Does Dye make sense for right field?

Jamal G. sent this to me tonight, and I thought I’d run it tonight/this morning. The over/under on the number of comments that say “We don’t need another aging outfielder” is 50.

According to MLBTR (via the Chicago Tribune), Kenny Williams and his underlings are scouring the Arizona Fall League for a potential Jermaine Dye trade. I was wondering, would Dye make sense for our beloved Bombers?

Dye, in some aspects, had a career season in 2008. His 34 HR’s was the second highest in any of his fourteen Major League seasons (44, 2006); the 154 games he played this season was the first in which he amassed 150+ games played since his 2001 split-season with the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics (158); his 77 XBH’s are the second highest of any single-season in his career (79, 1999); the .541 SLG% he posted was the third highest of his fourteen seasons (.622 in 2006 and .561 in 2000); his .249 ISO was trumped only by the .306 ISO he achieved in 2006; and the 17.5 K% he amassed was bested only by the 16.5% mark he posted in 2000 with the aforementioned Royals. So, in his age-34 season, Jermaine Dye had one of his top three or four seasons in the Major Leagues.

Tim Dierkes mentioned that the ChiSox were scouting two of the New York Mets’ top relief prospects: Bobby Parnell and Eddie Kunz. I’m fairly certain that Williams would not accept a package centered around cost-controlled relievers, but if that is indeed a starting point, this bodes well for the Yankees. Also, Dye’s contract situation is favorable for a player of his age and current production. With only one guaranteed year left on his deal ($11.5M in 2009), the team that potentially acquires him need not worry of employing Jermaine Dye when he is a shell of his former self. Lastly, even though his contract states he can block deals to six squads as part of a limited NTC, guaranteeing Dye’s 2010 option for $12M would not be a significant deterrent since he produced at such a high level in 2008 (if that is indeed what it would take for Dye to accept a trade to 161st St. and River Ave.).

Playing time would be tricky, but seeing as how *Hideki Matsui – and his surgically repaired knees – would bear the blunt of the loss of playing time, I don’t think this is much of a deterrent to acquiring Dye either. You could slot Dye into Right Field where his -17 rating in Bill James’ Plus/Minus system of ranking fielders would actually be an improvement over Bobby Abreu (-24). With Dye in RF, Xavier Nady can take root at First Base where he has played 82 games in his Major League career.

So, do you think this make sense for the New York Yankees? What kind of package could Brian Cashman & Co. put together that would be considered “fair value”? Outside of the vague notion that Williams & Co. want to get a “younger and quicker team for the future”, what do you see Williams trying to acquire in a deal for his slugging, aging Right Fielder?

*- I feel that Juan Miranda should get some serious playing time at DH this season so the Yankees can evaluate whether he can be a productive Major League slugger going forth. With Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu potentially departing, this teams needs a new source of on-base and slugging skills. Miranda needs to be evaluated at the Major League level; he could serve as the RH portion of a RH/LH platoon with Hideki Matsui at the DH spot.

Thanks, Jamal

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