Note: I’ll be obsessively tracking the the moves by Theo made (if any) today throughout the day. As soon as I can get any shred of information that a deal is done, you can find that information right here at Fire Brand. Looking forward to a monumental day … or not.
Today’s the trading deadline, and the Braves already made a large splash yesterday, landing Mark Teixeira from the Texas Rangers for quite the minor league haul. There won’t be another deal as big as the Teixeira deal, but names such as Eric Gagne and Jermaine Dye remain in play.
Unfortunately, the leading suitor for Jermaine Dye is none other than your Boston Red Sox. When a three-team deal (the Brewers) fell apart last week that would have netted the Sox Jermaine Dye, things seemed to have crawled to a standstill.
However, talks are revitalized, with Wily Mo Pena and a pitching prospect headed to Chicago for Dye. Nevermind the fact that I’m against this deal from the get-go, I’m even more against it when that pitching prospect’s name very well might be Justin Masterson or Wily Mo Pena.
Jermaine Dye is on fire since the All-Star break, hitting .318/.392/.727, which represents the Jermaine Dye we all know from his monster 2006 season.
Look, if Dye can produce a 1.119 OPS for the rest of the year, he’d be quite a weapon in the middle of the lineup… but where does he play? The Red Sox have supposedly guaranteed Jermaine Dye five days a week of playing time, which means something along the lines of:

  • One day playing left field, resting Manny Ramirez
  • One day playing right field, resting J.D. Drew (against a left-handed starting pitcher)
  • One day playing left field, resting David Ortiz, playing Manny at DH
  • One day playing DH, with Mike Lowell resting and Kevin Youkilis playing third and David Ortiz first
  • One day playing DH, with Kevin Youkilis resting and David Ortiz playing first

Too much of a headache, if you ask me. It’s not worth it; all the lineup juggling, ego massaging, compromises of David Ortiz playing first … what is worth it? This isn’t upgrading the bench, this is upgrading the potential for clubhouse dissension and inconsistency. Plus, Jermaine Dye will almost certainly walk as a free agent after the year. Sure, we would get two compensatory draft picks for him, but is that still worth Wily Mo Pena and Manny Delcarmen/Justin Masterson?
Not even close!
(And with a sigh of relief, the Sox agree: Masterson or Delcarmen will not be moving, and Theo has counteroffered with another deal that Kenny Williams is going to sleep on.)
Which is why I really don’t understand why Theo is doing this. Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if Theo is really a good general manager or not. It’s taking me a while to get there, but some of his moves are just flat out baffling. He panicked in the Doug Mirabelli trade, he shows no inclination to stick with players who aren’t doing well (Edgar Renteria, J.D. Drew) … he’s falling for the names instead of the values. This is not the Theo Epstein that helmed the Red Sox in 2003 and 2004.
Look, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Edgar Renteria is on record saying it would have taken him two years to adjust to American League pitching. Why can’t J.D. Drew have the same amount of time? Is four months really enough time to judge someone? I’d rather judge J.D. Drew against the body of his previous work, his total overall play, and the future dollars invested in him. J.D. Drew does everything well – not exceptionally, but well. His batting average is down because the pitchers are throwing him different. He’s seeing more breaking balls than ever, which are also harder to drive for power.
That on-base percentage is still there. His baserunning is still there. His defense is still there. His arm is still there. And believe it or not, his hitting will come around. Is it worth trading Wily Mo and Masterson/Delcarmen for Dye? Absolutely not.
Four months, and we’re ready to move on from J.D. Drew. Quite the example you’re setting there, Theo. Why bother even paying attention to the NL? If you’re ready to move past your dream player in Drew this quickly, then I expect you to NEVER EVER acquire another hitter again who has only National League experience. If you do, what the hell have you learned from Renteria and Drew?
The only way I’m a proponent of this deal is if this trade makes another trade happen that makes us trade away one of our current starting outfielders. Otherwise, this trade makes no sense to me whatsoever. None. I don’t care that he has a 1.119 OPS. I don’t care that he’d upgrade the bench dramatically (if you can even call it upgrading the bench; more like trying to put 10 players in nine starting spots).
I care that he’s giving up on someone after four months, with three and a half more years on his deal to go. I care that he’s asking the players to have to check the lineup card every day – not only to see where in the order they’re hitting, but if they’re even in the lineup!
This is madness.
I do think the bench needs to be upgraded. But not like this.
This isn’t improving the team. This is detracting from it a very good minor league pitcher, a player who while not as good as Dye is content (for now) being a backup, and detracting clubhouse harmony.
Stay away from Jermaine Dye, Theo. Start acting like a real general manager, and get us someone who will actually improve the team without detracting from it.
Addendum: I’d like to address the notion out there that we want Jermaine Dye to DL David Ortiz with his torn meniscus. If Ortiz goes under the knife and is out for a month and recovers in time for the playoffs, then fine. But … why? He’s still hitting quite well. You don’t need to bash homers to hit well, and Ortiz is living proof of that. However, that being said, if that is the course the Sox undertake, then I can at least understand this deal a lot better. However, I’m operating under the assumption that the Red Sox plan to continue playing David Ortiz.