One of the few bright spots for the Phillies last season
turned out to be Juan Pierre. Now in his mid-30s, Pierre is a limited ball
player, but put up good numbers while remaining a consummate professional
during what was a trying year in Philadelphia. Things went so well for the 35
year old, there was even a thought he could return to the organization in 2013.
As it turns out, Pierre will stay in the NL East… it just won’t be here.
Seeing as they traded away half of their starting lineup in
a cost-cutting maneuver last week, the Miami Marlins are in the market for some
reasonably-priced help. And happy for the opportunity to continue playing on a
regular basis – not to mention the recipient of a decent payday – Pierre agreed
to a one-year deal that will pay him $1.6 million next season.
Pierre gained notoriety with the then-Florida Marlins early
in his career, which might also have something to do with the decision. During
his three-year stint with the franchise between ‘03-‘05, Pierre finished
seasons as a league leader in hits, triples, and stolen bases. They also won
the World Series in ’03, with Pierre playing 162 games all three seasons.
Today he can barely pass for an everyday outfielder. That
said, Pierre appeared in 130 games for the Fightins last season, batting .307
with a .357 on-base percentage. He was also fifth in the NL with 37 stolen
bases, and led the league in sacrifices for the fourth time in his career with
Pierre originally signed a minor-league contract with the
Phillies, but wound up becoming an indispensable member of the squad, coming
through with several clutch hits throughout the season. While he provides
almost zero power at the plate, and his arm in left field is severely lacking,
he was a veteran presence who understood the importance of doing the little
Simply put, the Phillies probably lose a bunch more games in 2012 without him.
Pierre probably won’t be missed too much in the grand
scheme, particularly on a healthy Phillies squad complete with Ryan Howard and
we hope Chase Utley, but rest assured there will be moments. Thankfully, the
damage he can do in Miami next season appears to be limited at the very least.