Reminding Cubs fans that it was only 3 years ago that the Cubs included Dontrelle Willis in a package for Matt Clement and Antonio Afonesca, he Daily Southtown’s Jeff Vorva questions the price of Juan Pierre. t

Now that the Cubs have given up three more young pitchers ” Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco and Renyel Pinto ” to the Marlins for speedy center fielder Juan Pierre, could history repeat?

In the estimation of Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, the risk was worth it.

“That (Willis deal) doesn’t cross my mind,” Hendry said. “This guy (Pierre) is in the upper echelon of leadoff hitters in baseball. He’s a quality human being. A speed guy. A center fielder. He’s what you’re looking for in an area where we have obviously not been as good as we needed to be.

“You would have to be naive to think we would not be hit hard to get a guy like that.”

Cubs farm director Oneri Fleita said he hated to see the three pitchers go. Whenever a team trades young players it runs the risk of losing someone who could become a star in the majors.

“It’s bound to happen,” Fleita said. “When you get a quality player, you are certainly going to give up quality players. Right now this is a huge need for our ballclub. It’s not a one-sided trade. It’s a two-sided trade.

Another way of looking at it is that if Mitre, Nolasco and Pinto do indeed emerge as stars, they’ll probably become available in a future Jeffrey Loria salary dump.