EDIT: Well, that was quick. Susan Slusser, who wrote the original piece, now says:
I had a three-dot item at the bottom of the A’s notebook today about the A’s inquiring on Dodgers center fielder Juan Pierre. I hadn’t been able to run that by Oakland types last night, but today they’re saying that was never even considered.
So chalk that one up to a bad rumor in the scouting community. There’s a lot flying around this time of year, not all of it entirely accurate. The Mark Ellis-to-the-White Sox is one that is on the sketchy side – I’ve never heard a hint of that around the A’s, and I don’t believe Oakland has any plans to become Chicago’s Triple-A feeder, like the old K.C. A’s were with the Yankees.
Original MSTI blog post:
… but I’m sorry, I just can’t get all that worked up over this tiny note from the San Francisco Chronicle:
More rumblings that the A’s are on the lookout for a center fielder: According to a major-league source, Oakland recently inquired about the Dodgers’ Juan Pierre.
Now if you’ve ever read this blog before, you know that my fondest non-Jessica Alba dream is getting Juan Pierre the hell out of Dodge. It sure would be nice to watch a Dodger team that would actually play its three best outfielders – I know, that’s a novel concept. Get rid of JP, start Ethier/Jones/Kemp, have Young and Sweeney, and perhaps Repko, in reserve. Beautiful!
The thing is, I just can’t see much truth to this rumor. Of all teams, Oakland is the one that you’d think JP would fit on the least. He’s expensive; they’re in cost-cutting mode. His OBP stinks; they value OBP. They have a huge outfield; he can’t throw. Most importantly, Billy Beane looks for undervalued players (this was the true lesson of Moneyball, not just OBP, because while they do value OBP much more of the rest of MLB does now too) and Pierre is grossly overvalued.
No, what I think this is about is Coco Crisp of the Red Sox. They have a surplus of outfielders as well, as Crisp is likely to end up sitting behind Jacoby Ellsbury (sidenote: a more talented young player comes up and is able to take a job away from the more expensive veteran?! There might be something to that.) and it’s well known that Beane likes Crisp. Making noises about acquiring other CF’s might just be a ploy to get Boston to lower their Crisp price.
And if I’m wrong and the A’s really do want Pierre? Well, they certainly aren’t going to take on the $36 million he’s owed unless the Dodgers take on a problem contract of their own. Which, since they dealt away most everyone else this offseason, most likely means bad-backed, thrice-operated on this winter, owed $37 million over 3 years, on a 4-year statistical downturn, Eric Chavez. Who, while certainly better than Brandon Inge, isn’t someone I’d want to see play over Andy LaRoche right now.