The White Sox are set to acquire speedy center fielder Jarrod Dyson from the Pirates, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports (via Twitter). The White Sox are expected to send international bonus pool space to Pittsburgh to complete the deal, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Dyson, 36, inked a one-year, $2MM deal with the Pirates this winter and is still owed $333K of his prorated $720K salary. That makes him an affordable late-inning defensive upgrade and pinch-running option for the ChiSox, who currently are tied with the Indians for second place in the AL Central and just a half game behind the division-leading Twins.
Dyson is out to a miserable start at the plate, hitting .157/.218/.157 in a tiny sample of 57 plate appearances, but he’s an all-world defender and elite baserunner. Dating back to 2012, Dyson is sixth in the Majors in stolen bases (234), and his 84.7 percent success rate is remarkably efficient. He’s also eighth among MLB outfielders with +79 Defensive Runs Saved in that time despite having played thousands of innings fewer in the field than all but one player (Juan Lagares) ahead of him due to his status as a part-time player.
The White Sox have a full outfield with Eloy Jimenez in left, Luis Robert in center and Nomar Mazara in right. They also have fellow speedster Adam Engel on hand to back up at all three positions, but between Jimenez and Mazara, the corners could both stand to use a defensive upgrade in late, close games. Dyson’s left-handed bat also complements Engel’s righty bat, allowing manager Rick Renteria to optimize his late-inning outfield options based on platoon matchups. And with Robert currently banged up — he’s day-to-day due to a hand injury sustained on a diving catch attempt — Dyson and/or Engel could factor a bit more into things in the short term.
As for the Pirates, they’ll add some additional international funds in exchange for the final month or so of Dyson’s contract. Dealing him also opens up additional reps for the Bucs to take a look at shortstop Cole Tucker in the outfield — an experiment the team has been exploring under the new front office/coaching regime. Dyson was a free agent at season’s end anyhow and clearly not going to receive a qualifying offer, so cashing him in for even a relatively minimal return makes perfect sense for Pittsburgh.
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