Yesterday's delightful 10-0 shellackery of the Cardinals notwithstanding, this year's San Francisco Giants are a famously effective pitching team known for having no solid or reliable offense. They may be currently in the lead for the NL Wild Card. But if you measure offense by runs scored, then the Giants have the fourth-crappiest offense in the Big Leagues.
GM Brian Sabean has made it no secret that he's interested in trading for a bigger bat. That's why it's so intriguing that the Chicago Tribune reported today that the Giants are scouting the Chicago White Sox' right fielder and former World Series MVP Jermaine Dye.
The Jermaine Dye chitter-chatter started up when Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reported the Giants' possible interest Sunday on his Extra Baggs blog. It's not the top item on Baggarly's post, you have to scroll down to the "WILD SPECULATION DISCLAIMER" portion of the article. But two days later, Baggarly's speculation looks a whole lot less wild.
Dye, a Vacaville native who spent two-and-a-half season as an Oakland Athletic, is no typical 35-year-old slugger. He shares this week's American League Player of the Week award with Mariano Rivera, a week in which he batted .500 and hit three homers and four doubles. His 18 home runs on the season would automatically make him the team's most prolific hitter. There is little doubt Dye has something left in the tank.
He does have a no-trade clause with six specific teams, but the Giants aren't one of them. And here's the kicker -- he may come off the books after this season. Dye's contract has a $12 million player option for 2010 - which he would retain if traded.
It may seem foolish to trade for a 35-year-old who could elect to be a one-season rental. But it's a heck of a lot less foolish than committing to paying a player in his thirties for the next several seasons to come.
And compared to the Manny Ramirez signing we all wanted to see in March, Jermaine Dye is far cheaper and far less suspended for doing steroids.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer with a no-trade clause to Vibe Magazine.