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.
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.