It was revealed today that journeyman outfielder Chris Dickerson signed a minor league deal with the Buccos. A little background on Dickerson before I give my opinion on the move. He’s 31, a lefty, 6’4 230 LBS with just about 6 years of major league experience. Last season he played for the Orioles, hit .238 with 4 homers in 100 or so at bats.
All indications are he’s a decent glove and a good energy guy. His main position is left field, although he can play center and right but no first-base ability whatsoever. The player he’s most compared to in MLB history on his baseball-reference page is ughhhhhhhh, Alex Presley.
Let that sink in for a moment.
I like the move. It is what it is, a depth addition and an upgrade over Felix Pie – another Orioles castoff who rumor has it is off to Japan. Dickerson has more power than Pie, but with less speed and doesnt have the cool name.
He’s going to start the season in Indianapolis (AAA) most likely, but will get a chance to play for the big club this year when Travis Snider and Jose Tabata take their every-other-month 15 day disabled list sabbaticals. Does he have a chance to win the right-field job in spring training? That’s the million dollar question.
I guess anything is possible but lets face it, if he does win it than it’s going to be a long season for us. It probably means Tabata is hurt (surprise, surprise) and or Snider isnt hitting. You’d have to think that Andrew Lambo would get a look at RF over Dickerson yet Lambo might be the team’s opening day first basemen.
Speaking of first base, it seems as though the Pirates did give James Loney a competitive offer right before he re-signed with Tampa. Word is they offered 3 years, 21 million – the same money and term that the Rays gave him. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing to hear as a fan or a bad thing. On one hand, it shows the franchise is willing to dust off the wallet to improve the ballclub. On the other hand it shows that Loney thinks the Rays are an easier road back to the post-season than the Pirates. If they hold on to David Price, he might be correct in that assessment.
A.J. Burnett celebrated a birthday last week. He turned 37 – welcome to club 37, bro! Burnett is still undecided on whether or not to retire. One thing is for certain, the Pirates have moved on and he’s pitched his last inning in Bucs black and gold. Personally speaking, I’d like to see him continue his career as I’ve always been a fan of his. There were rumors earlier in the off-season of the Orioles being interested and since he does have an home in Maryland it made some sense. Then you started hearing the Phillies were getting involved and that just makes me sick to my stomach. It’s bad enough Marlon Byrd went there but Burnett too? I can not begin to describe how much I detest that franchise and fanbase. I’d rather see him go to the Cardinals or Cubs than the Phillies. It’s funny how with all this Pittsburgh-Philadelphia hate in sports (mostly hockey) how are these two teams not in the same division?
The Marlins are a dead franchise walking. I’d be shocked if they were still in south Florida in ten years – even with their new stadium. Why not move them to the central and put the Pirates in the East? For years the Pirates had a nice rivalry with the Mets and Phillies and you know how the fanbase feels about the Atlanta Braves. The Washington Nationals arent a rival yet, but neither were the Caps and Penguins until they were both put in the old NHL’s Patrick Division in the 80’s. Imagine a Bryce Harper – Andrew McCutchen rivalry similar to Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin’s? I’d love to see that.
As a 30 year Pirates fan, I don’t have a lot of hate for the Cubs and Cardinals. Only respect for their 100 + years of history. The Cardinals fanbase might be the best in sports and Cubs fans have zero bragging rights about anything. Growing up in the 80’s the Brewers were an American League team and the Reds were in the NL West. It’s been twenty years since the Pirates were put in the NL Central and I think it’s hurt the franchise in terms of dollars. There was never much excitement about the Astros coming to town for a three game series in August, and when they left for the American League last year nobody missed them. The Mets and Phillies are still a draw at PNC Park and having them play there nine or ten times a year for the past twenty years instead of the Brewers and Astros would have generated more revenue.
Which of course, would have meant more money for Bob Nutting to put under his mattress. So I guess it doesnt matter much anyway.