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Elite speed sold D-backs on Dyson

Outfielder introduced in wake of two-year, $7.5 million deal
Special to MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The tangibles were the first things D-backs general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo mentioned Tuesday when discussing the club's latest acquisition, outfielder Jarrod Dyson.

They were most drawn to Dyson's ability to play all three outfield spots and the speed element he brings, but they also hammered home the intangibles: his playoff experience, including a World Series victory, and his clubhouse presence.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The tangibles were the first things D-backs general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo mentioned Tuesday when discussing the club's latest acquisition, outfielder Jarrod Dyson.

They were most drawn to Dyson's ability to play all three outfield spots and the speed element he brings, but they also hammered home the intangibles: his playoff experience, including a World Series victory, and his clubhouse presence.

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And to that last point, based on one introductory media session, they are spot on.

"I watched those guys play last year and I could tell they were having fun and were close as a team," said Dyson, 33, who signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal on Monday. "Losing stinks. Losing causes problems in clubhouses. And winning takes care of everything. So this is a nice bunch to be a part of."

Dyson will battle for outfield time with incumbents Yasmany Tomas and David Peralta as well as Steven Souza Jr., who was acquired from the Rays in a three-team trade that sent Brandon Drury to the Yankees on Tuesday night. Dyson is a career .258 hitter with 204 stolen bases in 241 attempts, an 84.6 percent success rate. The left-handed hitter batted .251 and stole 28 bases for the Mariners last year after spending the previous seven seasons with the Royals.

"My game is speed," Dyson said. "Speed does a lot. Speed helps you win ballgames, I'll tell you that."

Dyson said he looks forward to working with D-backs first-base coach Dave McKay, who is credited for a sizable chunk of the team's stolen bases the last three seasons.

Video: LAA@SEA: Dyson swipes his 28th base of the season

Lovullo labeled Dyson's speed as "elite."

"That's an element we didn't necessarily have last year," said Lovullo, whose team was fourth in the National League with 103 steals. "He's going to be a very, very interesting player for us. ... He's going to have a strong impact on our lineup."

Dyson was pinpointed as a possible free-agent addition early in the offseason, Hazen said. Gregor Blanco re-signed with his old club, the Giants, and J.D. Martinez always figured to be seeking a deal larger than the D-backs were willing to offer. Martinez is on the verge of finalizing a five-year, $110 million deal with the Red Sox.

"We had talked quite a bit about him as an ideal fit in a lot of ways," Hazen said of Dyson. "We felt like this was something we needed to jump at at this moment in time. I feel like he complements a lot of what we're trying to do. ... Adding speed and usable speed, the ability to steal bases when people know you're looking to steal a base, I think that can only help us win games."

Dyson said waiting find a home so long this offseason was a little stressful and that coming off sports hernia surgery in mid-September likely played a role. But as a 50th-round Draft pick in 2006, he doesn't take anything for granted.

"That's what pushes me, being a 50th-round Draft pick," he said. "What I did with that was on me. I just took it and ran with it."

Dyson was asked what a signing bonus looked like for a 50th rounder.

"It looks terrible," he said. "A bag of peanuts, a plane ticket and a 'Go get 'em.'

"Then you meet other guys who got paid way more money and you feel like, 'I could of gotten a little piece of that.' Oh, well. It wasn't meant for me to get that. That's probably why I have the drive I have today."

Chris Thomas is a contributor to MLB.com.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Jarrod Dyson