Dayan Viciedo Rumors
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'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."
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.
Here are some highlights from the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- Rival clubs continue to report that the Giants are looking hard for a catcher. In a perfect world, they'd pick up a shortstop too. Rookie Brandon Crawford appears to be over-matched at the plate, Miguel Tejada has the lowest OPS in the National League, and Mike Fontenot won't be able to play the position every day even when he returns from the DL. Jose Reyes has been mentioned as a fit but he'll probably cost a ton to land and quite a bit of cash to retain beyond this year. One veteran that could make sense for the club is the Indians' Orlando Cabrera. The Giants had interest in him last winter and he is now expendable.
- The White Sox are looking to improve and there's one obvious move they can make within: dumping Juan Pierre and promoting Dayan Viciedo. It would leave the club without a leadoff hitter, but Pierre has been struggling as of late anyway. Meanwhile, Viciedo has been hitting .324 with power in Triple-A.
- The Padres are taking one last stab at getting into contention, but one more losing stretch and they'll commence the selloff. It would behoove them to act sooner rather than later with players like Heath Bell and Ryan Ludwick so that they can get the jump on the market. Money is tight for many teams right now but the Padres might be willing to include some cash in deals to get better returns.
- The rapidly declining Marlins will definitely be sellers and will listen on offers for Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs. They could also shop Leo Nunez, even though the market for relievers is crowded. Nunez is making $3.65MM this season and has one more year of arbitration eligibility left.
Lest we forget, there are still eight million more native Spanish-speakers in the world than English-speakers...
- Dayan Viciedo is "well-viewed" within the White Sox organization and will fight it out with Brent Morel for the starting third base job this spring, a source from Chicago told Luis Rangel at Miami-based El Nuevo Herald. The source said Viciedo is working daily with third base coach Joey Cora to improve his mobility and fielding at the hot corner, though his appeal to the organization remains primarily through offense, as evidenced by a .308/.321/.519 line in 106 PAs last summer. Kenny Williams indicated in August that the 21-year-old Cuban prospect was untouchable, though rumors of his availability have revived recently.
- The Dodgers signed Vicente Padilla to do a little of everything, but if he becomes a full-time starter, the deal he signed last week could end up looking a lot different. Gerald Hernandez at the Nicaraguan paper La Prensa detailed Padilla's contract, which stipulates that if he matches his career high of 33 starts, his $2MM salary will jump to $8MM. Against Padilla's favor: Each of the Dodgers' front five started at least 30 games in 2010.
- Reliever Elmer Dessens hasn't received an offer to re-sign with the Mets, a source close to the pitcher told Fernando Ballesteros at the Mexican blog Puro Beisbol. The source added that Dessens, who will turn 40 in early January, is currently in negotiations with one team from each league. He posted a 2.30 ERA for the Mets in 47 innings last season while both walking and striking out 3.06 per nine, and he has said he is only interested in a guaranteed major league deal.
SATURDAY,1:40pm: White Sox GM Kenny Williams is hoping for a "Carlos Lee-type return" in a deal for Quentin, a scout confirmed to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter). The White Sox sent Lee to Milwaukee following the 2004 season for Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino, and a player to be named later (Travis Hinton).
10:17am: Kenny Williams shot down the Quentin trade talk, telling Dave van Dyck of The Chicago Tribune that it's untrue (Twitter links). Williams added that he will not move a piece of his everyday lineup for bullpen help.
FRIDAY, 7:04pm: The White Sox are "actively looking" to move Carlos Quentin for a package that includes at least one reliever, tweets Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sox "are asking a lot so far," according to Cowley's sources, so it's possible they may just be gauging the market at this point, though we know at least one team (Philadelphia) has shown interest in Quentin.
Since his breakout 2008 campaign (a .965 OPS and a fifth-place finish in MVP voting), Quentin has battled injuries and posted a .240/.334/.469 line over the past two seasons. The outfielder is headed into his second arbitration year; he and the Sox avoided the process last season by agreeing on a $3.2MM contract.
Quentin's name came up in trade rumors for Adam Dunn over the summer and more recently for Colby Rasmus. Quentin's terrible outfield glove (a -32.7 UZR/150 in right field last year and a -25.2 UZR/150 as a left fielder in 2009) may leave him with no alternate spot in the White Sox lineup now that Dunn and Paul Konerko are firmly entrenched at the first base and DH spots. We know the Sox are looking for bullpen help, so they may feel that need and Quentin's poor defense outweighs what he might provide at the plate.
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe breaks down the 2010 Red Sox and what members of the team may not be around for 2011. He says Jayson Werth will be a free agent target and wonders if they're willing to commit three or four years to Adrian Beltre, who is having a monster season. Jacoby Ellsbury and Daisuke Matsuzaka could be trade bait, and then there's the issue of David Ortiz's $12.5MM option.
Let's round up the rest of Cafardo's rumors...
- There have been "minimal, if any" talks between the Sox and Victor Martinez about a new contract.
- Expect Boston to revamp their bullpen, which could mean replacing Hideki Okajima.
- Carfado believes that the Rangers settled ownership situation will help the team down the stretch as the players don't have to deal with any speculation.
- Rafael Soriano and Joaquin Benoit, a pair of offseason pickups that are the Rays' two best relievers, will need to have their workloads monitored down the stretch, particularly Benoit who is coming off major shoulder surgery.
- The Angels have close to $110MM tied up in 2011 payroll counting arbitration raises, which could hinder their pursuit of free agents this winter.
- Kenny Williams says that teams never asked for Dayan Viciedo in a trade because they knew he was unavailable. We heard that Williams was willing to trade him before the deadline.
- A split between the Mariners and manager Don Wakamatsu seems likely this offseason.
The latest on Adam Dunn, with more updates to come throughout the day...
- The Nats are believed to have requested either Gordon Beckham or both Daniel Hudson and Dayan Viciedo in exchange for Dunn, tweets Heyman. That price was too high for the Sox, who told Beckham he wouldn't be on the move this week.
- The price for Dunn is high, but not ridiculous, according to Heyman (via Twitter). The White Sox and Rays are still involved.
- The Giants have minimal interest in Dunn at his current price, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Morosi notes that the Tigers are not pursuing Dunn.
- The White Sox and Tigers have plenty of interest in Dunn, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- Three-way scenarios involving the Nationals, White Sox, Diamondbacks and Edwin Jackson are in play, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). Rosenthal reported that such talks were underway earlier in the week.
- The Rays are the favorites to acquire Dunn, according to one executive who spoke to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Giants are the only other team Sherman hears in connection to Dunn (Twitter links).
- The Tigers are not pursuing Dunn, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
- The White Sox are saying internally that they're out of the Dunn sweepstakes, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Yankees are now out on Dunn. Joel Sherman of the New York Post explains that the Yankees would give up top prospects for a piece they need, but not for a luxury like Dunn. The Yanks lead the majors in scoring, so Dunn's bat is not an absolute necessity for the Bronx Bombers.
MONDAY, 11:15pm: White Sox GM Kenny Williams has been trying “desperately” to acquire Adam Dunn from the Nationals, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Cowley’s source says the White Sox don’t want to move Carlos Quentin or Gordon Beckham to acquire Dunn, but would move any minor leaguer, and would trade Dayan Viciedo or Daniel Hudson. But Williams still finds that Nats GM Mike Rizzo is asking a lot, according to Cowley’s source.
Though the White Sox appear to have interest in Dunn, Williams said that he isn’t optimistic about completing deals this summer.
"If I'm being honest and completely transparent right now of the price that is being asked for some of the players that we've inquired about, for us, it's more detrimental to our present and our future than we'd like,” Williams said.
The White Sox could definitely use an upgrade at DH, but as Williams pointed out, the team could still add a player in August. The White Sox acquired Alex Rios from the Blue Jays in an August 2009 waiver claim.
White Sox director of player development Buddy Bell recently told reporters he envisions the first few years of Cuban prospect Dayan Viciedo's career panning out like those of another former defector fresh off of a breakout season, Angels first baseman Kendry Morales. Viciedo may be taking the comparison to heart, as not only has he been taking grounders at first during spring training, he has also changed agents from Jaime Torres to Scott Boras, writes ESPN's Jorge Arangure, Jr.
If Viciedo switched permanently from third to first, he would immediately become the team's top prospect at the position just as Paul Konerko enters the final season of his five-year, $60MM post-World Series contract. The question is whether the move is more than just a preseason experiment. Arangure passes along an unenthusiastic quote from the player through his translator: "My position is third base. But I'll play wherever they tell me." Viciedo seemed more upbeat when he spoke in Spanish with the Nuevo Herald's Luis Rangel:
"Although I haven't played much in that position, I'd feel fine if the change eventually materialized. I don't think I'll have problems. If they ultimately ask me to play as a starter, I'll do it."
Viciedo has yet to see Triple A action for the White Sox, and his .280/.317/.391 line at Double A Birmingham last season wasn't first base heir-apparent material. A .313/.350/.464 second half looked more promising, though still well below the power numbers Morales showed at all levels of the Angels system. And though Viciedo's defense at third base didn't garner rave reviews, trainer Jesus Gallo tells Aragure that his off-season work was geared specifically toward slimming down the bulky prospect and making him lighter on his feet in preparation of a move to first.
While Viciedo isn't the first Cuban player this offseason to jettison the agent who worked with him from defection through signing, his choice of Boras may ultimately send a more powerful message to other prospects than, say, Aroldis Chapman's switch to Hendricks Sports Management or Morales' move from Hendricks to Boras. Viciedo, according to some Cuban baseball experts, wasn't viewed on the island as a top-level talent like Chapman, and the $10MM contract he signed in 2008 caused many other Cuban players to seriously ponder their potential value for the first time.