Should Jermaine Dye be on Braves’ radar?

Jermaine Dye still has power and isn't ready to say goodbye yet.

Jermaine Dye still has power and isn't ready to say goodbye yet.

The other day, in the aftermath of Johnny Damon’s decision to sign with the Detroit Tigers, we asked you to pick your favorite for the Braves’ leadoff hitter. Your overwhelming choice was Nate McLouth (49 percent), who finished just slightly ahead of my outside-the-box pick of Yunel Escobar (13 percent).

I’m leaving the poll open in case there’s a late run on Escobar votes. I hear the polls never close in Havana.

Today, we go in a different direction. Many of you do not feel comfortable with this Braves team, primarily because of the seeming lack of offense and trades like Javier Vazquez-for-Melky Cabrera.

The chances of another trade at this point are relatively non-existent. But there’s a significant number of unsigned veterans still on the market. Do I think Frank Wren will sign one? No, not for some time anyway. Damon was his one shot, and even then Wren wanted him only at discount.

But with spring training now open, there are still several free agents left on the market. The most intriguing name out there from a Braves’ perspective probably is Jermaine Dye. Many of you have pushed for Dye’s signing in the past. I considered Damon more important  because I thought — and still think — the leadoff position in this lineup is more important than adding power.

That said, Dye is still out there. The Chicago White Sox considered bringing him back but ironically, are hoping two ex-Braves, Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay, can fill the offensive void at designated hitter and in the outfield. They bought out Dye for $950,000 rather than pick up a $12 million option.

But even White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said, “I am shocked that Jermaine Dye is still out there. Somebody is going to get a [heck] of a player.”

Dye played 141 games last season. He hit only .250 but he showed he still has power (27 homers, .453 slugging percentage, .793 OPS).

If Dye doesn’t do it for you, there are several ex Braves still unsigned, including Gary Sheffield, Garrett Anderson, Paul Bako, John Smoltz and Russ Springer.

Or how about Mike Hampton? (That was a joke.)

Below is the list of unsigned players. All have obvious issues (age, injury, declining production, combination thereof.).

What do you think of Dye? Or should the Braves just stand pat for now and see how things develop?

UPDATE: Not that’s we’ve discussed Aaron Boone, but he just retired and will join ESPN as an on-air analyst.

Outfielders     Pos. Age Last Team
Garret Anderson LF   37  Atlanta
Rocco Baldelli RF   28  Boston
Darin Erstad LF   35  Houston
Jermaine Dye RF   36  Chicago Sox
Gary Sheffield LF   41  NY Mets

Infielders      Pos. Age Last Team
Rich Aurilia    1B   38  San Francisco
Hank Blalock    1B   29  Texas
Joe Crede       3B   31  Minnesota
Carlos Delgado  1B   37  NY Mets
Nomar Garciaparra 1B 36  Oakland
Felipe Lopez    2B   29  Milwaukee
Ramon Martinez  SS   37  NY Mets
Dmitri Young    1B   36  Washington

Catchers        Pos. Age Last Team
Paul Bako       C    37  Philadelphia
Rod Barajas     C    34  Toronto
Shawn Riggans   C    29  Tampa Bay
♦
Pitchers        Pos. Age Last team
Joe Beimel      RP   32  Colorado
Chad Bradford   RP   35  Tampa Bay
Paul Byrd       SP   39  Boston
Kiko Calero     RP   35  Florida
Chad Fox        RP   39  Chicago Cubs
Mike Hampton    SP   37  Houston
Livan Hernandez SP   35  Washington
Jason Isringhausen RP 37 Tampa  Bay
Braden Looper   SP   35  Milwaukee
Alan Embree     RP   40  Colorado
Ron Mahay       RP   38  Minnesota
Pedro Martinez  SP   38  Philadelphia
Eric Milton     SP   34  LA Dodgers
Tomo Ohka       SP   33  Cleveland
Troy Percival   RP   40  Tampa Bay
John Smoltz     SP   42  St. Louis
Russ Springer   RP   41  Tampa Bay
Brett Tomko     SP   36  Oakland
Jarrod Washburn SP   35  Detroit
David Weathers  RP   40  Milwaukee

131 comments Add your comment

Fed Up With Wren (Again)

February 23rd, 2010
1:23 pm

Andrew

February 23rd, 2010
1:29 pm

I think the likes of Pedro Martinez would be a good boost to the players in the bullpen, Pedro would be a good closer, or setup man. His veteran status would help out alot of the struggling relivers in the pen.

Joe Crede would be a good backup at 3b for Chipper as we know chipper will miss some games, An having Crede to backup isnt a bad idea.

Ted M

February 23rd, 2010
1:29 pm

NO – Jordan Schaefer should be!

TommyP

February 23rd, 2010
1:29 pm

I’ve read where Dye is now without a position. Sounds like a DH to me.

sunday

February 23rd, 2010
1:29 pm

Second. And Jermaine Dye would be an awesome pickup. So would Baldelli, even with his illness!

Mitchell

February 23rd, 2010
1:29 pm

I like Joe Crede to back up Chipper at third. Also a member of the World Champion Sox team of ‘05. Nothing wrong with that.

sunday

February 23rd, 2010
1:29 pm

tmack652

February 23rd, 2010
1:31 pm

UA Alum92

February 23rd, 2010
1:31 pm

They’ll sign whoever helps us stay firmly in the middle of the pack. Not the Phillies and not the Nationals. Honestly, I think the Braves are just phoning it in now. Where do I turn in my tomahawk?

I’ve said it before, but trying to be loyal to the Braves is like trying to be loyal to Delta. Atlanta franchises, same colors, grew up with them, etc.; however, they’re also both way too old, overpriced, and sooner or later are going to screw you.

tmack652

February 23rd, 2010
1:31 pm

thats my best clock-in yet!

Mitchell

February 23rd, 2010
1:33 pm

Hey, Andrew. That’s my brother’s name.

We think alike. You and I that is, not the other Andrew.

Oh, we get along. He’s a Falcon fan though. That douche.

Crede’s a damn good player and makes contact. Hank Blaylock would be interesting to back up Glaus. Just as long as he hits those moon shots like he did in the all star game off Gagne.

Andrew

February 23rd, 2010
1:36 pm

Thanks Mitchell, An Crede is 31 years old so even after chipper retires or gets hurt bad enough for the last time an retires (which will probably be in the next 2 years, Then Crede will still be a young guy that can stay with the Bravos for a few more years while a HOT new prospect is learning the ropes to take over at 3B.

Fed Up With Wren (Again)

February 23rd, 2010
1:40 pm

My second first, all in two days. If Jason Heyward takes over right field, then no, the Braves shouldn’t pick up Jermaine Dye. Last I checked, he plays right. It would only make sense if Frank hadn’t traded away our top pitcher from last year for a fourth outfielder and a 19 y/o prospect.

Clay

February 23rd, 2010
1:41 pm

Jeff, is $4.5M gonna get him? Didn’t think so …

Fed Up With Wren (Again)

February 23rd, 2010
1:43 pm

Waaaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaa!

Fed Up With Wren (Again)

February 23rd, 2010
1:45 pm

Waaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaa!

JEZ

February 23rd, 2010
1:46 pm

Crede gets hurt more than Chipper does!! No thanks!
I think give the Stud a chance, Dye’s defense is not that good.

PMC

February 23rd, 2010
1:48 pm

IF 4.5 million with some deffered will get him into camp ABSOFRIGGINLUTELY!

They shouldn’t have dumped him to begin with look at the garbage we have had in the OF since.

PMC

February 23rd, 2010
1:49 pm

It’s not like the defense is going to get much worse than it was last year.

PMC

February 23rd, 2010
1:50 pm

Say Heyward is ready and he can play everyday… you still SUBSTANTIALLY upgrade your bench with a bat like Dye. He just might cost more than we can spend and it might limit what they might be able to do around the deadline. Sure wish he was a left fielder.

PMC

February 23rd, 2010
1:51 pm

Maybe he can play 1st?

Fed Up With "Fed Up With Wren (Again)"

February 23rd, 2010
1:53 pm

Key words there, Fed. “top pitcher from last year.” Raffy always has an off year after a good one. If he broke his trend and had another good year in this, the last year of his contract, the Yankees would have still out-bid us to get him and we would get zilch. Also, we got Melky, the 19 yr old (who, by the way was the Yankees #1 pitching prospect in their #1 rated farm system), AND Mike Dunn, a hard-throwing lefty who will make the opening day bull pen. Wren has done pretty good for a GM on a fairly low budget.

Kenbud

February 23rd, 2010
2:14 pm

Couldn’t agree more …. I can’t remember the last time the Braves had a TRUE leadoff hitter (that stole bases and got the game going)

Novice Ned

February 23rd, 2010
2:15 pm

Sheffield. He was a good citizen during his previous stay here and Bobby is good about getting veterans at bats.

And Roodge Owns

February 23rd, 2010
2:25 pm

I’m going to slam my head through my computer screen if everybody doesn’t stop calling the Vazquez-for-Vizcaino, Dunn, and Melky trade the Vazquez-for-Melky trade. We traded one year of a season-of-his-life pitcher for the Yankees’ top pitching prospect. One year of a valuable guy — for many years of a valuable guy (debate the values, sure, but please at least start there). Dunn and Melky juiced the pot. These facts are not that elusive.

bravedawg

February 23rd, 2010
2:25 pm

Good grief, people…

Jermaine Dye can’t play defense. He’s a DH. He’s not getting interest from NL teams because all he can do is DH.

And Joe Crede to back up Chipper? That’s what we signed Eric Hinske for.

Pay attention, folks. I know things move fast in this information age, but try to keep up.

bravedawg

February 23rd, 2010
2:27 pm

And Roodge Owns…….FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree wholeheartedly with you. My God, Schultz is paid to know things like this. And he still gets it wrong. Vazquez was a 12-12, 4.32 ERA 180ks per year pitcher before last year. In 3 years when Aroldys is pitching in the bigs, I guess people will just think he fell out of the sky for us.

Hollywould

February 23rd, 2010
2:27 pm

The braves need to let the young guys play. Every time an almost over the hill player is available most people say pick him up. There is normally a reason he is out there. Reminds me of Chris Mcallister in football. Most of the bloggers thought the Falcons were crazy not to sign him. I think he played one game for the Saints. There is usually a reason. Dye should stay in the AL.

Alan

February 23rd, 2010
2:34 pm

I’d pass on Dye, another way-past-his-prime-time player. Baldelli, though, intrigues me even though he’s injury-prone. Also, I’m surprised that Blalock and Lopez haven’t signed with someone by now.

Ray Pugh

February 23rd, 2010
2:36 pm

I’m getting so tires of these blogs because it’s clear 75% of Braves fans don’t know $hit about baseball…

Bobby Cox

February 23rd, 2010
2:40 pm

I’d take Sheffield or Jermaine Dye and trade this Melky Cabrera crap

ChippersLoveChild

February 23rd, 2010
2:42 pm

Braves should sign Felipe Lopez to play second and keep Prado as a super sub, which is the spot that fits him best, imo. Lopez fills your void at leadoff and also hits close to .300. That would be the move I’d make. That being said, I’m sure the Braves stay put with what they have.

Bobby Cox

February 23rd, 2010
2:42 pm

Vizciaino was the Yankees #3 prospect….fed up with fed up

And Roodge Owns

February 23rd, 2010
2:43 pm

“In 3 years when Aroldys is pitching in the bigs, I guess people will just think he fell out of the sky for us.” -bravedog

You’re right. People just can’t think about future value. Does not compute. All baseball moves not concerned with present year are whale poop. Of course future value is always more of a risk than proven MLB guys, but people act like Wren and the Yankees had Melky and Dunn on the table, and then the Yankees were like, “okay, tell you what… we’ll toss in this Vizcaino fella. What’ya say?” He’s a celebrated guy. He’s the clear centerpiece of the trade. “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”

Like you say, if/ when he’s pitching in the top of our rotation, folks will shrug it off like he came up through our farm. Except for Yankee fans stuck at the ugly end of those giganormous FA pitching contracts. They might remember the trade.

Really?

February 23rd, 2010
2:44 pm

Ray Pugh- Classy screen name. How old are you? 15?

BSIATL

February 23rd, 2010
2:45 pm

Why on Earth would we sign Jermaine Dye? Did I miss the rule change last night that allows National League teams to play a DH? We have Heyward in RF, McLouth in CF and a platoon of Diaz and Cabrera in LF. Where’s Dye supposed to play? Shortstop? Catcher?

Innocent Bystander

February 23rd, 2010
2:47 pm

I still don’t get why people aren’t comfortable with Matt Diaz taking the leadoff spot. He did excellent in limited time there last year. I’m not sure why people seem to believe that he is a fourth outfielder at best.

And Roodge Owns

February 23rd, 2010
2:50 pm

“Vizciaino was the Yankees #3 prospect” -Bobby Cox

Was he? Okay, I read some bad ink. Still. He’s what Vazquez was traded for. At the very least, it’s nuts to keep acting like it was Vaz for Melky. If that was the case, why weren’t the Yankees able to hold on to their young stud pitcher and give us Melky with something lesser attached? Because they just didn’t care for the guy? I’ve seen more Vizcaino raves on last year’s Yankee blogs than I can count. They loved him.

Suppose we were offered Jake Peavy for Diaz, Tehrehan and Medlen. Who would you reckon the other team was after?

(Not that I’m assigning you the whole thrust of that argument just cuz you corrected me on Vizcaino’s prospect status with the Yanks.)

JeffInRaleigh

February 23rd, 2010
2:50 pm

Whole lot of ex-Braves on that list of “hanger-oners”…wonder what (if anything) that means ?

Aundray Bruce's Mother

February 23rd, 2010
2:56 pm

I just used to love watchin’ Spud Webb runnin’ the court.

What about Lou Brock?

And Roodge Owns

February 23rd, 2010
2:58 pm

bravedawg, not dog. Sorry, yo.

tom

February 23rd, 2010
2:59 pm

I’m ready to go forward with what we have today. I would give the KID the RF job today, and let the platoon work itself out in Left. Biggest fear is management telling us he is not ready just like Medlin/Hanson last year……..we coulda’ been a contendah!!!!!!

Ted M

February 23rd, 2010
3:01 pm

I wonder is Dmitri Young weighs 375 lbs

T-Bone

February 23rd, 2010
3:02 pm

In a perfect world–meaning without considering finances–I’d sign Dye and Smoltz.

Fed Up With "Fed Up With Wren (Again)"

February 23rd, 2010
3:02 pm

Right, Bobby, but #1 PITCHING prospect, right?

T.O

February 23rd, 2010
3:07 pm

If we wouldn’t have given Melky 3 mill we could have offered and signed Damon for 7.5 mill and went with Damon, McClouth and Diaz/Hayward. Wren doesn’t have a clue. 15 million a year to D. Lowe has handicapped our franchise for the next 3 years.

And Roodge Owns

February 23rd, 2010
3:07 pm

OH…

Yeah! What he said!

Aundray Bruce's Mother

February 23rd, 2010
3:10 pm

Jordan Schafer is pretty fast. He tore it up in spring training last year, and then tried to play with an injured wrist. I don’t understand why he’s been totally overlooked by the pundits.

Let’s quit trying to rally the people to support signing an over-the-hill, past-his-prime, out-to-pasture pretender. We need to play our young prospects each and every day, and the sky will truly be the limit.

Seems that everyone wants instant gratification.

And Roodge Owns

February 23rd, 2010
3:12 pm

T.O. I don’t think Lowe’s contract is crippling. It’s bad, for sure. But add up the salary of the pitching rotation and divide by 5. Not a bad price for this staff. Most teams have a regrettable contract or two.

Clay

February 23rd, 2010
3:13 pm

Jeez, T.O, Lowe had a bit of an off year and still won 15 games. If anyone is “handicapping our franchise”, look at Chipper and his .265 BA for $15M. How about watch what Melky can do in the NL East (as compared to the toughest division in MLB) before kicking him to the curb …