Dayan Viciedo Rumors

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.


Hahn On Viciedo, Pierzynski, Stewart

Earlier today, the White Sox hosted SoxFest 2013, an interactive event where fans got the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with General Manager Rick Hahn.  Executive Vice President and former GM Kenny Williams couldn't resist joining in and closed things out when he asked Hahn if he'll do a better job than his predecessor.  Hahn responded by saying that the last GM had a better support staff in place (via White Sox on Twitter) and drew laughs from everyone in attendance.  Here's more on the White Sox..

  • Hahn said that the White Sox haven't shopped Dayan Viciedo but added that no one is untouchable, tweets Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  It was reported last month that the White Sox discussed deals involving Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza.
  • The GM was asked about the departure of A.J. Pierzynski and he explained that the money that would have gone to the catcher was instead re-routed to Jake Peavy, Jeff Keppinger, and Matt Lindstrom, tweets Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  Hahn also expressed confidence in catcher Tyler Flowers' abilities.
  • A fan asked Hahn about the decision to claim Zach Stewart off of waivers from the Pirates.  The GM explained that Stewart adds depth to the team's pitching, cost the team very little, and has big league experience, Gonzales tweets.  The White Sox's decision to pick up Stewart yesterday marked the second time that they have acquired the right-hander in two years.

White Sox Could Trade Viciedo Or De Aza

The White Sox have discussed deals involving Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. The White Sox and Mariners discussed a deal that would send Viciedo to Seattle. Meanwhile, the Reds and Mariners discussed a deal that would send De Aza to Cincinnati.

Discussions with Seattle may have slowed down now that the Mariners have agreed to terms with Jason Bay, Gonzales writes. The White Sox, who are seeking a left-handed bat, would have wanted prospects from Seattle in a deal for Viciedo. The Mariners have been linked to numerous free agent hitters, so it's not surprising to see that they're also considering trades for power hitters.

The Reds are considering adding an outfielder capable of leading off and have also been linked to Dexter Fowler of the Rockies.


Quick Hits: Upton, Hamilton, Kinsler, Hunter, Choo

This was a bit before MLB Trade Rumors' time, but it was on this day in 1886 that the first trade in Major League history took place.  The Cincinnati Red Stockings acquired base-stealing outfielder Hugh Nicol and Jamie Moyer from the St. Louis Browns in exchange for rookie catcher Jack Boyle and $400.  Here's some modern-day hot stove action from around the majors…

  • Free agent outfielder B.J. Upton visited Turner Field today, meeting with Braves general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman.  The Braves see Upton as their top free agent target this winter, as Upton will come at a lower price than Michael Bourn.
  • While the Red Sox have checked in with Josh Hamilton's agent, reports of Boston's interest in Hamilton are "overblown," a source tells WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
  • Ian Kinsler is willing to change positions if the Rangers ask, the second baseman tells Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  "Where I play on the field is not my decision. I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team win regardless of where I am on the field or where I’m hitting in the batting order," Kinsler said.  A move from second could open room for both Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus in the infield, while Kinsler could replace Hamilton in left or play first base.
  • Both the Angels and the Tigers benefited from Torii Hunter signing with Detroit, opines MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.
  • MLB.com's Jordan Bastian breaks down Shin-Soo Choo's trade value both in terms of what the Indians could get in return and how Choo compares to free agents currently on the market.
  • The Indians' thin farm system is due to nearly a decade of poor drafts, writes Baseball America's Ben Badler.
  • It seems like the White Sox will look externally to fill their hole at third base, as GM Rick Hahn told reporters (including MLB.com's Scott Merkin) that "we are exploring a lot of options that we rank ahead of moving [Dayan] Viciedo in from the outfield," though he didn't completely rule it out.
  • With five notable Marlins on their way to Toronto, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports looks at how players face large tax increases when they're dealt away from Florida, including a past instance of a player (Carlos Delgado) having tax protection written into his contract in lieu of a no-trade clause from the Marlins.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports examines how the Marlins/Blue Jays trade and Hunter's signing will impact other teams and players around baseball.
    Read more here: http://sportsblogs.star-telegram.com/foul_territory/2012/11/ian-kinsler-would-ok-move-from-second-base.html#storylink=cpy

Chicago Notes: Youkilis, Pierzynski, Samardzija, Haren

Here's the latest out of the Windy City from both the White Sox and the Cubs…

  • The Sox are talking to Kevin Youkilis about returning to fill their hole at third base, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  The Phillies and Indians are also in the mix for Youkilis, who had his $13MM option for 2013 bought out by the White Sox for $1MM.
  • Four rival executives name Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza, Gavin Floyd and Dayan Viciedo as players the White Sox would be open to trading, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.  If the Sox were looking for salary relief, two executives say that trading Alex Rios and the $26MM remaining on his contract will be much easier after Rios' strong 2012 season, though neither exec is certain that Rios is available. 
  • A.J. Pierzynski tells Dan Hayes that he is much more prepared for free agency now than he was in 2010.  Pierzynski said he would like to return to the White Sox or possibly play for the Rays in his home state of Florida, though his childhood dream of playing for the Braves is unlikely with Brian McCann on board.
  • The Cubs have reached out to Jeff Samardzija about a multiyear extension, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  Samardzija, who enjoyed a breakout year in 2012 in his first season as a starting pitcher, is arb-eligible for the first time this winter and is under team control through 2015.
  • The proposed trade between the Angels and Cubs and would've brought Dan Haren to Chicago indeed fell through due to the Cubs' concerns about Haren's recent injury history, reports CSNChicago.com's David Kaplan.
  • Haren denied that he was injured in an e-mail to Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times.  “I’ve never missed any time because of injury other than the three weeks this year because of my back," Haren said.  "When I came back, I had to be cleared by doctors, so obviously, I was healthy." 

Quick Hits: Blue Jays, Pena, Padres, White Sox, Braun

Presenting the first edition of Quick Hits for 2012..

  • An interesting fact courtesy of Yahoo's Jeff Passan (via Twitter): Of the 23 teams to have spent money on free agents this offseason, the Red Sox rank 18th and the Yankees are tied for 19th.  Each team has spent $4.35MM and $4MM, respectively.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Jason Frasor shortly after the trade that he's now satisfied with the look of his bullpen, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.  Frasor will join the recently-signed Darren Oliver and Sergio Santos, who Anthopoulos traded for in December.
  • The Blue Jays now have 40 men on the 40-man roster after acquiring Frasor, which means that the club will need to make another move in the coming days to create space for Oliver, Chisholm tweets.  The veteran agreed to a one-year deal with a club option for 2013 on Friday.
  • It's possible that Carlos Pena could be an option for the Indians, but the market for first baseman won't truly shake loose until Prince Fielder finds his new home, writes Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.  Yesterday, just over 7% of MLBTR readers polled picked the Tribe as Pena's most likely destination while the Brewers won out with almost 20% of the vote.
  • The Padres shook things up yesterday when they traded for Carlos Quentin, but you can expect them to open the season with Orlando Hudson and Jason Bartlett in the middle infield, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
  • Speaking of the Quentin deal, Dayan Viciedo is now expected to take over in right field for the White Sox, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin.  The 22-year-old is entering the final season of the four-year, $10MM deal he signed in December of 2008.
  • An official familiar with the appeals process for banned substances told Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel that he doesn't anticipate Ryan Braun winning his case against a 50-game suspension.  The source said that Braun's only options are to prove an error in the testing or say that the Brewers signed off on a treatment.  However, there are provisions in place to ensure accurate testing and the club never gave Braun the go-ahead to use any substance.
  • Fielder liked the idea of playing in Chicago because it's a reasonable distance from his Florida home and he has had success at Wrigley Field, writes Ken Davidoff of Newsday.  However, that no longer appears to be a possibility for the slugger as the Cubs are looking to rebuild.

Chicago Links: Williams, Viciedo, Hendry

Chicago's teams have combined for 70 wins and 90 losses, yet the White Sox say they could still turn their season around and the Cubs tell us not to expect a fire sale. Here are the details…

  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times that his team can turn it around and start winning, but is licking its wounds too much at the moment. “We're going to have to start to turn this around quickly,” Williams said. 
  • Jim Margalus of South Side Sox explains that Dayan Viciedo may be in Triple-A because of service time considerations. The prospect is hitting minor league pitching as well as the White Sox could hope (.330/.369/.528 line), but if the White Sox wait another week, Viciedo won't have a full year of service time at the end of the year even if he doesn’t return to Triple-A. Margalus’ analysis is spot-on here. 
  • Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald that the Cubs won't have a fire sale this summer. They intend told keep the players who will help down the road, Hendry said. "If we make moves, it will be designed to make us better for the future."

Kenny Williams Talks Dunn, Viciedo, Deadline

The Chicago Tribune's Dave van Dyck talked to White Sox GM Kenny Williams on Sunday; here are a few highlights.

  • "I would make the same move tomorrow again," says Williams in reference to Adam Dunn's four-year, $56MM contract that also cost the Sox the #23 overall draft pick this year.  Dunn is hitting .173/.308/.316 with seven home runs in 279 plate appearances as he attempts to adjust to the American League and full-time DH work.  Williams considers Dunn's 2011 struggles "a little blip."
  • Williams says he respects manager Ozzie Guillen too much to force him to promote prospect Dayan Viciedo.  The 22-year-old outfielder is hitting .330/.369/.528 this year, but Williams says Viciedo is "not a finished product."
  • Williams does not believe he can acquire a player who has the ability of those already on the team.  He's hoping for certain members of his current squad to start playing to their normal abilities.