Hey, everybody. Before I get started, let me “introduce” myself. For those of you who don’t recognize my name, I’m Matt Imbrogno and I wrote for Bronx Baseball Daily for the last few months. Anyway, thanks to Moshe for bringing me on here and I look forward to writing for the audiences here at TYU. On to the writing…
In a recent article, Bryan Hoch suggested both Mark DeRosa and Jermaine Dye as possible left field options if the Yankees stick to their guns and determine that Johnny Damon is too pricey. There are a few reasons to dislike both players. Let’s roll with DeRosa to start.
First, Buster Olney tweeted today that DeRosa is leaning towards accepting an offer from the Giants for two years and $12MM. It’s doubtful that the Yankees would want to match, let alone exceed that offer. It’s arguable that one year of DeRosa is too much, especially at $6MM. Second, I think DeRosa loses a good amount of his value as a full-time LF. There is some value in his versatility, but would he ever really be getting time anywhere but left field? He can’t play shortstop well, and even if he could, Derek Jeter barely takes days off. While he could take some days at third for Alex Rodriguez, how often will he? It’s possible that Rodriguez does not need as much time off as he did last year. Robinson Cano doesn’t take many days off at second, either, and DH Nick Johnson and his sterling defensive reputation would spell Mark Teixeira at first base. Bottom line: even if DeRosa is available, he’s likely not a good fit for the Yankees. If the price was very right, meaning $3MM or less, then sure. However, he’s not going to take that little money to play for the Yankees.
Onto Jermaine Dye. Dye is just simply not an option for left field. At all. First off, he hasn’t played left field since 2003 with the A’s. Even then, it was just one game and he’s played only 27 games there in his entire career. In right field, Jermaine Dye’s been a straight-up horror show for the last four years. His highest UZR/150 since 2006 was -21.4. Let that sink in. That was his HIGHEST UZR/150. Jermaine Dye simply cannot play the outfield anymore. Whatever value he brings with the bat, he instantly gives back with the glove. Dye’s bat may have been acceptable at DH, but even that is unlikely. As a right handed batter, he likely would not have been helped by Yankee Stadium like a left-handed hitter would be.
While it’s relatively obvious, Brian Cashman and the Yankees should steer clear of Jermaine Dye. While he may outproduce current-left-fielder-by-default Brett Gardner, his value would be sapped by his bad defense and Gardner would cost less. Brett may be close to his ceiling offensively, but his good defense and low salary could prove quite valuable to the Yankees as a stop-gap.