Is Bobby Abreu an upgrade over Jermaine Dye?
That was the hot topic on White Sox fan Web sites Tuesday after the New York Daily News reported Abreu, a free agent, had been offered a one-year, $8 million contract.
Later Tuesday a source dismissed the story as "b.s.," and ESPN.com reported negotiations between the Sox and Abreu "stalled" earlier this week.
If the White Sox really are interested in signing Abreu, Dye likely would have to be traded.
Before SoxFest last weekend, Sox general manager Kenny Williams said the slumping economy necessitated "dollar-for-dollar" deals. That basically means he'd have to get rid of a player with a similar salary to add a player such as Abreu.
Since Abreu and Dye ($11.5 million) both play right field, the corresponding move is rather obvious.
Williams has been bothered by Dye trade rumors all winter, and he told the Daily Herald on Jan. 13 that he was "tired of responding to every blogger's idea."
The Sox' GM issued a similar statement Tuesday.
Dye, who lives roughly 100 yards from Williams in suburban Phoenix, addressed his uncertain status Friday at SoxFest.
"It's just part of baseball," said the veteran outfielder, who hit .292 with 41 doubles, 34 home runs and 96 RBI last season. "Any time your contract is coming up to the end, you're talked about in all kinds of trades, moving here, moving there. It's part of what we do; it's part of the business. You learn to listen to it, read about it and move on."
Said Williams: "I never b.s. our players. I told him flat out, 'Yes, there are clubs asking about you. Here's who they are and here's how serious they are.' But I told him it was unlikely he'd be moved."
Like Dye, Abreu is 35. He put up similar numbers (. 296, 20 home runs, 100 RBI, 22 stolen bases) last season but is not as good as Dye on defense. The White Sox' apparent flirtation makes sense in one regard - Williams likes to get multiple players back in trades.
If the Sox could unload Dye's entire contract on another team and get Abreu for $8 million, it would leave $3.5 million Williams could use to get a more established starting pitcher or even sign a backup catcher such as Ivan Rodriguez.