Pirates' Attempt to Fill CF Hole by Signing Jarrod Dyson
"Attempt" is the key word here. The Pittsburgh Pirates were in the market to upgrade their center field position after trading Starling Marte away to the Arizona Diamondbacks. His replacement, at least in part, will be a former Diamondback, Jarrod Dyson. Dyson and the Pirates have agreed to terms for a one-year deal today.
Dyson is 35 years old and hit .230/7/27 last year. So, there is certainly a drop-off at the plate when compared to his predecessor. Statistically, he's very similar to Marte when it comes to his defense.
One benefit to adding Dyson is that he provides another left-handed bat to platoon in the outfield. Considering he's on a one-year deal, he will be a bridge to the next man Ben Cherington calls upon to man center field at PNC Park. He also is not going to block a young player who is currently in the minors. So, if someone like Jared Oliva really makes strides this year, there's not a whole lot stopping Cherington from calling him up and giving him a shot.
Dyson joins an outfield that is comprised of Gregory Polanco, Guillermo Heredia, and Bryan Reynolds. It's a long way off from the Marte/McCutchen/Polanco days.
Reynolds has the talent to anchor an outfield, but his supporting cast is greatly diminished, and adding Dyson doesn't fix that. Like I said, he does provide a left-handed bat that Derek Shelton can use in a platoon situation, but he's not the 2020 answer to the Pirates' center field problem. Also, his career stats against RHP are only marginally better than those against LHP, and he was actually better against lefties last year. So, I'm not sure how valuable that left-handed bat really is.
We should take this signing for what it is, a stop-gap. Dyson is a capable outfielder that provides some depth and veteran leadership. Reports were out there that the Pirates were in on Pillar (maybe they still are), but I doubt they were real players considering the other teams that showed interest.
Follow Jared on Twitter: @a_piratelife