Dodgers Trade Juan Pierre to White Sox

The Dodgers have traded Juan Pierre to the White Sox. What does this mean to the Mets?

For one, the Mets pitchers no longer have to be concerned with facing that offensive juggernaut in LA’s lineup. Stop snickering and check the stats — Pierre had a .940 OPS against the Mets in 2009, and has a .309 AVG, .361 OBP and 43 SB — more than against any other club — in 101 games. (Granted, he stole about 39 of those in a four-game series against Mike Piazza, but they still count.)

Secondly, there is little chance of the ChiSox flipping Pierre, so forget about the idea of him patrolling left field for the Mets in 2010. I know, I know, it would’ve been AWESOME to have Pierre zipping around the Citi Field pastures. And it would’ve been neat to see three relay men run out to left on a deep line drive. And it would’ve been fun to see Pierre and Luis Castillo engage in a “home run derby” contest during batting practice prior to every game. But it was a pipe dream folks — it’s gone the way of sugar-plum fairies and flying unicorns. Time to move on to someone less formidable but more realistic, like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay.

In all seriousness, what the Pierre trade does is give the Dodgers some salary relief, as the White Sox are picking up $8M of the $18.5M left on his contract. That might be enough for the Dodgers to comfortably chase a starting pitcher that the Mets covet, such as Joel Pineiro. Or worse, it may give LA the flexibility to sign one of few backup catchers over the age of 35 left on the market — and then where would the Mets be?

Finally, the addition of Pierre means the White Sox won’t be interested in taking on Luis Castillo’s similarly obnoxious contract. It’s doubtful Castillo interested the Sox, but there was a slight glimmer of hope. Ozzie Guillen was the third-base coach for the 2003 Marlins, which included Castillo and Pierre, and Chicago was looking specifically for a leadoff hitter. Castillo might’ve fit in at 2B if the White Sox planned on keeping Mark Teahen in the outfield, moved Gordon Beckham to 3B, and penciled in Alexei Ramirez at SS. A longshot for them to think that way, yes, but it wasn’t a complete impossibility.

On the other hand, moving Pierre means the Dodgers might be willing to take on some of Castillo’s salary. They are, after all, in the market for a second baseman — and have been rumored to be talking to the Mets about Castillo in the past. Likely, the Mets would have to eat some of his salary and wouldn’t get much in return, but it seems that moving the second baseman is a priority. Stay tuned.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.