According to his agent, Jermaine Dye would love to be a Seattle Mariner. This is not exactly news, because Dye is unemployed and, if he was asked by any of the other 29 big-league teams, he would love to be with them, too.
The problem here is that Dye was available all winter. He was willing to become a first baseman, and teams passed. He could be a designated hitter, teams passed.
When his price came down to $3.5 million or so, teams passed. Including Seattle. There was a reason.
Dye is a good guy, but his skills were unquestionably in decline - 30 teams took a look and moved on. Could he hit better than, say, Jack Wilson? Yes, but he can't play shortstop.
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Is he better than Mike Sweeney? Not today. Sweeney hit about .500 in spring training and forced himself upon a team that absolutely adores him. Dye hasn't hit against big-league pitching since last September.
The rule of thumb late in spring training or early in the regular season is simple: If you're going to make a change, the player coming in better be an obvious upgrade.
If not, you're making change for the sake of change, and a player teammates have accepted as one of the guys on the 25-man roster who suddenly disappears. Players begin to wonder who's next?
Jack Zduriencik hasn't yet made a move that could be suggested as panic in his Seattle career. Signing Jermaine Dye is not likely to be his first.