When the Philadelphia Phillies signed outfielder Juan Pierre to a one-year minor league deal prior to the season with an invite to spring training, Pierre wasn’t expected to contribute much for the major league club in 2012. In reality though, Pierre beat out John Mayberry, Jr. and Scott Podsednik for the starting job, and has excelled all season.
He’s now a hot commodity for several playoff caliber teams that need a good outfielder. Pierre is hitting .312 with 20 stolen bases in 23 attempts, and he’s making just a miniscule $800K, an easy find for a team that needs a player like Pierre. He is hitting for his highest average since 2004 when he batted .326, and he’s an extremely efficient contact hitter who has struck out just 12 times thus far in 255 plate appearances.
The Cincinnati Reds are one of the top teams interested in Pierre. They have Ryan Ludwick (11 home runs) in left field and Jay Bruce (17 home runs, 54 RBIs, .505 slugging percentage) in right field, but Drew Stubbs in center field has been a major problem recently. Stubbs is 1 for his last 33 with 13 strikeouts, and he’s hitting just .214 this season with 74 strikeouts already in 271 plate appearances.
The Phillies probably wouldn’t get much for the 34-year-old Pierre, and it really doesn’t make much sense from the Phillies’ standpoint to trade Pierre. The Phillies are double-digit games back in the NL East race, but they’re not out of it yet, and Pierre is a major upgrade over Mayberry in left field.