In Sunday's article by Dylan Hernancez of the LA Times, Hernandez mentions the following when discussing some of the Dodger's offseason plans:
The Dodgers are expected to explore the possibility of dealing fourth outfielder Juan Pierre for an overpaid back-of-the-rotation pitcher in a trade that would essentially amount to a swap of bad contracts. Pierre is owed $18.5 million over the next two seasons.
This is not news as the Dodgers have been trying to deal Pierre since last offseason, but his contract prevented teams from trading for him. But Pierre put together a pretty good season in 2009, especially when he filled in for Manny Ramirez during his suspension. There was one school of thought that the Dodgers were a better team when Pierre was in the lineup.
Pierre was fourth in the NL in stolen bases in 2009, stealing 30 bases in 42 attempts. In 380 ABs, Pierre went 0-31-30-.308-.365-.392-.757. His OBP, OPS, BB% and BB/K% was his highest since his 2004 season with the Marlins.
More after the jump:
The first name that popped into my mind was the Braves Derek Lowe. I am not sure Lowe is considered a back of the rotation starter, but he does have a bad contract paying him $15 million over the next 3 seasons. Lowe went 15-10 with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in 2009. Lowe was hurt by an increase in his BB% from 1.92 in 2008 to 2.91 in 2009. His K/BB% fell from 3.27 in 2008 to 1.76 in 2009. Lowe's BABIP also increased from .287 in 2008 to .330 in 2009, well above his career BABIP of 0.299.
Another pitcher I thought of was the Mets Oliver Perez who has two years and $24 million left on his contract. If the Mets decide they want to field a team that plays to the size of its ballpark, they could look to Pierre to play LF. Or, if they decide that Carlos Beltran's knees can't take centerfield anymore, they could put Pierre in center, moving Beltran to LF. Pierre could bat leadoff with Jose Reyes batting second in the lineup, should he be healthy in 2010.