The Phillies have added another interesting name to the veterans free agents signed to minor league deals with an invitation to spring training -- outfielder Juan Pierre.
Pierre, 34, batted .279 with two home runs, 50 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 158 games for the Chicago White Sox last season. A lefthanded batter, he hit .329 against lefthanded pitching and .331 with runners in scoring position. Pierre made 152 starts last year, all in leftfield.
Obviously, the Phillies have a competition in leftfield at this point, with John Mayberry Jr. perceived to have the inside track. Mayberry, however, could be used at first base while Ryan Howard returns from his Achilles injury. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Domonic Brown also could be a consideration.
Among active players, Pierre has the most career stolen bases (554) and ranks 26th on the all-time list, three behind Davey Lopes. He has had nine seasons with at least 40 steals, including a career-high 68 in 2010. Over the last 11 seasons (2001-11), Pierre has the fifth-most hits (1,958) among all major league players, including four years with 200 or more hits during that span.
Pierre has a .296 career batting average with 234 doubles, 86 triples, 16 home runs and 484 RBI in 1,751 games for the Rockies (2000-02), Florida Marlins (2003-05), Chicago Cubs (2006), Los Angeles Dodgers (2007-09) and White Sox (2010-11).
As a pinch-hitter, he has hit .311 (28-90) and in 31 career games at Citizens Bank Park he has a .307 (39-127) batting average. Pierre was a member of the 2003 world champion Marlins.