Friday, December 10, 2004

So, Hermanson and Dye, eh?

As you are undoubtedly aware, the Sox made two recent free-agent signings - Dustin Hermanson and Jermaine Dye. My collective reaction is "eh." Could have been better, could have been worse. Either way, the signings did manage to get the Sox payroll up to $70 million.

(1). Dustin Hermanson. Hermanson was the Giant's semi-effective closer down the stretch and will play a set-up/closer-in-waiting role for the White Sox. At $2 million in 2005, it's an arguably market rate purchase. He's about as useful as Cliff Politte. Seriously.

But the bullpen of Politte, Hermanson, Marte and Takatsu with Cotts as a lefty specialist and Adkins as a long reliever isn't so bad on paper. In fact, I kind of like the thought of not overusing Politte and Marte in every 7th and 8th inning in 2005. This could work.

(2) Jermaine Dye. Nothing like another right-handed hitting outfielder who has a career .334 OBP. I thought one, young Carlos Lee was enough. But if Jermaine Dye can be Jermaine Dye 1999 or 2000, he's a steal at $4 million per year. Hopefully, the homer-friendly confines of U.S. Cellular will make him a 30+ homer guy again. Still, with a VORP of 23.8 (22.0 RARP), he's not going to light the world on fire.

Mind you, however, that Magglio Ordonez had a VORP of 11.8 (9.8 RARP) in his 222 plate appearances. That was largely nullified by Joe Borchard's -11.0 VORP (-8.4 RARP) in .... 222 plate appearances. Throw in Timo's -8.3 VORP (-6.4 RARP) as
mostly a right fielder, and right field was pretty much a -7.8 VORP disaster last year. If Dye can repeat his mediocre 2004 performance, that's 31.6 in VORP (29.8 RARP) right there. Don't underestimate that - 29.8 more runs over last year would have led to about 3 more wins. Nothing to sneeze at.

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