Ink Outfielder Juan Pierre for Five Years

The Dodgers signed outfielder Juan Pierre to a five-year contract through 2011. Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti said. "Juan's ability to hit combined with his speed make him a perfect catalyst for our lineup. His work ethic and character are second-to-none and he knows what it takes to win. He's dedicated and I truly believe the city of Los Angeles is going to love this player."

Pierre received a five-year contract worth about $45 million, giving the team additional speed at the top of the lineup.

The 29-year-old hit .292 with a league-leading 204 hits, 58 stolen bases, three homers and 40 RBI for the Chicago Cubs last season. Previously, he played two full seasons and part of another with the Colorado Rockies and three years with the Florida Marlins.

Pierre's 318 thefts since 2001 lead all Major Leaguers and his 325 career swipes rank seventh among all active players. He finished first or second in the NL in stolen bases in each of the past six seasons and was the most difficult player in the league to strike out in five of the last six years.

In 2006, Pierre led the National League in singles (156) and tied for the league lead in multi-hit games with 64. He set a career high with 32 doubles and matched his career best with 13 triples for the second consecutive season. Pierre did not commit an error in 384 total chances in center field.

He also led the NL in games played last year for the fourth consecutive season, playing in 497 consecutive games dating back to 2002, the second-longest streak in the Major Leagues behind Miguel Tejada (918).

Over those four seasons, Pierre has also been the hardest player in the league to strike out each year and is the leader in that category among active players, fanning just once every 16.5 at-bats.

Pierre has a .303 career batting average and has finished in the Top 3 in hits while topping the 200-hit plateau in four of the last five seasons. Since 2001, he has registered 1,182 hits, the second-most in baseball behind Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki.

During the Marlins' championship season of 2003, Pierre finished 10th in NL MVP voting, as he led the league in five categories, including games (162), at-bats (668), stolen bases (65), singles (168) and sacrifice hits (15). That year, he was honored by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum with the James "Cool Papa" Bell Award for leading the league in thefts. In the World Series, Pierre batted .333 with a .481 on-base percentage in six games.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Pierre attended the University of South Alabama after graduating from Alexandria High School in Louisiana, where he was the valedictorian. He has been committed to the community in each of his previous stints with Colorado (2000-02), Florida (2003-05) and Chicago (2006).

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