Dye, Vlad could offer RH pop

September 22, 2009 |

That headline would be a helluva lot more exciting if this were 2003. Last week Orioles Manager Dave Trembley mentioned his desire for the club to acquire a right handed power to hit behind Nick Markakis in the lineup and allow Adam Jones, Matt Weiters and Nolan Reimold to develop without the stress of hitting cleanup.

The White Sox are unlikely to exercise a hefty club option for RF Jermaine Dye. When Alex Rios was claimed off waivers from Toronto Dye became expendable. After a fairly productive early season, the 35 year old Dye has fallen on hard times. He is currently .248 with a .778 OPS and 25 home runs. Depending upon his asking price, in both dollars and years, Dye could be a solid right handed DH and part time outfielder. As a bonus Dye has played in 44 career postseason games. Sadly, that number is unlikely to change after a season or two in Baltimore.

Vladimir Guerrero is also a free agent after the season. The Orioles pursued Guerrero in the Winter of 2003. Vlad will turn 35 in February and he has been hampered by chronic knee problems over the past few years. He has been sapped of virtually all of his speed and is now a liability in the OF. Quite a pretty picture huh? The reason I mention Vlad’s shortcomings is that he is now essentially limited to DH, and with about half of the AL teams set at DH, he has a limited free agent market. Guerrero has hit when healthy this season, posting an .817 OPS, though his Slugging percentage his dipped nearly 50 points. As a DH on a short contract Guerrero could provide some pop in the middle of the Orioles 2010 lineup.

Don’t get too excited about 1b Michael Aubrey. In limited duty Aubrey has hit fairly well and played a solid first base, but he shouldn’t be considered a long term option at the position. In 96 career ML at bats Aubrey has 2 home runs and a career .352 slugging percentage. In 407 AAA at bats this season Aubrey posted a .759 OPS and 8 home runs. Those numbers would be passable for a middle infielder, but the Orioles need much more production from the corners than Aubrey can offer.