This is the second straight offseason in which Dyson has been on the Orioles’ radar, as Kubatko notes that general manager Dan Duquette discussed Dyson with Kansas City before the Royals traded him to the Mariners last winter. Now, Dyson would provide the Orioles a left-handed-hitting outfielder – which is on their offseason wish list – to add to a group that currently includes four righties (Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, Austin Hays and Joey Rickard) and a switch-hitter (Anthony Santander). Notably, the 33-year-old Dyson owns pronounced platoon splits, having hit a meager .215/.293/.259 against left-handed pitchers during his career and a playable .267/.331/.372 versus righties.
While he has never been a major threat with the bat, including during a.251/.324/.350 showing in 2017 with the Mariners, Dyson has provided significant value with both his glove and legs. Since debuting with the Royals in 2010, Dyson has accounted for 55 Defensive Runs Saved and a 52.1 Ultimate Zone Rating in center field, and he managed terrific numbers in those categories last year (10 DRS, 5.4 UZR). With Jones entrenched in center field, it seems Dyson would mostly play right in Baltimore. Regardless, he’d strengthen an Orioles outfield that finished last season 23rd in DRS (minus-15) and 29th in UZR (minus-21.1).
As a team, the Orioles struggled mightily on the base paths in 2017, ranking dead last in steals (32) and a similarly woeful 28th in FanGraphs’ BsR metric. That’s another area in which Dyson would help, as he swiped 28 bags on 35 attempts in 2017 and hasn’t ended a season with fewer than 26 steals since he started seeing extensive action in 2011. Dyson has also graded out well according to BsR, most recently placing 12th among 287 major leaguers with at least 300 plate appearances last season.
Considering Dyson’s strengths and the Orioles’ weaknesses, a fit would seem to make sense, though Kubatko cautions that they’d need to be “sold on his health” for a signing to happen. With Dyson being an aging player who underwent sports hernia surgery last September, that may not be a sure thing.