Sources: Cubs, Dye in talks

Jermaine Dye has a .274 career batting average in his 14 seasons. John Rieger/US Presswire

Former Chicago White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye's future may lie 8.1 miles north of his former home at U.S. Cellular field. According to major league sources, the Chicago Cubs and Dye have interest in each other and have had preliminary talks.

Dye, who has had to endure a slow-developing free agent offseason, hit 27 home runs in 2009 -- the fifth year in a row he has hit more than 25. But the 35-year-old California native suffered through two of the worst months of his career in August and September last season. Dye hit four home runs and 18 RBIs in his last 45 games of the season.

Although Dye has been an outfielder throughout his career, he would have to accept a role as backup in both left and right field as well as first base if any deal is struck between the two sides.

The Cubs likely feel that Dye could end up with significant playing time if any of the team's outfielders slump or suffer an injury.

Alfonso Soriano, who has five years remaining on his contract with the Cubs, has missed 125 games over the last three seasons.

Dye was high on the list for the Texas Rangers before they signed former Los Angeles Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero this offseason.

Dye has ties to the Cubs, including a longtime friendship with the team's first baseman, Derrek Lee.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.