Jermaine Dye will look to play in 2011

CHICAGO -- Jermaine Dye was at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday for the first time since he was with the White Sox last season.

In town for Sunday's celebration to retire Frank Thomas’ No. 35, Dye said in an informal get together with reporters that he has no plans to play this season, but is looking to return to the game next year.

Admitting that he's had the itch to play on a few occasions since Opening Day, Dye took his mind off baseball by traveling. He said he visited Guam, Japan, Hawaii and Pebble Beach, Calif. this summer.

The former White Sox right fielder thought he was close to signing with the Cubs in the offseason but never got the call back he was expecting to complete the deal. Looking to play primarily on the West Coast to be near his Phoenix-area home, Dye said the right fit never materialized and he ended up sitting out the 2010 season.

Getting his swing back in the groove this winter shouldn’t be a problem. Dye said that his neighbor two doors down is Oakland’s Eric Chavez, who has an indoor batting cage on his property that Dye has been invited to use.