Finding Jobs For Aging, Positionless Players

Let’s consider Jermaine Dye. He hit 27 homers last year and played at least 137 games for the sixth consecutive season. But a GM who considered signing the 36-year-old tells Tom Verducci of SI.com that he backed off when he determined that Dye was essentially a DH. 

The GM says "the subjective and objective defensive measurements" mean Dye’s value is considerably lower than it would have been even a few years ago. In other words, Dye's poor defense is going to cost him.
 
Dye isn’t the only one whose value has sunk. It’s no coincidence that old, positionless players like Carlos Delgado, Garret Anderson and Gary Sheffield are still free agents, too. 

Teams want young players who can play defense. One GM says it makes sense for teams to think twice about signing older sluggers.

“With age and defense — and teams have different ways of measuring defense — the information and emphasis is somewhat legitimate,” he said.

Some veterans – Craig Counsell and Omar Vizquel, for example – add value on defense and find jobs. But it's becoming harder for one-dimensional players to do the same.


Full Story | 58 Comments | Categories: Jermaine Dye

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58 Comments on "Finding Jobs For Aging, Positionless Players"


Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Dye’s defense is poor, but there are some teams that have that DH spot. The Tigers for example…

Heliosphan
5 years 6 months ago

That’s the last thing the Tigers need – another aging DH that can’t play defense and won’t show up in the second half..

LTDm206
5 years 6 months ago

Solution: players unions pushes for NL DH.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

No. I barely like the DH in the AL. I’d think a better solution would be for the players union to lobby to increase the number of players allowed on the active roster list.

mojowo11
5 years 6 months ago

Another solution: guys who can’t play on both sides of the ball no longer get to play major league baseball, and more complete players take their jobs.

LTDm206
5 years 6 months ago

I want the best hitters playing. To me, your solution is the equivalent of adding a starter to your rotation for his ability to hit.

No thanks – let the best pitchers pitch and the best hitters hit.

mojowo11
5 years 6 months ago

Why even have fielders? Screw it, we’ll just put the best pitchers and hitters out there and we’ll award points based on how far the batters hit it. It’s not like being able to play defense is a central part of the basic structure of the sport of baseball or anything…

TimotheusATL
5 years 6 months ago

It’s always been funny to me how your team’s best hitter is also the best pitcher…until they’re drafted. Overspecialization of athletes has really kinda broken the spirit of several sports.

Holy_Roman_Emperor
5 years 6 months ago

The girth of Ray King and Dennys Reyes’ waistline agrees wholeheartedly.

baronvonmetzger
5 years 6 months ago

It would be like American Football. You could then have 40 roster spots. Awesome

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

The DH is rubbish.

humbb
5 years 6 months ago

OMG – I actually agree with a Dodger fan.

Bipartisanship may be in trouble in DC, but it’s alive and well on the West Coast ………..temporarily anyway.

R_y_a_n
5 years 6 months ago

Noooo

mickey365
5 years 6 months ago

Yes the DH rule is awful.

5 years 6 months ago

No its not.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Rubbish!

mickey365
5 years 6 months ago

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But……..yea it is…..NananBoooboo.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Garrett Anderson-Angels
Gary Sheffield-Padres
Jermaine Dye-Tigers
Carlos Delgado-Mets

I don’t think the Mets could do worse than Delgado.

besttradever
5 years 6 months ago

I think:
Delgado: Blue Jays, 4 million 1 year
Dye: Red Sox, 9.2 million 2 years
Sheffield: Athletics, 1 million 1 year
Anderson: Nats, Minor League
Damon: Reds, 3.5 million 4 years

Damon has had some talks about going to Cincy. Delgado had talks with Toronto. Dye had talks with Clevland,Detroit, Cubs, and little with Reds. Anderson, nowhere for you.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

Why on earth would the Sox a) sign Dye? b) to a 2 year deal? and c) for $4.6M a year.

besttradever
5 years 6 months ago

Trade J.D Drew or DH him. Then put put Dye in RF or Dh. Manger’s choice

$1529282
5 years 6 months ago

Yes. Trade a strong all-around player like Drew to make room for Jermaine Dye, who’s a downgrade defensively, on the basepaths, and probably with the bat too.

And Damon for $3.5MM over four years?

Don’t bother posting if you’re just going to say ridiculous things to start arguments. Find something better to do with your life.

LTDm206
5 years 6 months ago

What? Why would the Red Sox go through all that trouble. What about Ortiz? Dye would be a defensive and offensive downgrade from Drew/Papi.

mojowo11
5 years 6 months ago

This is insanity. JD Drew is an excellent right fielder — a good bet to be a 4 WAR player — and bringing in Dye (NEGATIVE WAR two of the last three years) to replace him in any capacity would be a waste of resources.

R_y_a_n
5 years 6 months ago

Maybe if their GM was an idiot. Drew is greater than Dye as a hitter, and so much superior as a fielder it’s not even funny.

Really dude, Dye for 2 yrs? Teams won’t offer him that. For 4.6 a year? The highest reported offer he’s gotten was 3.3 mil from the Cubs.

No one, I repeat, NO ONE, will give Dye 2 years, or nearly 5 mil in guaranteed money.

BentoBox
5 years 6 months ago

Seriously now ? If they ever trade Drew, shouldn`t Reddick get the playing time ?

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

If only we had a “Don’t Like” button …

whitesoxfan424
5 years 6 months ago

Expansion Team… Las Vegas All Stars…

Starting Lineup:
C Barajas / Jose Molina
1B Branyan / Blalock
2B Felipe
SS Nomar
3B Crede
OF Damon
OF Dye
OF Endy Chavez / Baldelli
DH Delgado.

Bench – Darin Erstad, Garrent Anderson, Jacobs, Bonds?

Pitching staff, theres plenty out there.

Heck, it would be one of the best tourist attractions.,..

whitesoxfan424
5 years 6 months ago

They can buy the Schaumburg Flyers to start their minor league system, I know it’s not that great, but it’ll get better.

boseefuss
5 years 6 months ago

Ya know, every year older players loose roster spots to the younger players with lots of upside. This is differant because of the money players want these days but it’s still kind of the same. If the older dudes would accept less money and a bench roll for a team, they might have a job for this year. This is just my opinion of course, but come on guys there comes a time when your skills are not like they used to be.

Macfan1
5 years 6 months ago

As I suspected teams are shifting that focus to players who bring more of a defensive presence to the ballclub and if they’re young even better.

Mike Cameron at 37 and can still play defense got a 2 year deal even though Damon put up better numbers than him, you figure it out.

If Damon could still pick it in the field he would have had a job a while back somewhere in the majors.

Guys like Delgado, Anderson, Sheffield are essentially DH’s and there is only so much positions to go around.

A classic case of why teams are staying away from older sluggers, look at Sheffield last season, a complete mess in Detroit when his time came to an end there. Shef ought to just retire already.

I think its interesting to see some of the names still on the market.

rockiesfan_303
5 years 6 months ago

This is the natural cycle of aging. Inevitably the young players must replace the old and since people like Frank Thomas, Gary Sheffield etc refuse to retire before age 42, they end up jobless. Sadly this is the way. Garret Anderson was a great player to watch, one of my favorites, best of luck Garrett!

Holy_Roman_Emperor
5 years 6 months ago

Or they wind up jobless because they actually think they are still worth more than the league minimum.

rockiesfan_303
5 years 6 months ago

yeah. only 14 DH jobs out there… and guaranteed a lot are gonna be filled by younger players.. I can see Dye or someone being valuable off the bench. But 3.3M$ valuable? I think not. Once again agents misread dwindling market.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

I’d prefer to put more teams in the game, that way you kill 2 birds. With 1 stone.

A) players have jobs
B) the divisions/leagues are balanced

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

You dont think the pitching is watered down enough?

I for one am tired of seeing pitchers that would have never sniffed the majors 30 years ago now becoming 12 year vets as a number 3 for bad teams. People are always so quick to point to steroids for the offensive explosion over the last 20 years or so, but never mention the expansions which played just as big a part in clubs being unable to keep runs off the board.

boseefuss
5 years 6 months ago

Watered down? I’m tired of hearing about watered down pitching. 50 years ago the world population was about 3 billion people. 30 years ago it was about 4.5 billion people. Not all of these are baseball players,of course, but alot of these are. With the population increase comes more baseball players to choose from. MLB has done a good job of tapping into other countries to find the best players, something that wasn’t done as much 30-40 years ago. So I think that there are plenty of pitchers to choose from for each and every team, if they choose to do so. Some teams do a better job than others. This is not a jab at you suzysman, JMO.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Easy to say but there is a direct parallel between increased HR/run production and expansion. And while yes there are more people today, a much lower percent of people actually play baseball.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

The strike zone as we know it today is also about 10% smaller than it was back in the 60s.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

60’s arent the only years affected by expansion. But that does of course factor into things a little bit.

mickey365
5 years 6 months ago

LTD,

The DH rule is the worst thing to ever happen to MLB. The National League game is far superior to the AL in every way. It may be true that more runs are scored in the AL, but purest that love the game detest the DH rule. I didn’t realize how much better the NL game was until I moved to an NL city many years ago.

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

Did you have to move to a National League town to watch NL baseball? That’s strange. I manage to get games on TV with teams in both the AL and NL.

For what it’s worth – I couldn’t disagree more. The worst moment of any baseball game is watching a pitcher take 3 awful hacks and then head back to the bench. The only thing interesting about watching a pitcher hit is for the sheer comedic value it can bring at times. 90% of the time it’s an automatic out.

mickey365
5 years 6 months ago

Its the strategy of the game that is missed in the AL. Pinch hit, or not, leave the pitcher in, or not, bunt, or swing away, double switch or not. In the AL its so predictable, also not all pitchers are three hacks and out. Part of the reason pitchers are awful hitters is because they no longer practice the craft. I’m not saying you’ll find an Albert Puhols as a pitcher but…Babe Ruth was a pitcher before becoming the home run king.
I left Cleveland, Ohio in 1987 when we had perhaps 5 channels, so no I didn’t get much of a chance to see National League baseball. I love the game of baseball in all its glory. I just think the DH cheapens the game, just an opinion. You don’t see DHs in the Hall because sportswriters can’t even decide if their worthy. Hitting is just one part of the game.

Mick

5 years 6 months ago

Barry Zito is the funniest to watch bat. Do you have a favorite?

BravesRed
5 years 6 months ago

That GM is obviously biased, since Griffey got a job at 40 or 41 years old, and his defense is not good. So, to say that aging players can’t find a job is crap.

nepp
5 years 6 months ago

Griffey has a job purely to pull fans into the ballpark that remember what he was a decade ago. It has little to nothing to do with his actual ability at this point.

mattinglyfan
5 years 6 months ago

Well, maybe these players with one-dimension, should add like, a second-dimension, or something.

windycitywarrior
5 years 6 months ago

This crap about Dye being horrible in the field is ridiculous. He has an absolute cannon for an arm. He isnt the best moving fielder but he isnt a liability. Its not like all the fielders that are under 35 are gold glovers. Look at Josh Willingham or a few of those other plodders. Are you telling me you would rather have one of those guys than Jermaine Dye? I think this is collusion against older players if you ask me.
As for this DH rule being some kind of bastardization of baseball is hogwash. No one says that about specialized pitching like set up men, left handed specialists or closers. I dont see the difference. I like it because it makes the difference between both leagues. Thats the way its been my whole life. I dont think the NL should have it but I dont believe the AL should get rid of it either.
As for expansion I say bring it on. The more baseball the merrier. I dont care if the pitching gets watered down or not. If it wasnt for expansion we would still have 16 teams or whatever it is. I say put a team in North or South Carolina, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and one in Puerto Rico. Not sure how that would work with visas and everything. Im sure not all of these cities would get teams but thats where there needs to be baseball.

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

You might want to check out UZR/150. It accounts for his range. Dye is absolutely awful in the field (despite a solid arm). He has posted a UZR/150 of -21 (or worse) for the past 4 years. That is just awful.

mojowo11
5 years 6 months ago

The difference is that relief pitchers still obey the basic rules of substitution. If you put in a left-handed specialist and his turn comes up in the batting order, you’ve either got to bat him or go to your bench. The DH rule toys with the basic rules of the sport in order to make the games “more exciting” or something. It’s silly.

5 years 6 months ago

Just hope the White Sox are stupid enough to sign him again.

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

The next great market inefficiency is building an older team that is defensively challenged but posses huge offensive upside. Just like last year, everyone passed on Abreu because of his defense. I can’t think of one team that wouldn’t have wanted him by mid-season. Despite his awful range, his offensive contributions made him an overall solid player.

Whomever signs Damon is going to look like a genius by the All-Star break.

Macfan1
5 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t go that far as saying a genius, Abreu was an excellent fit in the Angels lineup when combined with the team around him with guys like Figgins, Aybar, Hunter, Napoli, Morales, etc.

The Angels had the 2nd best scoring team in the majors.

Is any offense Damon is likely to go to as good as the one the Angels had last season, no chance.

Could he be a bargain yes, what impact that will be in a weaker lineup however, who is to say. I mean its not like Damon is Pujols, Holliday, Bay when it comes to offensive production to transform a lineup.

gocrazy
5 years 6 months ago

These guys want to get paid more than it’s worth to the GM to bring them in. If they were willing to sign cheap they’d have a job.

On the DH discussion, I like having different rules for each league, it makes the inter-league games more interesting and fans can choose. If you hate seeing pitchers bat watch AL games, if you like the strategy of the NL watch that, best of both worlds IMO.

5 years 6 months ago

Baseball is a young man’s game. Without any “artificial” means to prolong careers its on;y right that the veteran players move aside when the youngsters are ready to play. They may not like it, and many don’t realize they are done, but that is the way it is.

ykw
5 years 6 months ago

“Some veterans – Craig Counsell and Omar Vizquel, for example – add value on defense and find jobs. But it’s becoming harder for one-dimensional players to do the same.”

Aren’t guys like Counsell and Vizquel — guys who can theoretically still pick it but struggle to post OPSs above .650 — the absolute definition of “one-dimensional players”? At least the old slugging “one-dimensional players” can still put one out of the park on occasion; the legion of 42-year-old infield defenders are highly unlikely to contribute anything quite so useful.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

It is easier to wins games by consistently doing everything possible to keep runs from crossing the plate then it is to hope for a HR every 6-7% of a single players PA when he is getting only about 10% of the teams PA.

The One Dimensional Slugger would be producing a HR in roughly 0.7% of the teams PA where the One Dimensional fielder might be involved in a play every other inning. Its infinity more likely the fielder will have a positive outcome on the game then the HR which would be seen roughly once every fourth to fifth game.

frunkus
5 years 6 months ago

Agents and veteran players are apparently missing the new paradigm that is taking place. middling, older players are for some unknown reason failing to realize that clubs are not giving millions to average / slightly below average veterans anymore? take any money you can get because otherwise you’re going to be fishing come spring.

teams have woken up to the fact that they can give the league minimum to some 20 year old kid to hit .255 and 9 home runs, instead of paying a 38 year old player in decline 8 million for the same numbers. damon, washburn, delgado, sheffield, branyan… hope your financial planners did well for you because youre not going to make anymore cash from here on out.

i’d be curious as to whether scott boras is telling his clients that they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread and just sit tight because the multi-million dollar offers are going to come rolling in any minute, or is it the players who are so out of touch that they dont see the bigger picture?