Juan Pierre To The Cubs
ESPN Radio's Bruce Levine is reporting that the Cubs are in the "final stages" of a trade for Pierre. Levine claims that the Cubs would only surrender minor leaguers in the deal. Corey Patterson is not expected to be involved.
No names were mentioned, so it's open to speculation. I doubt Pierre could bring in a jewel like Felix Pie or Brandon Sing. Top Double A West Tenn pitchers from '05 included Jae-kuk Ryu, Ricky Nolasco, Sean Marshall, and Renyel Pinto. Angel Guzman has looked decent in the AFL.
Nolasco had a fine year in Double A after a rough turn in Triple A Iowa the previous year. Given Ryu's questionable behavior in the past, he could be paired with Nolasco in the deal. Jermaine Van Buren is expendable as well. We'll wait to see if Bruce Levine can expound upon the minor leaguers involved.
The 27 year-old Pierre's stock dropped considerably in 2005. He posted a career-low .326. His defense was far from spectacular as well, but Pierre hasn't really been a good defender for years. Pierre's value as a leadoff hitter is very dependent on his OBP, so Hendry is banking that he can reach base 37% of the time as he did in 2004.
Durability is a point in Pierre's favor. He's played every single game for the last three seasons. Pierre is also somewhat affordable, although that could change after arbitration.
Thanks to Brian B. for the tip.