Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In Denial, or Just Ignorant?

The headline on Ken Rosenthal's piece today asks a question I thought offered an obvious answer:

Why is Jermaine Dye looking for work?

I'll go out on a limb and sugest a few reasons. It may be the fact that he's 36 years old with a growing list of infirmities. Or perhaps because heis reportedly looking for both a starting gig and a salary somewhere in the neighborhood of where it's been recently ($11.5 million last year, according to ESPN).  Or possibly his post-All-Star Break OPS of .590.

Or some combination of the above.

I laughed out loud at this bit:
Just last offseason, the Phillies signed left fielder Raul Ibanez — who was a year older than Dye is now and also a below-average defender — to a three-year, $31.5 million contract.

Dye said his offer from the Cubs was for less than one-tenth of that amount.

The Cubs proposed a one-year $3 million contract, Dye said, not the $3.3 million deal that they gave to another free-agent outfielder, Xavier Nady.

While Nady, 31, is five years younger than Dye, he played in only seven games last season before undergoing a second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

“No doubt, I’ve probably slowed down a little bit (defensively), but not enough to not be getting (attractive) offers,” Dye said.

“I’ve already expressed a willingness to play first base or left field if need be. I’ve taken groundballs at first base a couple of times a week the last five years in Chicago. That transition will be pretty easy.”

Is Dye going around whining to reporters that those mean ol' Cubs signed a (slightly) younger outfielder on the cheap instead of giving him a multi-year deal?  Or is he bent because he would have jumped at the offer if Jim Hendry had ponied up another $300 K?

[Side note to Jermaine:  it is exemplary of you to say you're ready to jump in at first base or left field. However, that may not be as strong a selling point to the Cubs as you think, since we've already got those two positions covered by guys that aren't going anywhere soon.]

I don't begrudge Dye's desire to get a few more years of baseball before he has to hang 'em up. But he's been around long enough to know the business side of the game doesn't leave a lot of room for sentiment.

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