Now that Dayan Viciedo has successfully made the transition from range-impaired third baseman to passable right fielder at Triple-A the 22-year-old prospect told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he’s “ready” for another chance with the White Sox.
And general manager Ken Williams apparently agrees, telling Merkin that “it would be awfully interesting to have him in this lineup” and “he’s obviously got some things he still needs to work on, but I would have no qualms about bringing him here.”
Now the only question is how the White Sox could create an opening in the lineup for him.
Alex Rios and Adam Dunn are slumping, but big contracts mean they aren’t going anywhere. Coming into the season there was speculation about Viciedo replacing Carlos Quentin in right field, but now Quentin is leading the White Sox in homers and ranks eighth among AL hitters in OPS.
All of which seems to point to Juan Pierre as the odd man out since he’s gone from light-hitting to no-hitting, batting just .259 with a .628 OPS while being thrown out on half of his steal attempts. Replacing Pierre with Viciedo–by way of Quentin shifting to left field–would be a defensive downgrade, but with Viciedo hitting .313 with 10 homers and an .877 OPS in 61 games at Triple-A the swap would also dramatically change the White Sox’s lineup.
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor reached an agreement with the Rangers on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension. It was announced on Saturday and finalized on Thursday. The contract is pretty typical — a signing bonus, escalating salaries each year — except for one thing: Odor received two elite horses as well, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Here are those horses, per Jared Sandler of 1053 The Fan:
Players do sometimes get perks as part of their contracts. Usually it’s mundane stuff like extra game tickets for family and friends, use of a suite, limo rides, or plane tickets. Sometimes they can get rather specific. For example, in 2005, Troy Glaus got $250,000 per year in “personal business expenses” from the Diamondbacks, which was for his wife’s equestrian training. Hall of Famer George Brett got a 10 percent stake in an apartment complex in Memphis when he signed an extension with the Royals in the mid-1980’s. But as far as my research was able to go, no one received any horses, so that’s new.
Of course, the Rangers certainly think Odor is worth the perks. Last season, Odor hit .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 632 plate appearances. And at just 23 years old, he has plenty of room to improve.
The Mariners have signed reliever Mark Lowe, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Tigers released him on Sunday.
Lowe, 33, is entering the last of a two-year, $11 million deal signed with the Tigers in December 2015. The right-hander struggled to a 7.11 ERA with a 49/21 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings last season. His performance this spring didn’t do much to inspire confidence.
Lowe began his major league career with the Mariners, breaking out in 2009 with a 3.26 ERA across 80 innings. He has been inconsistent throughout most of his 11-year big league career, however.