About a week ago, it was reported that the Yankees were interested in former White Sox, Jermaine Dye (who wasn’t offered arbitration), although that report was subsequently shot down. Today, though, Joe Cowley, of the Chicago Sun-Times, rekindles that rumor, noting that the club has asked for Dye’s medical records (for review). “The New York Yankees denied a report that they had interest in Dye,” notes Cowley, “but that was seemingly the Bronx Bombers trying to work under the radar, especially because a source familiar with the talks said the Yankees already had asked for medical reports about Dye.” In the same text, Cowley states that the Texas Rangers were considered the principal suitors for Dye, however, they wanted him to be their designated hitter and he found that to be “unappealing.”
Now, I’ll be blunt in my analysis of Dye, a right-handed right fielder who hit .250/.340/.453 with 27 HR in 2009 — he’s awful. Since 2007, due to his wildly inconsistent bat — .417 wOBA in ’06, .343 in ’07, .376 in ’08, .344 in ‘09 — and his consistently miserable defense — UZR/150 of -24.5 this season, the worst in the American League — Dye has only been worth 0.7 WAR. Yes, you heard me correctly — 0.7 WAR over a three-year period. For comparison purposes, Sergio Mitre, with a 5.30 FIP, was worth 0.8 WAR this season. Even if you limit Dye’s defensive miscues by slotting him in as the team’s DH — a role he finds “unappealing” — his bat, which is also one of the worst in baseball in the context of high-leverage situations, won’t make up for the lack of roster flexibility he provides. Basically, the numbers indicate that he’s one of the least productive free agent options available to the Yankees, regardless of the role.
Therefore, I’m hesitant to accept Cowley’s report. Either the source he cites is inaccurate, someone is spreading disinformation — Dye’s representation, perhaps — or the Yankees are simply going through the offseason motions, collecting dozens of medical reports as they weigh a number of free agent options. Either way, I’m not buying it.
UPDATE – Jon Heyman also says that the Yankees are interested in Dye, but that their “interest is dependent on other options falling through.” In the end, I think Cashman is smart enough to pass on him, no matter what the situation.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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