Juan Pierre Trade
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
A Lead-Off Hitter
Earlier this morning, the White Sox announced they had acquired OF Juan Pierre and cash considerations from the Dodgers in exchange for two players to be named later.
Comments from White Sox GM Ken Williams, Pierre and manager Ozzie Guillen about the trade:
Williams: “The offseason we set out, right off the bat, to get our bench as strong as it could be. Then we turned our attention to the bullpen because we wanted to be strong from the top of the rotation to the back of the bullpen. Then, we had to address the leadoff situation, which we figured would take us about until this time, to get satisfied one way or the other.
“Juan is certainly someone who fits the bill. Love the guy’s work ethic, love his intensity. He adds a lot to a club other than what he does on the field, but what he does on the field is pretty special.”
On acquiring another bat:
“Ozzie and I have been speaking on that a while. He would like to sit where we are right now because he likes flexibility with the DH position, whether it’s a guy needing a break, or keeping bench players fresh. Guys like Jones and Kotsay, Vizquel needing at-bats. I’ve given him some names, but he likes the flexibility, and this is a very critical last thing on our list here, because I don’t want to do anything from my seat that conflicts with what my manager wants.”
From newly acquired OF Juan Pierre:
“I’m excited. They already have a good team in place. They’ve been accustomed to winning over the last four or five years. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the field on a regular basis.
“I got an opportunity to play when Manny went down, and I made the most of it. I think that put me back on the radar of being able to still play.
“If I’m healthy, I want to be out there. I’ve had two years of storage. My legs have been saved up these last couple years. I’m ready for whatever. If they ask me if I want to play, the answer is going to be yes. If it’s up to me, I would like to be out there 162 games.”
And from manager Ozzie Guillen, who was the third base coach in Florida on a team with Pierre that captured a World Series title:
“He’s a special kid, he brings a lot to the table, on and off the field. He knows how to go about his business. He’s the type of player we were looking for, and is ready to play every day.
“I don’t know how Kenny did it, it’s a miracle. Nobody was more excited than me.”
“We have a more athletic ballclub now. If the guys in the lineup have even a decent year, not a spectacular one, we should be in good shape.
“We had to make the top of our lineup strong, and we did that.”