Phillies Sign Juan Pierre to Minor League Deal

Juan Pierre. (MLB)

The Phillies have inked speedy outfielder Juan Pierre to a minor-league contract.

Last season, Pierre, 34, was still a serviceable player with the Chicago White Sox, although we know he is completely one-dimensional. He will give you slap hits and speed and not much else. Over 158 games, Pierre hit .279 in 711 plate appearances, however, his steals fell from 68 in 2010 to just 27 in 2011.

Among active players, Pierre has the most career stolen bases (554) and ranks 26th on the all-time list. And according to Jayson Stark of, he ranks No. 1 among active players in K/PA ratio (1 every 17.8 at-bats). Not much swinging and missing going on there.

That being said, I would rather the Phillies have inked Pierre and gone with him over signing Laynce Nix to a two-year deal. I feel as though this contract makes much more sense. Pierre will provide no power, but with your final outfield spot up in the air, plus the addition of mashers like Jim Thome and Ty Wigginton, it’s hardly a necessity.

All-in-all a low-risk, high-reward move by the Phillies that could pay dividends should one of the starting outfielders go out for an extended period of time. Pierre is clearly declining as a player, but for the price, it’s worth it to take a shot that he’s got something left in the tank as a backup. That said, the Phils still need to address the middle infielder spot that sits empty after the trade of WIlson Valdez. At this point, Michael Martinez is the only legit option.

Pierre’s numbers the last three seasons:

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  1. Chuck A.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Uhhhh….. Pat, sorry…..but I beg to differ. Michael Martinez is NOT a “legit” option.

    • Manny

      January 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm


    • Bruce

      January 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm


  2. Tom

    January 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    OK, he can still steal a base, but he has to get on base first! Doesn’t strike out but doesn’t walk either…Oh wait, that fits in perfectly with this team!! He also gets thrown out a lot…27 steals last year but caught 17x’s!! In 12 seasons, he has lead the league in CS 7x’s!! Don’t even get me started on that rag arm of his either!! I guess it’s OK for a minor league deal, but I don’t see the need…can’t Pods do the same things if he makes the team?

    • Don M

      January 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      IF* he makes the team is the key… can’t hurt to add speed on a minor league contract

  3. Mazinman

    January 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Competition is never a bad thing. Pierre and Podsenick are basically going to be competing for the same job and we will pick whichever of the two does it best. Considering its a minor league deal I don’t see any problems with it. I would still like to see them add Theriot though.

    • Mazinman

      January 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Ok, forget Theriot then. Kinda worries me that they cannot afford 1.25 mil for someone like Theriot.

      • George

        January 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm

        It would have taken more than the $1.25 mill he signed for to get him to sign with the Phils There’s never any sense to engage in a bidding war over a utility infielder.

    • Jeff Dowder

      January 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Ryan Theriot signed with San Francisco…

    • Lefty

      January 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Mazinman- It certainly appears that they believe they are very close to the L.T. threshold. Maybe adding player benefits and the extra 15 players on the 40 man is the reason?

  4. Brian Sr. of CO

    January 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Wait, we are complaining about signing an average player to a MINOR LEAGUE DEAL? You can not be serious right? He will be at Spring Training TRYING to EARN a spot. Some people are acting like we signed him to a 3/36Mill deal. Some people really need to invest in prozak. This is the definition of low risk contract. If he hits .280-.300, GREAT! If he doesn’t make the team…He will be in the MINOR LEAGUES. Having said that…Mini Mart SUCKS. I would rather have Eric Bruntlett back instead of him. Heck, Mike Schmidt could do a better job at his current age and shape than Mini Mart can do right now. The do need to do something about the middle infield with Valdez gone.

    • Don M

      January 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      haha welcome to the comment-section of PhilliesNation . .. where people will complain about anything! ….. just like with Dontrelle Willis .. low risk/high reward kind of deal that might lead to a puzzle-piece to help somewhere this season.

    • Dave Lerch

      January 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I’ll take it a step further when it comes to Mini Mart, they needed to do something about the middle infielder postion when Valdez was still here. We have four old timers in the infield who break down routinely.We desperately need a skilled player who will inevitably need to play a ton of games spelling Utley,Rollins and Polanco who will spend their fair share on the DL. JP is just another player on the decline joining a team with a roster full of aging, declining players. Need some youth and difference makers or else we’re crying in our beers come playoff time again!

  5. TheDipsy

    January 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    What an awesome signing. Would have rather had him ten years ago but, what the heck.

    The Dipsy

  6. Dave

    January 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Love this signing. I always thought he was underated and a sold leadoff hitter. I wanted him years ago as well, but hey there’s 2 big positives here…speed and it ‘s a cheap contract. And it’s not all about stealing a base either. He can score from 1st on a double and get inside the pitchers head and provide a distraction because he ‘might’ steal. i do agree that they should have probably done this instead of Nix.

  7. TheDipsy

    January 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    And he can bunt! Yay!

    The Dipsy

  8. George

    January 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I can’t see the logic of doing this before Nix when they have both of them anyway.

  9. Jay aka Phillyboy

    January 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Not bad signing at all i guess,would like to get younger…

  10. Jay aka Phillyboy

    January 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Hunter Pence avoid arbitration, agree to $10.4 million deal for 2012

  11. Don M

    January 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I assume they are counting on Wigginton to play the role of primary utility INF.. along with the primary RH-bench bat …?


    January 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I like the Pierre signing. Low risk. He can play center field and left. He does not have a good arm, but he is indeed an upgrade over Ross Gload because he CAN play the outfield and make contact at the plate. Though a slap hitter, he has over 2000 hits and a lifetime .296 average. Sort of like having a modern day Matty Alou on the bench and a mature Richie Ashburn. He is also known as a good teammate and a pro. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain, except home runs and power. Plus he is a chick magnet.

  13. bacardipr05

    January 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Seems like a decent signing. However im more worried about Valdez replacement, which i hope Rube has something more than Mini-Mart up his sleeve. Im still dumbfounded about the move without a legitimate plan, that doesnt involve, MiniMart.

  14. TheDipsy

    January 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Decent signing? Its an effin great signing! The guy led the league in steals two seasons ago. Great two hole hitter.

    The Dipsy

  15. Dave P

    January 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    My question is – who says this guy is back up? He bats left. Why wouldn’t he be competing to be part of the platoon in left field? His stats look better to me than Nix’s…

    Someone set me right if I’m missing something obvious (aside from age).

  16. Brooks

    January 28, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I really hated Pierre and that gnat Castillo for years – that combination was such a PIA.
    I do agree with Dave though (getting past the emotional detachment) that Juan could be a possible option if Jr or Brown do not work out in left? The guy does not walk much at all but strikes out even less.
    Speed, contact hitter, very decent fielding percentage, he could be a viable option in the OF.

    Looking for the problem here and I cant find it. To me, this means that our projected OF has to be on their toes and perform well or else…

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