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Rob Neyer on the Pierre deal


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I like Juan Pierre, too. Sure, he doesn't have any power, doesn't draw a lot of walks and really isn't much with the glove. But hey, nobody's perfect. He runs really fast, and when he's hitting .300 he gets on base reasonably often. Most teams would be lucky to have him.

 

But at what price? The Chicago Cubs, who acquired Pierre on Wednesday from the Florida Marlins, have him under contract for exactly one season -- he's eligible for free agency next offseason -- and they gave up the rights to about 15 years of young pitchers. Sergio Mitre has had his problems in the majors and he'll be 25 soon, but he has solid stuff and still has a legitimate shot at a real career.

 

Renyel Pinto is 23, and last season he struck out 123 hitters in 130 innings in Double-A (he also walked 58 hitters, but you take your arms where you can find them, and last spring Baseball America ranked him sixth among all Cubs prospects). And then there's the real prize of the deal: 22-year-old Ricky Nolasco. The tools guys don't like him because he doesn't throw 95, but his minor-league track record is absolutely impeccable.

 

Not all of these guys are going to make it. My guess is that one of them becomes a major-league starter, one of them a reliever and the other washes out (and if I could tell you who would do what, I'd be working for the Red Sox). But the Cubs' No. 1 prospect, Felix Pie, is a center fielder who's scheduled to hit the lineup in 2007. Which means Pierre is a stopgap. And it seems to me that three talented pitchers is a lot to pay for a fast center fielder.

 

(By the way, we've all been focusing our attention on the players the Marlins have lost, but somebody needs to sit down and make a list of the players the Marlins have gained. My guess is that when we take a look at that list in three or four years, we'll find an awful lot of good ones. Don't be surprised if the Marlins follow the Indians' path and vault back into contention before this decade's out.)

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If the team wasnt leaving...A lot of people would realize that we are getting alot of young exciting players.

 

Maybe not win many games but very exciting to see.

 

I think you're not giving the local fans enough credit. I for one realize all the talent we're getting. I'd like to see them develop next year and for years to come. Who cares how many games they win in 2006. But who cares about them at all if they're leaving town?

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Weren't a great deal of players we had on the 2003 WS team parts that came over in the 97 fire sale? Obviously this could one day pay dividends but for 2006 it means we've got really no shot at contention

 

 

Lee, Looper, and Burnett came over from the first fire sale...and maybe some spare parts. Burnett didn't have much to do with 2003. After that you can start drawing lines here and there...Ed Yarnall helped us get Mike Lowell. I'll buy that. I won't buy the idea that the fire sale made us suck so bad that it netted us Josh Beckett. I mean, that's technically true. But it has nothing to do really with the fire sale. We did okay in that one, but most of the players who helped us win the WS came from other trades or other avenues.

 

I wouldn't be stupid enough to sit here and deny that a lot of these players could be really good some day. It really will be interesting 3-4 years from now to look back and see what we ended up with. Still, next year's going to be pretty abysmal if you like winning, or even watching players who belong in the majors .

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I was just about to post this. Neyer used to always rip on the Marlins, or at least seemed like he did. I think he is starting to like us. At the least he likes being the opposite viewpoint. Or perhaps he likes teams that dont spend rashly. Ive always like reading his stat stuff despite his stathead antics. I like that he is looking at numbers from the minor leagues and not necessary tools.

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