Two and a half weeks remain until the July 31st trade deadline and there are constant rumors swirling that the Mets are pursuing Chicago Right Fielder Jermaine Dye.
In 74 games this season, Dye is batting .219 with 13 home runs and 41 runs batted in. Not the ideal season to be having when you enter the daunting period of free agency.
In 2006 he enjoyed a career year, batting .315 with 44 home runs, 120 RBI'S, 103 runs scored, 170 hits, 27 doubles, a .385 on base percentage and a .622 slugging percentage. His monster season parlayed into an all-star appearance, a Silver Slugger award and a fourth place finish in the MVP voting, ahead of players such as Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Travis Hafner and home run derby champion Vlad Guerrero.
Mets general manager Omar Minaya has feverishly been searching for another bat in the lineup for the past several weeks and while the asking price for Dye might be too high it's still worth taking a shot. He made it crystal clear earlier this week that he was displeased with the direction of the offense when he dismissed hitting coach Rick Down and replaced him with first base coach Howard Johnson.
The next step is to acquire a power hitting corner outfielder who can fill the void left by 40-year old Moises Alou and struggling right fielder Shawn Green. Endy Chavez is a spark plug off the bench, but is not the long term solution. The recalling of Lastings Milledge indicates that Minaya is letting other general managers assess the young outfielders ability before they come calling to trade for him. If Dye is to land in the Big Apple Milledge must be included in the package.
With constant speculation mounting whether the Amazins will land the 2-time all-star, let's break down if it really makes sense for Minaya to pull the trigger. A free agent at the end of the season, Dye will demand at least $15-20 million a season and with the statistics he's putting up this season it will be hard for him to plead his case.
Plagued with a left quad injury for the majority of the season, Dye has been unable to generate the power off his bat that fans on the south side of Chicago have become accustomed to since 2004. If he's unable to drive in runners it would be senseless for the Mets to trade a top prospect for a player they'll have for two months. There are other avenues that Minaya can search in order to acquire a productive outfielder.
Two-time World Series winner Jeff Conine would be a solid fit, A's outfielder Shannon Stewart can provide speed and a veteran presence in the clubhouse, Coco Crisp of the AL East leading Red Sox could serve as a cheap addition, 14-year veteran Matt Stairs would be the quintessential power bat off the bench(.288, 14 HR's, 36 RBI's and .556 SLG percentage), Sammy Sosa and Kenny Lofton would both be fine additions and so would the Giants' Randy Winn.