I never thought I'd see the day.
Juan Pierre has been traded to the Chicago White Sox for right-handed pitchers John Ely and Jon Link.
The Dodgers are paying roughly $10.5 million of the $18.5 million he is owed through next season.
Pierre came to the Dodgers in 2007 when Ned Colletti signed him to a 5-year, $44M deal. It was a mistake, as it forced the Dodgers to platoon young players who didn't need to platoon. It also tied up a lot of resources in an eventual fourth outfielder.
Pierre deserves a chance to start, so I'm happy to see him go to a team who plans on playing him everyday. However, he was quite effective last season in a part-time role, putting up a .365 on-base percentage and posting his highest adjusted OPS number since 2004 (105). On the flip side, he filled in admirably for Manny Ramirez when he was dinged for 50 games by MLB.
The White Sox' farm system was hit hard after the Jake Peavy acquisition, but they still found a way to acquire Pierre.
Ely, the Sox' No. 8 prospect heading into the 2009 season, posted a 14-2 record with a 2.82 ERA at Double-A Birmingham. He will be 24 years old in May. He was also rated to have the best changeup in Sox' system. Link is a reliever who had a 3.99 ERA at Triple-A Charlotte before putting up a 2.95 in the Arizona Fall League. He was rated as having the best slider in the Chicago system.
Not a bad return for a guy many Dodger fans wanted gone a long time ago.
Good luck, Juan.