The Pittsburgh Pirates have reportedly agreed on a deal with former Diamondbacks center fielder Jarrod Dyson. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported earlier this morning that a deal was being closed in on, while Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that both sides had officially come to an agreement. Dyson, a 35-year-old veteran drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2006, has agreed with the team on an alleged one-year major league deal pending a physical. Effectively, Dyson will take the place of recently departed Bucco Starling Marte as the two coincidentally switch teams.
Dyson is an interesting player given his age and defensive ability. He still has plus speed and glove skills at the age of 35 and will undoubtedly be patrolling center field for the Pirates in 2020, allowing Bryan Reynolds to call left field home for the foreseeable future. It seems as though the outfield is locked in with Reynolds, Dyson, and Gregory Polanco, barring a breakout spring-training performance that pushes a floundering Polanco out of the picture.
In 2019, Dyson slashed a less-than-stellar .230/.313/.320 with the D-Backs over 130 games. While he is not the offensive talent that Marte is, his speed and positive defensive statistics (UZR/150 of 20.7 in 2019) will make him an asset during what is obviously a rebuilding year for the organization. His 30 stolen bases in the previous season are also worthy of praise, and with a walk rate that has hung anywhere between 10-11% over the last two years, Dyson shapes up to be quite the threat on the base paths despite his age.
Steamer projects the center fielder to put up 0.4 WAR in 2020 compared to his 1.3 mark in 2019. While Dyson has never surpassed 2.7 WAR in his career, it’s clear that the Pirates have not brought him on for his offensive potential. In what looks to be a lean year for the organization, Dyson should provide the team with steady defense as younger position players, such as Bryan Reynolds, get more comfortable in their positions.
This article will be updated with contract information once more details are revealed by the team.