Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hypothetically Speaking: A Potential Juan Pierre Three Way Trade

The Dodgers are aggressively shopping Juan Pierre and it looks like the Tigers might be a match. However, the Dodgers will only trade Pierre to Detorit if they get a starting pitcher they like in return:
The Tigers are among the teams pursuing Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre during the winter meetings, multiple major league sources told

The Dodgers want a reliable pitcher in exchange for Pierre. With $18.5 million left on his guarantee, a swap of similar contracts would be ideal. But it's doubtful that Los Angeles would view any of Detroit's expensive, oft-injured starters — Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis — as an attractive option.

Detroit would love to trade switch hitter Carlos Guillen for a pitcher, then ship the pitcher to the Dodgers for Pierre.
With that in mind, how about this three way trade proposal:
  • Tigers acquire: Juan Pierre (2 years/$18.5 million)
  • Dodgers acquire: Kyle Lohse (3 years/$34 million), $7 million ($4 mil from Tigers, $3 mil from Cardinals)
  • Cardinals acquire: Carlos Guillen (2 years/$26 million)
(Note: Keep in mind that Lohse has a no trade clause and that Carlos Guillen has a partial no trade clause.)

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Let's examine this deal from each team's perspective:


Why it would work:
  • Acquire Juan Pierre to play left field and be their primary leadoff hitter
  • Unload Carlos Guillen and the $26 million owed to him
  • Save $3.5 million in 2010
Why it wouldn't work:
  • Is Juan Pierre really that much of an upgrade?
  • Juan Pierre is a defensive liability in left field
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Why it would work:
  • Acquire quality starting pitcher
  • Finally trade away Juan Pierre
  • Only committed to paying Lohse $27 million over 3 years thanks to the $7 million the Dodgers acquire in this deal (more reasonable total)
  • Actually save money in 2010: (Pierre makes $10 million, Lohse makes $8.7 million)
Why it wouldn't work:
  • Do the Dodgers want Kyle Lohse? Can he be an effective starter for the next three years?
  • They are paying Lohse like an ace, but he is no ace
  • Increase payroll in both 2011 and 2012
  • Taking on an additional $9 million in payroll over the life of Lohse's contract (even with the $7 million)

Why it would work:
  • Get rid of Kyle Lohse!
  • Save money in the long term
  • Guillen can play either third base or left field
  • Impact bat to hit behind Pujols in the order
  • VERY IMPORTANT: $11 million comes off the books for the 2012 season, when the Cardinals will be trying to extend Albert Pujols (YAY PAYROLL FLEXIBILITY!)
Why it wouldn't work:
  • Carlos Guillen is not what he once was with the bat
  • Carlos Guillen is injury prone
  • Carlos Guillen is a potential defensive liability
  • No DH
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This deal makes some sense all around, but I'm not sure that it makes enough sense for all the teams involved to actually pull the trigger. I'm sure the Cardinals would love to move Kyle Lohse, but is Carlos Guillen too much of a risk for them to take on? And I know how badly the Dodgers want to trade Juan Pierre, but is it worth taking on extra payroll for Kyle Lohse? In the end, I think it would come down to the Dodgers because the Cardinals and Tigers are saving money because of this deal, but the Dodgers are the ones who are taking on salary, which is a problem for them right now.

****Would you do this trade? What team is getting the best deal? Let us know in the comments.******


J-blo said...

You had me at "Potential Juan Pierre Three-Way"...

I just don't see Lohse or Pierre ever doing anything productive again--I think whoever gets Guillen will be getting the most potential upside. When he is healthy he is great, but at age 34, his achy body might not be able to hold out much longer. While the hitting is not as difficult in the NL, were he to end up in STL, LaRussa doesn't have the luxury of playing him at DH. He can still be an important component in an MLB team, but he will never be worth the >10 mil he is owed.

Lohse is the second worst & second highest paid former Twin after Carlos Silva. He hasn't been good since 2005. I don't know much about Juan Pierre except that he is (was?) fast and can't hit. Given that the Dodgers financial situation is in limbo, and this deal, as you said, would necessitate them taking on payroll, although it seems like a fair deal all-around, I don't see it happening.

Jorge Says No! said...

Actually Lohse was very good for the Cardinals in 2008, which is why the team decided to give him the extension. His 2009 season was rough, but is it out of the realm of possibility for Lohse to bounce back in a big way in 2010?