Mark DeRosa, that plucky, “gritty-gutty” delight with pop in his bat, has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the San Francisco Giants. The Yankees are still looking for a left fielder, or a part-time left fielder. According to Anthony McCarron in the Daily News:
“There’s plenty of time,” the official said. “There’s no hurry. And there are a ton of outfielders out there. We are just tweaking at this point. We’ll sign an outfielder between now and spring training.”
Two team officials said the Yankees have no interest in Jermaine Dye, whom they have been linked to in reports. Last week, Cashman said that even Xavier Nady, who is coming off elbow surgery, likely would be too expensive for them.
Yesterday, Joseph Pawlikowski, of the indefatigable River Ave Blues crew, took a look at Jermaine Dye:
In 2009 Dye posted his worst offensive season since an injury riddled 2003. His power faded, as his .203 ISO was his lowest since 2004, and a .044 drop-off from 2008. His BABIP fell to .269, his lowest in a decade, apparently driven by an alarmingly low line drive percentage, 16.9, again his lowest since 2003. Defense has never been a strength, and over the past four seasons he’s posted a lower than -21 UZR/150.
There are some indicators, however, that Dye could bounce back from his poor season. While he hit fewer line drives, they turned almost exclusively into ground balls. His 43.6 fly ball percentage nearly matched his 2008 mark. Also nearly equal was his HR/FB ratio, at 15.6 percent, just a tick down from his 16 percent mark in 2008. Most of his power loss came in the gaps, as he hit just 19 doubles in 2009. Despite the down year he still hit 27 home runs. He also greatly increased his walk percentage, to 11.3 percent. Because of that he posted a .340 OBP, impressive considering his .250 batting average.
Considering the risks attached to Dye, combined with his poor defense, I wonder if the Yankees would also consider Eric Hinske. A much cheaper option, Hinske could probably post numbers similar to Dye in 2010, on offense and defense. UZR likes Hinske a lot more than Dye rating him positive at all but one position, third base, throughout his career. That doesn’t quite pass the eye test — Hinske seemed a butcher in the outfield last season, but I think it’s a safe bet he’s better than Dye.
The Yankees have played possum before, claiming to be finished only to swoop down at the last moment to nab a big ticket free agent. I don’t see that happening this winter, though, not with left field. They are already loaded and the free agent class of 2010 is ripe with talented options. I see them going with a guy like Reed Johnson or even Eric Hinske. If there weren’t willing to go two years, $12 million for Mark DeRosa, then Damon, Bay and Holliday are jut not in the picture.