Jermaine Dye Rumors

Brewers Showed Interest In Jermaine Dye

The Brewers made a run at free agent outfielder Jermaine Dye within the last week, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, but the talks reached an impasse for unknown reasons.

The FOX writers say the Brewers are unhappy with Corey Hart, and might've tried trading him if they'd signed Dye.  Brewers GM Doug Melvin indicated to WSSP 1250 a few days ago that Hart doesn't have right field locked up.  Jim Edmonds is in the mix to start Opening Day.  Rosenthal and Morosi say Melvin discussed Hart with the Nationals.  Hart is under team control for two more years, but his salary climbed to $4.8MM when he won his arbitration hearing in February.  The 28-year-old recovered some OBP last year but saw his SLG slip to a career-worst .418.

Hart's glovework has been below-average the last few years in right field, so maybe the Brewers felt that they wouldn't lose much defensively by going with Edmonds and/or Dye.  MLBTR tried to help Dye find a job with this post a few days ago.


Helping Jermaine Dye Find Work

Why is Jermaine Dye still a free agent?  Let's run through the reasons:

  • He's 36 years old, leading some to speculate that a permanent decline set in last season.  It's true that Dye was useless at the plate for the season's final two months, but we're talking about fewer than 200 plate appearances.  Veteran hitters have bounced back from worse.
  • He's an indisputably poor defender.  In a February interiew with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Dye had yet to fully come to grips with this fact: "No doubt, I've probably slowed down a little bit (defensively), but not enough to not be getting (attractive) offers."  Dye talked about his willingness to play first base or left field. 
  • He's been asking for too much money.  Dye already turned down offers of $2MM and $3MM.  Pride may be an issue.  In the Rosenthal article Dye talked about how "it's not about money with me" but "there are still guys getting money that I feel I'm better than."

Solutions:

  • Embrace a designated hitter/fourth outfielder/pinch-hitter role.  Dye's former teammate Jim Thome gracefully accepted a reduced role and salary after a season comparable to Dye's.
  • Dye needs swallow his pride, drop his price, and take a minor league deal.  It's not fair, but he probably wouldn't need to spend a ton of time in the minors.  Two of his former employers, the White Sox and Royals, could use a good backup plan at DH. 

On August 1st, Dye was hitting .281/.357/.533 with 23 home runs in 389 plate appearances.  He had an $11.5MM salary and a starting right field job.  Eight months later Dye is reportedly considering retirement; that would be a shame.


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Indians Notes: Dye, Bixler, Mauer

MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince opened up his reader mailbag to answer a number of questions about the Tribe and other AL Central topics…

  • Jermaine Dye's right-handed bat "would have been a better fit in this lineup" than Russell Branyan, Castrovince notes, but Cleveland needed a first baseman and Dye is a defensive liability in the outfield.
  • The trade for, and subsequent DFA of, Brian Bixler is described as "wasted energy" by Castrovince.  However, he notes that Jesus Brito (who the Tribe dealt to Pittsburgh for Bixler) is "a little old" to still be in the low minors, in spite of his strong numbers last season.
  • Castrovince discusses Joe Mauer's contract extension and says that it "was a special circumstance" given Mauer's Minnesota roots and the fact that the Twins could afford the deal thanks to their new ballpark.  He also warns that the deal might not look so good when Target Field stops being a major revenue stream, such as what happened to the Indians after the novelty of Progressive Field (then Jacobs Field) wore off. 
  • Along those same lines, Castrovince notes that the Tribe didn't have the benefit of a new ballpark to generate revenue when they attempted to re-sign C.C. Sabathia to a long-term deal before the 2008 season.
  • Castrovince reports the Tribe didn't re-sign LHP Juan Lara, as they have the last two springs to minor-league deals.  The team did allow Lara to train at their Dominican Republic facilities over the winter.  Lara hasn't pitched in the majors since 2007 due to a car accident suffered in November of that year, but he returned to appear in 15 games for Cleveland's Arizona Rookie League team in 2009. 

Nationals Have Not Discussed Jermaine Dye

1:35pm: Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that "the Nationals will consider looking outside the organization for a replacement, although the team has not discussed free agent Jermaine Dye."  Those are Kilgore's words, to be clear.

12:58pm: The Nationals strangely released Elijah Dukes for baseball reasons earlier today, opening up their right field job.  According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, they have interest in free agent Jermaine Dye as a potential replacement.  The Nats are also mulling platoons involving Justin Maxwell, Willie Harris, and Mike Morse.

Dukes is an injury-prone 25-year-old with a .262/.364/.446 CHONE projection; it's still unclear why the Nationals are giving up on him now.  As recently as February 20th, GM Mike Rizzo spoke of hope for "the re-emergence of a productive Dukes."  Regardless, it's good news for Dye, who's still out of a job after turning down $3MM and $2MM offers during the winter.


Urban On Lewis, Dye, Calero, Suzuki

CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban had his weekly A's and Giants-centric chat with fans on Tuesday, and here are the hot stove highlights…

  • Urban thinks Giants outfielder Fred Lewis will be "cut loose near the end of camp."  Lewis is one of several players who are out of options for 2010.
  • Jermaine Dye isn't an option for the Giants.  Urban says the veteran slugger turned down an offer of $2MM from an unnamed team, and San Francisco wouldn't offer Dye anything more than that.  We already heard that Dye turned down a $3MM offer from the Cubs earlier this winter, so you have to wonder what kind of deal Dye thinks is still out there for him.
  • Urban predicts the Giants and Athletics will eventually settle their territorial rights dispute over San Jose and "the San Jose A's will exist within the next 5-10 years."  He also wonders why Sacramento has never been seriously considered as a possible new home for the A's.
  • The Giants made an offer to Kiko Calero over the winter but Calero signed with the Mets last week.  Urban agrees with a commenter that "the Giants did miss the boat" on not locking up the veteran reliever who posted a 1.95 ERA in 2009.

In a separate piece about Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki, Urban said that Suzuki and the A's have had "preliminary talks" about a contract extension.  Suzuki is under control through 2013, and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season.  Urban quotes an anonymous AL West executive who says, "Billy [Beane] is way too smart to not lock him up at least through his arbitration years.”  The deal might not run futher than that, however, since Urban points out that catching prospect Max Stassi could be ready to take over behind the plate by the time Suzuki is ready to hit free agency.


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Heyman On Damon, Braves, Wang, Dye

Jon Heyman of SI.com explains that expectations for Johnny Damon were unrealistically high at the beginning of the offseason. Here's Heyman's latest on Damon and others:

  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland is said to want Damon badly.
  • Heyman hears that the Braves might have $6MM to spend. 
  • Chien-Ming Wang's agent says his client is still a week or so away from deciding where he'll sign. Competitors still expect the righty to sign an incentive-laden deal with the Nationals. 
  • We've heard that the Indians are considering Jermaine Dye; Heyman says he could play some first base in Cleveland.