A report out of New York this week suggested that the Chicago White Sox made a one-year offer to free agent right fielder Bobby Abreu. While the White Sox have denied it to the media, I am sure that they have had some sort of contact with Abreu.
Ozzie Guillen has made it clear that he likes Bobby Abreu, and how surprising is it that Ozzie likes a guy from Venezuela? If the Pale Hose decided to sign Abreu, they would have to let go of either Jim Thome or Jermaine Dye, with the most likely scenario being letting go of Dye.
The only problem is that these two moves would be completely useless, unpopular, and nonsensical for the White Sox.
The White Sox are trying to trim payroll while still being competitive. Lots of teams are doing the same thing, but getting rid of a loyal, heroic leader over a difference of about maybe $2 or $3 million, after Abreu earns incentives, would be one of the poorest judgment calls that Kenny Williams has ever made as GM.
To get a closer look at what you are getting versus what you are losing, let us take a gander at the statistics on both of these players since the 2005 season, and read into these numbers.
The first statistic I noticed was the fact that Abreu is only a couple months younger than JD. With that said, trimming payroll usually also means going younger, and by younger it is years younger, not a couple of months. Both will be 35 at the start of this season.
The first thing you have to take notice of is the fact that the two play a very different style of baseball. Jermaine Dye out-clobbers Abreu by a lot in the home run department with an edge of 137 to 75 since 2005. They are pretty even with batting average as well, with Abreu taking a slight .290 to .284 lead over Dye.
Now this is where it gets interesting. Abreu leads in RBIs, runs, doubles, triples, walks, and dominates in stolen bases and on-base percentage, yet he strikes out way more than Dye does.
Bobby's lead in doubles, triples, and RBIs isn't even that great of a distance between the two.
Once you factor in that Abreu and Dye play the same amount and Abreu has been playing on the Yankees, who have been an offensive machine with players like Giambi, Jeter, Posada, Cano, Melky Cabrera, Hideki Matsui, and possibly the greatest ball player of all time in Alex Rodriguez, his stats are extremely padded.
Dye has arguably been the best, for sure the most consistent, player the White Sox have had in that time period. He has been a legitimate MVP candidate twice in the past four seasons and should have won the award in 2006 if his team could have not folded late in the season to miss the playoffs.
In the 2005 postseason, Jermaine Dye played like an MVP, including driving in the winning and only run in the deciding Game Four of the World Series against the Houston Astros. He then won the World Series MVP trophy as well.
Abreu was on two postseason teams with the Yankees, while Dye also has appeared in two with the ChiSox. Dye also has been to an All-Star Game (2006) in that span, while Abreu has not.
Baseball, like every other sport, and every other industry, is being affected by the economy. Trimming payroll is nothing new in baseball, and while it is not being done by any team in the AL East, the rest of baseball has been doing so.
The one standard that a GM has to figure out with each move would be if it is worth it. Getting Bobby Abreu would bring in a guy who would be playing Ozzie's type of game—one where on-base percentage and stolen bases are golden.
The only problem is, in the year of Ozzie ball, 2005, Dye manned right field and helped carry the White Sox to a World Series Championship despite not being the perfect Ozzie ball player.
Dye has established himself as one of the most feared hitters in the American League, and one of the most consistent. He also has made his place in the city of Chicago, a fan favorite that you would hate to see let go.
Getting rid of Dye could have some attendance ramifications, meaning less money for the organization and less money to spend on free agents and keeping our own players.
Trading Dye would have more than one problem. With Abreu and Adam Dunn on the market for around the same price as Dye, no team is willing to spend top prospects for him.
The White Sox would get next to nothing for one of the best hitters in the league, and even Kenny Williams knows that is not smart baseball business.
Is it worth it to trade Jermaine Dye? This "Dye"-hard sox fan doesn't think so.