Update: The Phillies have officially announced the signing of active stolen base leader Juan Pierre to a minor league deal. (From the press release) Pierre, 34, batted .279 with two home runs, 50 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 158 games for the Chicago White Sox last season. A left-handed batter, he hit .329 against left-handed pitching and .331 with runners in scoring position. Pierre made 152 starts last year, all in left field. He will come to spring training as a non-roster invitee. (US Presswire photo)
Beerleaguer: Boy, the resumes of the Phillies' non-roster spring invitees have been getting better and better over the years, haven't they? Terrific signing. Aside from speed and his ability to put the ball in play, he has the makings of a great little pinch hitter; he's a lifetime .311/.386/.367 pinch hitter, although he hasn't done it for awhile. He adds many of the skills - speed, bunting, contact - the Phils lack, particularly following the trade of Wilson Valdez, the team's best bunter.
It's going to be a very competative spring with non-roster players like Pierre and Joel Pineiro challenging entrenched incumbents.
Giants sign Theriot: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Giants have signed free agent infielder Ryan Theriot to a one-year deal. Theriot was considered an option for the Phillies after the club dealt Wilson Valdez to Cincinnati.
11:30 a.m. According to sources for Jim Salisbury, the Phillies are "engaged in 'serious discussions' with free-agent outfielder Juan Pierre about a minor-league deal." [Link]
The 34-year-old outfielder batted .279/.329/.327 with two homers, 50 RBI, 27 stolen bases and a .657 OPS over 711 plate appearances with the White Sox in 2011. The Phillies have reportedly been seeking better speed off the bench and another outfielder. A lefty hitter with dead-even career splits against righties and lefties, Pierre, 34, would be strongly favored to win the fifth outfielder job out of spring training. Salisbury also notes that some sources expect the Phillies to make a play at free agent infielder Ryan Theriot, depending on the price.
Beerleaguer: Pierre on a minors deal? They'd be nuts not to take it. Pierre and Theriot would round out the edges nicely.