Dodgers Shed Payroll, Deal Juan Pierre To White Sox

The Deal
The Dodgers traded outfielder Juan Pierre to the White Sox for a pair of pitching prospects to be named. Pierre signed a five-year, $44 million contract prior to the 2007 season, but he lost playing time in Los Angeles with the emergence of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, along with the signing of Manny Ramirez. As a result, Pierre's role had been reduced to that of a fill-in, usually for left fielder Ramirez, who served a 50-game suspension in '09 and was often lifted for a defensive replacement in the late innings.

To offset some of the cost for the White Sox, the Dodgers are reportedly sending $8 million with Pierre.

UPDATE: The Dodgers received their two players to be named in the form of righthanders John Ely and Jon Link (Dec. 18).
Dodgers Acquire
John Ely, rhp
Age: 23.
Born: May 17, 1986 in Oxford, Ohio.
Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 200. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Miami (Ohio).
Career Transactions: Selected by White Sox in third round of 2007 draft; signed June 25, 2007.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Birmingham (SL) SL 14 2 2.82 27 27 0 156 140 63 49 9 50 125 1.22

Ely throws a fastball in the high 80s, a plus changeup and a curveball—though the third pitch is still a work in progress. While he doesn't have the kind of stuff that excites scouts, he has outstanding makeup. His preparation, intensity and poise are major assets. He's shown increased command of his changeup in the second half of seasons (1.68 ERA in the second half in '09). Ely's curveball lags behind his other offerings in part because he has so much success with his changeup that he's reluctant to use a third pitch. He has shown durability as a pro, not missing a start in his two and a half seasons, and he has consistently been a top starter on strong teams. 
Jon Link, rhp
Age: 25.
Born: March 23, 1984 in Columbus, Ohio.
Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 190. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Bluefield (Va.).
Career Transactions: Selected by Padres in 26th round of 2005 draft; signed June 9, 2005 ... Traded by Padres to White Sox for OF Rob Mackowiak, July 31, 2007.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Charlotte (IL) AAA 1 2 3.99 48 0 13 56 55 26 25 5 27 66 1.46

After leading the minor leagues with 35 saves at Double-A Birmingham in 2008, Link was positioned to reach the big leagues in 2009. It didn't happen, mostly because it took until July for Link to start throwing his slider with the depth and command that he had a year ago. He would have been in the big league mix had he been more consistent with his slider, which was one of the best in the White Sox organization. Link's fastball sits in the low 90s, but he sometimes loses his confidence on the mound.
White Sox Acquire
Juan Pierre, lf
Age: 32. Bats: L. Remaining Commitment: 2 years, $18.5 million (Dodgers pay $8 million).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Los Angeles (NL) 2007 .293 162 668 96 196 24 8 0 41 33 37 64 .331 .353
Los Angeles (NL) 2008 .283 119 375 44 106 10 2 1 28 22 24 40 .327 .328
Los Angeles (NL) 2009 .308 145 380 57 117 16 8 0 31 27 27 30 .365 .392
3-Year Totals .294 426 1423 197 419 50 18 1 100 82 88 134 .339 .357

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