|Jermaine Dye charging for a ball...or maybe not.|
A couple of days ago, I mentioned that Jarrod Washburn was hoping to return to the major leagues. Apparently, he's not the only one. Earlier today, Ken Rosenthall tweeted that Jermaine Dye has been contacted by the Rays, Rockies, and Phillies.
After getting off to a hot start during the first half of 2009 (.302/.375/.567), Dye tailed off big time in the second half (.179/.293/.297). His offensive struggles, coupled with his serious defensive shortcomings (-21.6 UZR, -13 DRS), left a bad taste in many teams mouths going into the offseason. Like a lot of players with his age and skill set (slow, patient, power hitting sluggers with no defensive abilities), he went into the free agent market believing he was about to cash in. That didn't happen. I'm not sure whether it was arrogance or a clear misjudgment of the current market conditions, but he found himself standing at the end of the game of free agent musical chairs. While he received plenty of offers once the 2010 season started, he continued to turn them down because it wasn't the "right fit".
Now, he's interested in coming back. I'm not surprised. He never wanted to retire in the first place. His problem wasn't that teams weren't interested in his services. His problem was that he was offered neither a starting job in right field, nor enough money for him to feel it was worthwhile to play. Going into 2011 season, he's definitely not going to get what he thought he was worth prior to the 2010 season. In fact, he's going to have to settle for a lot less. Based on the clubs Rosenthal mentioned in his tweet, it appears that Dye will get his wish to play with a contender. That said, it's unlikely he'll have a shot at getting consistent playing time in the outfield. Dye's best chance at accumulating 500-600 PAs is probably with the Rays as their starting DH. The only question that remains is...Is he willing to accept a less than ideal role in order to have another shot at playing in the big leagues. That remains to be seen.