Fresno Old Guy
Let's face it, average outfielders go for around $9 million a year these days. At least this average outfielder doesn't strike out (can bat second behind Furcal and make some things happen), steals bases at a credible (league leading) rate and gets around 200 hits a year. Being somewhat old school the latest alphabet stats don't mean much to me. I've always liked Pierre (he's only 29) and I like the idea of Garciaparra and Kent getting a lot of fast balls to hit with Furcal/Pierre on base in front of them. I can live with Furcal, Pierre, Garciaparra, Kent, Insert Here (big to biggish bat to be acquired), Betemit/Loney, Ethier, Martin, Pitcher. Add a Schmidt, a Zito or some other #2/3 pitcher to be acquired and I think a NL West championship is in reach.
2006-11-21 11:58:32
136.   Benaiah
Jon, I agree with you that this move will not in and of itself kill the Dodgers. However, the underlying philosophy of Ned Colletti's now seems to be so removed from reality that this move signals the eventual demise of the team under him.

As the team already has a vastly superior lead off hitter and Pierre's is completely unable to address the team's obvious weakness from last year, this is a move just to be moving. Colletti's acquisitions of Lugo and Anderson at the trading deadline in hindsight appear to be the same sort of busywork. Colletti doesn't get what he really wants (probably Soriano in both cases) and so he makes a big play to someone else to show that he can make a deal, any deal. It reminds me of a frustrated poker player who follows up a losing hand by going all in. This is just a funny quirk at the garage $20 buy in game, but Colletti is playing with the big boys and I have serious doubts that his knowledge of the game extends beyond the rules.

The worse thing of all is that I think Colletti is going to have a lot more rope to hang himself with than his predecessor as I doubt Mccourt is anxious to find his fourth GM since he took over the 2003. The hope and fear for the Dodgers is the youngsters; if they come up and carry the team it may prop up Ned, but then that might mean we end up stuck with him. Today, like the day when Depodesta was fired, I wish I was the fan of the A's or some other rational team.

2006-11-21 12:16:09
137.   Benaiah
This is a really rough and dirty way to look at things but consider Pierre's 2006 rate stats:292/330/388. For every caught stealing I am going to subtract from his hits or walks in proportion to how often he got on base by either way (13.6%BB 86.4% Hits) and I will add one to his TB for every successful steal (again minus one for every CS). Thus, I take away 17 hits and 3 BB for his 20 CS and arrive at a batting average of .268 and a OBP of 303. Adding a net of 38 TB (58 SB-20 CS) to his 271 arrives at a SLG of .442. His complete line would thus be: 268/303/442. The real downside to looking at it this way is that you obviously can't drive in any runs by stealing bases and so that would be an even emptier slugging percentage, but nevertheless here are a list of hitters with an OPS in the .743 range: Jose Vidro, Jeff Francoeur and Josh Barfield. No one I would particularly like to pay 9 million a year for.
2006-11-21 12:34:05
138.   LetsGoDodgers
How many Dodgers have had 200 hits in a season in the past 5 years? Only one: Beltre in 2004. I personally welcome a 200 hit guy.

Here's a scenario I'm looking forward to seeing over the next 2 years: Furcal leads off with a walk or single. Pierre in the 2-hole singles for runners at 1st and 3rd with nobody out.

I don't follow Jon's blog as often as I used to, so I don't know if this has been talked over to death, but Ned seems more like Cashman than Stoneman in the sense that prospects are trade bait for established veterans. True, the Dodger payroll doesn't rival the Yankee payroll, but it's not the Marlins payroll either. An Ethier - Pierre - Kemp outfield is something I could live with.

This lineup is being built to manufacture runs, not wait for the 3-run homer.

2006-11-22 18:33:25
139.   NBarnes
I like the idea of Garciaparra and Kent getting a lot of fast balls to hit with Furcal/Pierre on base in front of them.

The fantasy where Pierre turns into an on-base machine continues to amuse.

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