While there are Boston Red Sox fans who still appreciate David Ortiz for his greatness from 2003-2007, Red Sox Nation is beginning to get fed up with Ortiz's lack of production at the plate in recent years. Ortiz had a slow start last year, but he eventually got it going in the later half of the season and wound up with 28 HR and 99 RBI despite hitting a meager .238 throughout the year.
The Red Sox organization could afford to let Ortiz start slow last year, as they still had another slugger in the lineup with Jason Bay. Now, without Bay, the Red Sox no longer have a bonafide slugger, with their biggest home run threats being Victor Martinez, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis.
Now even those three high-quality hitters will not put up astronomical power numbers like Ortiz could once do. Martinez, Pedroia, and Youkilis are great 30 HR, 100 RBI, .300 AVG guys, and that is most certainly nothing to complain about.
But the Red Sox lack that scary hitter, the one who crushes 50 moon shots a year and starts to get intentionally walked after a while.
With the rumors swirling about Ortiz's departure from Boston, the Red Sox may make a move for another DH before you know it.
The hottest DH candidate on the free-agent market is Jermaine Dye.
Dye, 36, is a quality hitter who regularly has a .270, 30, 90 stat line. He is more of a value on defense than Ortiz, but that does not matter much because Dye would likely replace Ortiz at DH rather than replacing J.D. Drew in RF.
Dye asked for too much money in free-agency this winter, but now he is desperate for a job. He does not want to retire, and it is likely he will stay persistent with baseball for a few more years.
Would Dye be a good fit in Boston? I would say so. If the Red Sox don't want Dye to replace Ortiz (just for sentimental reasons) they could platoon Dye and Ortiz. The left-handed Ortiz could hit right-handed pitching, and the right-handed Dye could hit left-handed pitching.
Even though the Red Sox signed Jeremy Hermida to be their fourth outfielder this season, and Darnell McDonald has played great in his short tenure since being called up, Dye can still play the outfield, and his versatility could prove worthwhile for the Red Sox.
I think the Red Sox should snap Dye up this year, because it's still a possibility that he could retire for good if left jobless in 2010.
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