November 22, 2006
On this day in 2006, the Dodgers signed outfielder Juan Pierre to a 5-year, $44-million deal to play center field.
The plan was to place Pierre at the top of the lineup with shortstop Rafael Furcal to create a speed duo that would get on base and score runs. Pierre came from the Chicago Cubs and completed a season in which he hit .292 with a league-leading 204 hits and 58 stolen bases. The then 29-year-old played in all 162 games the past four seasons and led the league in stolen bases twice.
In his first season with the Dodgers, Pierre again played 162 games and ended the year with a .293 average, 196 hits and 64 stolen bases. He also added 96 runs scored and led the league in bunt hits and singles.
Overall, Pierre would spend three of the five years with the Dodgers before being traded to the Chicago White Sox in 2009. He moved to left field in 2008 when the Dodgers signed Andruw Jones in the off-season, but later moved back once Jones was ineffective. He also lost playing time in 2009 when the Dodgers traded for Manny Ramirez in the middle of the season.
Pierre spent the rest of that season as a spot starter and pinch-runner. In his three years with the Dodgers, he played in 426 games and stole 134 bases while hitting .294. He had 419 hits and scored 197 runs during his tenure in Los Angeles. By the end of his career, Pierre became a fan favorite at Dodger Stadium as his professionalism in handling all the moves was applauded by the Dodger faithful.
Pierre was traded after the 2009 season and spent two years with the White Sox before moving on to a couple more teams. The speedy, outfielder spent last season with the Miami Marlins and is currently a free agent.
ICYMI: The Texas Rangers and Dodgers talked trade at the GM Meetings.