Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New White Sox leadoff hitter's name unfortunately doesn't contain "Chone" or "Figgins"

Well the White Sox missed out on the Kenny Williams' coveted Chone Figgins and after some rumblings that Hideki Matsui would be brought in as a leadoff hitter, they made a move for Juan Pierre.

Sources: White Sox acquire OF Pierre

The Chicago White Sox acquired outfielder Juan Pierre from the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor leaguers and cash, according to major league sources.

Of the $18.5 million left on Pierre's contract, the White Sox will pay $3 million in 2010 and $5 million in 2011.

Pierre will be Chicago's leadoff hitter and it likely means Scott Podsednik will not return to the South Side.

The Dodgers will select two pitching prospects from a list furnished by the White Sox, a source told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. The names on the list are all pitchers who could reach the big leagues by 2010, the source said.

The deal was first reported by Yahoo! Sports

Pierre's stolen base and runs scored numbers have sharply declined in the past 3 seasons (64 SBs/96 RS in 2007 to 30 SBs/57 RS last season), he did play 145 games last year compared to 162 in '07, but still a steady decline. Perhaps Ozzie will unleash him a la 2005 Scott Podsednik and give him the permanent green light. This isn't a complete salvage mission as Pierre batted .308 and had his highest OBP and OPS since 2004 last season (.365/.757)...this may prove to be a bargain at only $8 million over two years.

What does this mean for the outfield? Will Rios be moved to RF? I can't imagine they will slot Pierre out in right...but Rios is a pretty capable defensive CF. Perhaps Quentin and his average defense will be moved to the opposite outfield corner. We'll have to wait and see.

One of my major gripes with the 2009 Sox was lack of stability at the top of the lineup (Pods was hot for awhile, but ultimately the Sox could do better). Hopefully Pierre can help the Sox towards another run at the Central.

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