Kicking Tires: Would Signing Jermaine Dye Really Be a Giant Improvement?
The arbitration deadline has come and gone and now is the time for the rumors to start to fly even more than they were before.
For some teams, adding a veteran pitcher to the rotation or bullpen is priority No. 1. For others, adding some offense to go with a quality pitching staff will take up most of the front office's time.
The San Francisco Giants have only one thing to upgrade—it's terrible offense. General manager Brian Sabean will be searching the market, minus Jason Bay and Matt Holliday, for the "second- tier" bats his is trying to find.
One of the names the Giants are rumored to be interested in, is outfielder and Bay Area native Jermaine Dye, who is now available via free agency after the Chicago White Sox declined to offer him arbitration. Dye, who will be 36 by the time the 2010 season starts, was also linked to the Giants around the trade deadline in July and again in August, before the Giants decided not to add him due to his big salary.
But would Dye actually improve the Giants? That's pretty debatable.
There is no doubting he fits the billing of what Sabean goes after,a veteran with playoff experience, and a good clubhouse presence. This isn't the first time that a player like Dye has been linked to and/or signed by the Giants and as long as Sabean is at the helm, it won't be the last.
Dye's numbers weren't terrible last season—27 HR, 81 RBI, .340 OBP in 141 games with the White Sox. The 27 bombs ranked him sixth among outfielders in the American League and the 81 RBI had him just outside the top 10.
Even though his offensive production is on a downward trend, he is still a decent threat at the plate. However, other than those three numbers, the résumé Dye is rolling out there this winter, isn't all that impressive.
For one, Dye has the age factor working against him. He does profile as the prototypical Sabean signing because of what year is printed on the birth certificate, doesn’t mean that’s a good thing. Playing in the National League, he won't have the chance to just DH when he wants a day off. If he is brought in, he will be asked to play a lot and be a major part in the Giants' lineup.
Then there are the numbers other than homers and RBIs that are just not very good at all.
At the plate, his second half slide was one of monumental proportions. In 24 at-bats, Dye hit a depressing .179 and recorded an even more depressing .293 slugging percentage with just seven homers and 26 RBI.
Throw out the Gold Glove he won with the Kansas City Royals, because Dye's defense has become increasingly awful as his career goes on. In fact, it has become absolutely dreadful the past couple of seasons.
While he did record nine assists this past season, Dye ranked dead last amongst AL outfielders with a UZR figure of -20.0. With that kind of number, it's like he is sitting out there on a lawn chair and letting the center fielder do all the work.
To make matters worse, fangraphs.com put together a list of the five-worst defensive players over the past three seasons. There is no way he could play his usual right field at AT&T Park if he signed with the Giants. He doesn't have the range or the speed at his age cover the Bermuda Triangle in right-center.
Does that sound like something that will benefit a team that has to rely on pitching and defense to make up for its lackluster hitting?
Any kind of value that Dye has with the bat is cancelled out and then some, with how incredibly poor his defense is. His WAR (wins above replacement) in 2009 was -0.3; the past three seasons it is all of 0.7.
Dye is not even worth one win over the course of three years? No thanks.
That’s why he should stay in the American League as a designated hitter where he can utilize his one true valuable asset left. No outfield adventures, no experiments at first base in the NL, none of that.
Do your due diligence on this one, Sabean. The negatives outnumber the positives.
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