Jermaine Dye says that if he doesn't hear from a team about a Major League contract by the end of the spring, he may retire, reports FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Dye, who turned 37 last week, didn't play in 2010 after failing to receive a contract to his liking. Even after missing a season, Dye is still adamant about receiving a Major League deal.
“I’m still working out. I’m still in shape. I’m still motivated,” Dye said. “If nobody wants to put me on a team, I can’t do much about that. But I’m not going to go for a minor-league contract."
Dye told Rosenthal earlier this winter that the Phillies, Rays and Rockies had been in contact with him. The veteran slugger also said he discussed a workout with the Dodgers in December but the club didn't call him back. We heard the Rockies were also interested in Dye midway through last season (along with the Padres and Rangers) and Rosenthal reports Dye was offered Major League contracts by the Cubs and Brewers last winter. The Nationals also made Dye an offer.
As Rosenthal notes, teams are hesitant to make anything more than a minor league commitment to Dye until he proves that he's still in shape and can still hit. There were already concerns about Dye's ability to play the field last winter and a year away from the game surely has teams looking at Dye as just a DH or pinch-hitting option. For his part, Dye isn't sure why clubs won't sign a healthy player but will give Major League deals to pitchers recovering from injuries.
“All these pitchers get hurt, miss the whole year and get major-league deals,” Dye said. “That’s what I don’t get.”
Dye posted a .250/.340/.453 line with the White Sox in 2009, and the team bought out his $12MM option in the offseason. Dye hinted at retirement last year too, but now it may be thrust upon him unless he's willing to accept a minor league contract.