"With Ramirez back, the Dodgers can resume searching for a team to which they could deal outfielder Juan Pierre, who has two years and $18.5 million left on his contract. Colletti and his top assistants will head to Chicago for the general managers meetings, which start Monday."Everyone seems to be clamoring at the idea to trade Pierre. And why not? Even though Pierre is set to make $10 million next season, it looks very likely that he will be a fourth outfielder yet again for the Dodgers, which is awkward for all parties involved. Pierre played very, very well during Manny Ramirez's absence and there is little doubt around baseball that Juan Pierre deserves to be a starting outfielder. He is simply on the wrong team and in the wrong situation.
At the same time, is there a case to be made that the Dodgers should not trade Pierre? Absolutely.
If the Dodgers do indeed find a taker for Pierre, then they will probably be forced to eat a large portion of the $18.5 million remaining on Pierre's contract. In addition, what are the chances that the Dodgers will actually get something valuable/useful in return? If the Dodgers don't eat any of the contract, then I'm sure they will have to take another bad contract back in return. And if the Dodgers eat a majority of the contract like we all expect them too, then what's the likely return on Pierre? A couple of mediocre prospects, no?
With that in mind, if the Dodgers cannot get payroll flexibility or something of value in return for Pierre, then they should just hang onto Pierre for the time being. Even though he is "just" a fourth outfielder, Pierre could have tremendous value for the Dodgers if any of their outfielders get hurt or he could provide useful depth for the Dodgers off the bench like he did last year.
I know the situation is not ideal given how much Pierre is making, but that does not mean the Dodgers should just give up Pierre for nothing while eating most of his salary. If Pierre is back with the Dodgers in 2010, then I'm sure he will find some way to contribute and make himself useful or even more tradeable.
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