Washington Nationals/Jermaine Dye: How Far Apart?

MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote on Monday night in an article entitled, "Dye declines Nationals' contract offer", that the Washington Nationals had made an offer to 36-year-old outfielder Jermaine Dye in an attempt to fill the void in right field (currently being manned by Willie Harris and Willy Taveras) which was created by their decision to release their presumptive starting right fielder Elijah Dukes a few weeks into Spring Training, but as Mr. Ladson explained, the offer the Nats made to the 14-year MLB vet, "...wasn't enough (to convince Dye) to uproot his family from Arizona to Washington." According to Mr. Ladson's "source close to the Nationals," the team, "...felt $4 million was a fair price for Dye," who made $11.5M dollars last season (acc. to Cot's Baseball Contracts.com) in the second year of a 2-year/$22M dollar contract which contained a $12M mutual option for the 2010 season, or a $950,000 buyout, which the White Sox opted to pay this past November, making Dye a free agent.

In one sure-to-be-overlooked-by-anyone-not-following-the-Nationals claim made in a sure-to-cause-waves article this morning by Yahoo!Sports.com's Jeff Passan entitled, "Hudson hints at racism for blacks in free agency", Minnesota Twins' second baseman Orlando Hudson alleges that race has played a role in some African-American veterans' inability to find homes this season, and the negotiations between Dye and the Nationals are discussed, (ed. note - "Though to be completely clear, there are no accusations in the article that indicate the Nats' and Dye's inability to agree on a deal had anything to do with race.") with Yahoo!Sports.com's Mr. Passan writing:

"Hudson’s comments came on the heels of Dye turning down a one-year contract offer from the Washington Nationals for less than a quarter of his $11.5 million salary with the Chicago White Sox last season."

"Dye hoped to play for a contender," Yahoo!Sports.com's Mr. Passan continues, "...and while he understood he would take a pay cut, he expected a deal in the $4 million-plus range." If the Nationals did offer Dye "Less than a quarter of [Dye's] $11.5 million", that would place the Nationals' 1-year offer to Dye somewhere below $2.875M, but if the Nationals considered $4M a fair price, as Mr. Ladson's source claims, and Dye was expecting something in the "$4 million-plus range", as Mr. Passan writes, how did the two sides end up so far apart? Would Dye have wanted more to play for a non-contender like the Nats? Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore wrote in an article entitled, "Looks like Jermaine Dye won't be a National", that talks between Dye's representatives and the Nationals began, "...on March 17," and, "...had been ongoing since," but Mr. Kilgore also notes that after Dye declined the Nationals' offer, "...any future conversation between the sides appears unlikely, according to a source." The Nationals have said all along they won't "break the bank" to sign free agents even when there are pressing needs to be addressed, but as I asked yesterday, where do they think they're going to find a right fielder they can afford that's available. Time to explore the oft-mentioned trade options again?

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