A Quick Jermaine Dye Post
Mike Salk spoke with Jermaine Dye‘s agent today, who told him that his client would like to play for the Mariners, and was disappointed that the M’s never showed any interest. Dye will likely continue to be disappointed, because he’s not what this team needs.
Dye is 36, and he hasn’t aged all that well. Never a great defender, the years have taken a toll on his legs, and now he’s essentially a designated hitter. His UZRs the last four years: -22.5, -21.6, -19.4, -20.0. Four years of data with the same conclusion – he’s bad enough defensively that he simply shouldn’t play the outfield anymore. Not enjoying Milton Bradley as a left fielder? He’s way better than Dye with the glove.
But, this team needs offense, you say, and Dye can hit. Well, kind of. Dye can hit left-handed pitching. Righties, not so much. If you look at his splits page on FanGraphs, the trend is obvious: since 2002, he’s a .283/.374/.516 hitter against lefties, and .262/.322/.486 against righties. He hits for power against both sides, but RHPs don’t have many problems getting him out. A .322 on base percentage from a bat-only player is simply not acceptable. And remember, he’s spent the last five years in Chicago, one of the better parks for home run hitters in baseball. The ball flies out of there in the summer. Safeco would not treat him nearly as well.
So, at this point, Dye is a DH against left-handed pitching, or essentially, he’s Mike Sweeney without the hugging. Is he better than Sweeney? Sure, but having him at DH keeps Milton Bradley in left, and the team wouldn’t be significantly improved with that alignment over playing Byrnes against LHPs and moving Bradley to DH. Dye doesn’t really make this team better at all, and yet he still wants $3 or $4 million for the right to be a mediocre platoon player.
In reality, Dye isn’t much different than Ryan Garko at this point. The M’s had this player type for $550,000 and gave it away. They aren’t going to spend $3 or $4 million to buy it back.
Sorry Jermaine, but if you want to keep playing this game, you’ll need to be more realistic about your abilities, and find somewhere else to do it.