Dayan Viciedo Rumors

Latest On Trade Talks Between Mariners, Rays

FRIDAY: Taijuan Walker‘s name is once again at the center of trade talks surrounding Price, reports Heyman. He adds that Tampa has also expressed interest in the likes of corner infield prospect D.J. Peterson and James Paxton, neither of which is particularly surprising; Peterson and Paxton are two of the top young players in Seattle’s system.

The two sides are discussing various iterations of deals for Price, Zobrist or both. Heyman adds that Seattle might be willing to include Brad Miller in a deal as well, given the emergence of Triple-A shortstop Chris Taylor. The M’s, however, have said they won’t deal Mike Zunino.

THURSDAY, 9:51pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Mariners’ talks with the Rays have been more focused on Zobrist than Price, and the two sides have been discussing Zobrist “for weeks.” Nick Franklin‘s name has frequently come up in talks, he adds.

Heyman also reports that the Mariners have spoken to the Twins about Josh Willingham and the White Sox about Dayan Viciedo, and he notes that he, too, has heard Byrd’s name in learning of the Mariners’ trade talks. One big league source tells Heyman, however, that a deal for Byrd is now “less than likely” due to his no-trade clause.

He also adds that the Mariners’ ownership group is very big on bringing in players who want to be in Seattle. Offseason comments by Price’s agent about his client not wanting to sign a long-term deal in Seattle seem to indicate that Price doesn’t fit that description. However, the team’s status as a legitimate postseason contender may have changed Price’s thinking on that front.

2:10pm: Though no deal is imminent, the Mariners have been engaged in ongoing discussions with the Rays regarding lefty David Price and utilityman Ben Zobrist, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Meanwhile, talks have stalled with the Phillies regarding Marlon Byrd.

Needless to say, Price and Zobrist both represent potential impact to contenders. Either player could presumably add value to just about every roster in baseball. That holds particularly true for Seattle, which could not only pair Price with current ace Felix Hernandez but would be able to play Zobrist at shortstop, outfield, or even first base.

Of course, the return for either — and, especially, both — would figure to be substantial. (It is not clear from Morosi’s report whether the two would be joined in any potential deal, or indeed whether the sides have progressed that far.) Tampa is said to be interested in beating the return that the Cubs received for Jeff Samardzija, if it deals Price at all. Certainly, a hypothetical pairing of Price and Zobrist (both under control for next season) would require a bigger return on paper than was commanded by Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

Meanwhile, the news on Byrd makes sense in light of last night’s report from ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden, which indicated that Byrd would ask the Mariners to guarantee his $8MM option for 2016 in order to waive his no-trade clause. Seattle is one of just four teams on Byrd’s no-trade list.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Quick Hits: Samardzija, Viciedo, D-Backs, Byrd

Jeff Samardzija couldn’t be happier to be joining the A’s, writes MLB.com’s Jane Lee.  “Billy asked me how I felt,” said Samardzija. “I was supposed to pitch today, so I’m a day past my due date to pitch. I’m chomping at the bit. I don’t think there’s any better way to get acclimated than to do it on the mound. It was a no-brainer for me, and I look forward to it.” Here’s more from around baseball.


Mariners, Giants Interested In Dayan Viciedo

The Mariners and Giants are among the teams who have talked to the White Sox about acquiring outfielder Dayan Viciedo, ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes reports.  The Mariners have considered sending righty Brandon Maurer and another player to Chicago in exchange for Viciedo, while the extent of the Giants’ interest in the Cuban slugger isn’t known.

Viciedo has struggled to a .242/.294/.404 slash line over 326 PA this season, hitting nine homers and producing only an 89 wRC+.  He has roughly $1.4MM remaining on his contract for this season, and he is controlled through 2017 as a Super Two player.  Viciedo is still just 25 years old and posted some big power numbers in the minors, so a change of scenery could help, though moving from hitter-friendly US Cellular Field to pitcher-friendly parks in Seattle and San Francisco doesn’t seem ideal for a batter looking to realize his potential.

This isn’t the first time Seattle has been linked to Viciedo, as the M’s and Sox explored a swap during Spring Training.  The Mariners are still looking for some outfield power, as while Michael Saunders (RF) and James Jones (CF) have mostly locked down everyday roles, former top prospect Dustin Ackley has contributed only a .640 OPS while getting the bulk of playing time in left field.  Since all three of these players are left-handed batters, Viciedo would add some balance from the right side.

Maurer, who just turned 24 yesterday, has a 6.51 ERA in 37 1/3 IP (seven starts and three relief outings) for Seattle this season.  A 23rd-round draft pick in 2008, Maurer has recorded a 3.79 ERA, 8.4 K/9 and 2.7 K/BB rate over 389 minor league innings.

Brandon Belt returns from the DL today, leaving the Giants with an ideal regular lineup of Belt at first base, Michael Morse in left and Hunter Pence in right.  If Viciedo were to go to San Francisco, then, it would be as a bench bat and DH option for interleague games in AL stadiums.  Viciedo has graded out as a below-average outfielder over his career, so it’s hard to see him getting much playing time in the spacious AT&T Park outfield.



White Sox, Mariners Have Discussed Viciedo Deal

The White Sox and Mariners have discussed a deal involving outfielder Dayan ViciedoBruce Levine of CBSChicago.com reports. The White Sox are not actively looking to trade Viciedo, although they are willing to take calls on him, Levine notes. Levine suggests that the White Sox might want to receive a left-handed potential power hitter in return.

The Mariners admire Viciedo's talent and are looking to add a right-handed hitter to their lineup. Viciedo will make $2.8MM in 2014, and will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season.

Viciedo hit .265/.304/.426 in 473 plate appearances for the White Sox last season, a disappointing year, given that Viciedo is not a plus defensive outfielder. (As the Seattle Times' Jerry Brewer recently noted, the Mariners struggled with outfield defense last season. Viciedo would be unlikely to help in that area.) The Mariners are currently slated to go with an outfield mix of Dustin Ackley, Abraham Almonte, Michael Saunders, Corey Hart, Logan Morrison and perhaps Endy Chavez or another bench candidate, with Hart and Morrison also receiving time at first base and DH. 


White Sox Getting Calls On De Aza, Viciedo

It's still relatively early on in Spring Training, but the White Sox have already begun getting calls on outfielders Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The two are battling for the everyday job in left field, as it 2013 trade acquisitions Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia are likely to man center field and right field, respectively.

De Aza is the more established player of the two but also comes with less team control. Set to turn 30 in early April, De Aza has batted .279/.343/.420 in 357 games with the White Sox since being claimed off waivers from the Marlins in 2009. The lefty swinger belted a career-high 17 homers last season and has stolen 46 bases over the past two seasons. Ultimate Zone Rating pegs him as an average defender in the outfield, though Defensive Runs Saved feels he's somewhat below average. He has extensive experience in center field and also played 426 innings in left field for the Sox last season. De Aza is under team control for two more seasons and will earn $4.25MM in 2014.

Viciedo is the younger and more powerful of the two, but comes with question marks about his defense and on-base skills. Viciedo, who turns 25 on Monday, mashed 25 homers in his first full season with the Sox in 2012, posting a .255/.300/.444 triple-slash line. However, he wasn't able to match that power level in 2013, as he hit just 14 homers with a .265/.304/.426 slash line. UZR/150 pegs him at -5.5 over his career in left field, while DRS has him at -3. Both metrics agree that his glove worsened in 2013. As a Super Two player, he'll earn $2.8MM in 2014 and is controllable through the 2017 season.

De Aza would seem to be a natural fit with the Tigers, who recently learned that they'll be without Andy Dirks for roughly three months due to back surgery. His left-handed bat would pair well with Rajai Davis to form a left field platoon, which was supposed to be the role filled by Dirks. With an extra year of team control, he could potentially fill Torii Hunter's spot in 2015 if Hunter signs elsewhere and the Tigers don't find a suitable replacement on the free agent or trade market. Of course, this is all purely speculation on my part, and the White Sox and Tigers may prefer not to swing a trade within their own division. Other teams that could use an upgrade in the outfield include the Orioles, Mariners and Pirates, to name a few.


White Sox Avoid Arbitration With Dayan Viciedo

The White Sox have avoided arbitration with left fielder Dayan Viciedo by signing him to a one-year deal worth $2.8MM, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected that the Scott Boras client would earn exactly $2.8MM via arbitration.

Viciedo saw his power drop substantially in 2013 — his age-24 season. After clubbing 25 homers and posting a strong .188 isolated power mark (slugging percentage minus batting average) in 2012, Viciedo's homer total fell to 14, and his ISO dropped to .161. Overall, he batted .265/.304/.426 in 473 plate appearances with the Sox.

The White Sox control Viciedo through the 2017 season, meaning he will be arbitration eligible three more times as a Super Two player. The arbitration process will continue to reward his power totals, meaning he'll need to show some improved on-base skills and/or improved defense in order to avoid becoming a non-tender candidate in the future.


Central Notes: Twins, Indians, White Sox, Pirates

Let's run through some late-night Central links …


Quick Hits: Diaz, Benoit, Axford, Feldman, Ibanez

Since being ruled ineligible due to providing a false birthdate over the summer, Cuban shortstop prospect Aledmys Diaz has interest from a list of teams including the Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees, agent Jamie Torres tells Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. “There are some very good players out right now and more are coming,” Torres said. “Let’s put it this way: I can predict that a few of the Cuban players that sign between now and Spring Training are going to contribute in the big leagues in the 2014 season and their contribution is going to be significant.”  More from around baseball..

  • Omar Infante has been looking for a four-year deal and is drawing some interest from clubs who see him as a left fielder or third baseman, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Yesterday it was reported that Infante is seeking a deal with an $8MM+ average annual value.
  • Some agents and teams are convinced that the three-year, $30MM deal the Astros gave free agent pitcher Scott Feldman has been a wrench in talks for others since agents feel obligated to also shoot for that type of “lottery ticket” contract, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
  • Free agent Raul Ibanez is considering offers from multiple contenders, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Earlier today, Stark reported that Ibanez could be headed to the Angels.
  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson says he’ll hold on to Ike Davis if no one comes to the table with a strong enough offer, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. “Let me emphasize one thing: We’re not in the business of giving players away,” Alderson said. “We don’t expect to get in that business.”
  • The Tigers are in on Ervin Santana, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Twitter). The Twins, meanwhile, aren’t in the mix because of the draft pick compensation tied to him.
  • Agent Scott Boras says he would talk to Orioles owner Peter Angelos about extensions for Matt Wieters and Chris Davis, writes CSNBaltimore.com’s Rich Dubroff.
  • The Twins continue to talk to free agent pitcher Mike Pelfrey, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether a deal with Pelfrey would preclude a signing of fellow free agent hurler Bronson Arroyo, but MInnesota has flexibility.
  • One GM tells Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily (Twitter link) that he can’t see Kendrys Morales signing until after the draft.
  • White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn says his team still has several potential options ahead less than 24 hours after acquiring center fielder Adam Eaton from the Diamondbacks in a three-team deal, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. One rival exec believes the White Sox would like to trade outfielder Dayan Viciedo, who is now part of a crowded house with the addition of Eaton. Another baseball source said the White Sox have looked into the possibility of trading away second baseman Gordon Beckham.
  • The free agent market for second basemen seems to be impacted by the availability of Howie Kendrick, Brandon Phillips, and others, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.

AL Notes: Valverde, Rays, Viciedo, Wells

Baseball America has released this useful chart showing where each of baseball's 100 best prospects is currently playing. Elsewhere around baseball:

  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says the club's deal with Jose Valverde does not include a Major League side, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com. Dombrowski acknowledged that he "talked extensively" with Valverde agent Scott Boras "throughout the last couple months" about the Tigers' former closer, in spite of reports that the Tigers were not interested. The team decided that the deal was beneficial because "if this makes us the best team, then, great, and if it doesn't, then we don't have any commitments." 
  • The Rays organization is fully stocked with major league ready talent after its offseason moves, writes Bill Chastain of MLB.com. Manager Joe Maddon says that the club "sent some Major League players back to Triple-A this time," which is "not so good for them and good for us." In particular, Chastain cites players such as pitchers Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and Alex Colome, along with hitters Wil Myers and Tim Beckham, as ready to step in on the MLB level. According to Maddon, "if anything were to happen, we have the guys in tow."
  • White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo, another Boras client, appears content to sit back and let his agent decide whether or not to seek an extension, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Viciedo says he has already been "very privileged" to have signed a four-year, $10MM deal as an international free agent from Cuba. The 24-year-old will reach arbitration eligibility in 2015, unless he qualifies for Super Two status. 
  • Both the Mariners and Yankees made bad decisions relating to a player named Wells, writes ESPN.com's Dave Szymborski (insider sub. req'd). Szymborski opines that Seattle's decision to go with Jason Bay over Casper Wells and New York's acquisition of Vernon Wells are among the worst moves of the spring.

White Sox Notes: Hahn, Viciedo, Sale

White Sox GM Rick Hahn had a relatively quiet debut offseason while AL Central rivals such as the Indians and Royals made aggressive moves. Hahn told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that at times he thought about making a splash. “There’s a strong temptation first to try to be part of that, add yourself in as a three-way or four-way. And we did explore some of those avenues, but obviously it becomes pretty complex." Here are the latest White-Sox related notes…

  • Hahn said he was ultimately happy to re-sign Jake Peavy instead of making moves for the sake of making moves.
  • The White Sox announced that they agreed to terms with all pre-arbitration eligible players, including Dayan Viciedo, Chris Sale and Addison Reed. Every member of the team's 40-man roster is now under contract for 2013.
  • Viciedo will earn $2.6MM, Sale will earn $600K and Reed will earn $520K, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports (Twitter links). While the raises for Sale and Reed are nothing out of the ordinary, Viciedo’s salary is unusually high for a pre-arbitration eligible player. He obtains a modest raise from the $2.5MM salary he earned in 2012, the final season of the four-year, $10MM contract he signed as an amateur free agent in 2008.
  • The White Sox acquired third baseman Conor Gillaspie from the Giants for minor league right-hander Jeff Soptic earlier today.