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Five reasons why Jermaine Dye is unemployed

Why is Jermaine Dye, just one season removed from 34 home runs and 96 RBI, still looking so desperately for lucrative employment? Joe Pawlikowski offers four reasons:

1. Lousy second half of 2009

2. No longer hitting the ball hard to right field

3. Line-drive rate in 2009 the lowest of career

4. Maybe the worst defensive right fielder in majors

Those are pretty good reasons, though I have to wonder how many teams are even aware of them.

Dave Cameron's got a fifth reason: Dye is right-handed. I'll let him explain ...

    At this point in his career, Dye is essentially a DH who might be able to fake it at first base, depending on how hard he works at it. He’s not an outfielder anymore, not at 36-years-old and coming off a four year stretch of -20 UZRs. And, because of the physics of throwing across the infield, right-handed 1B/DH types just aren’t all that appealing.

    --snip--

    Even if Dye can outproduce a comparable left-handed hitter by 5 or 10 percent, managers are going to prefer a balanced line-up, so that opposing managers can’t just shut down their offense with specialist relievers in every close game. And as a right-handed 1B/DH type, Dye threatens every team he may join with a lack of balance in their line-up.

    Not only does he need to find a team that is interested in an aging DH, but he needs to find one that doesn’t have too many right-handed infielders on the roster. It should be no surprise that, given how many restrictions there are on teams who may be interested in his services, that there just isn’t much of a market for him.

    If you’re a right-handed hitter, you don’t want to end up in the 1B/DH pool. Do whatever you can to sustain your defensive abilities at another position, because once you’re down that far on the defensive spectrum, your career as an everyday player is probably close to being over.

I have no idea if there's any empirical basis underlying Cameron's explanation. It's one hell of a theory, though.