If the White Sox decide to let Paul Konerko leave as a free agent–and with the privilege to match any offer the decision may truly be up to them–they may turn to rookie Dayan Viciedo as the starter at first base, according to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune.
With a 167/34 K/BB ratio in the minors and 25/2 mark in his first taste of the majors I’m not convinced that Viciedo is ready to thrive in the big leagues yet, but if he’s going to get a chance next season at age 22 it makes sense that it would be at first base or designated hitter.
He was signed out of Cuba as a third baseman and played mostly third base in the minors, but the consensus seems to be that at 5-foot-11 and 240 pounds Viciedo is unlikely to stick there as even an adequate defender long term. Ultimate Zone Rating pegged him as 2.3 runs below average in just 162 innings at third base with the White Sox in his debut and Viciedo committed four errors in 19 starts there. Beyond that, Chicago also has Mark Teahen and Brent Morel as third base options for 2011.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.
Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:
Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.
Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.
Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.
Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.