There’s been lots of speculation that the White Sox will trade Dayan Viciedo, but in the meantime they avoided arbitration with the corner outfielder by signing a one-year, $4.4 million deal.
Viciedo has failed to develop any semblance of plate discipline offensively and his defense has always been bad, so hitting .254 with a .424 slugging percentage simply isn’t enough to make him a quality regular. On the other hand he’s still just 26 years old and does have 25-homer power.
Chicago has Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia in the outfield corners with Jose Abreu at first base and Adam LaRoche at designated hitter, so unless the White Sox plan to pay $4.4 million for a part-timer Viciedo is destined to be elsewhere eventually.
Right-hander Jesse Chavez and the A’s have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says he’ll get $2.15 million following a season in which he threw 146 innings with a 3.45 ERA while splitting time between the bullpen and rotation after a career spent almost entirely as a reliever.
Chavez is unlikely to make 21 starts again in 2015, projecting more as a middle reliever. He has a 3.83 ERA in 207 total innings for the A’s since 2012.
Jamey Carroll, who sat out last season after being released by the Nationals during spring training, has officially retired as a player at age 41 and joined the Pirates’ front office as a specialist assistant to the baseball operations staff.
Carroll didn’t make it to the majors until age 28, but had a 12-year career in which he hit .272 with a .349 on-base percentage and excellent strike-zone control as utility man.
He earned nearly $20 million while playing for six different teams and logging at least 1,500 innings at shortstop, second base, and third base.
Back in November the White Sox signed free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche to a two-year, $25 million deal and now they’ve signed his brother, Andy LaRoche, to a minor-league contract.
Andy LaRoche was once considered a top prospect in the Dodgers farm system–higher rated as a prospect than Adam LaRoche ever was, in fact–but he struggled in 404 games as a big leaguer for four different teams and has spent most of the past three seasons at Triple-A.
Baseball America rated Andy LaRoche as a top-100 prospect in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008–including top-20 spots twice–but now at age 32 he’s mostly organization depth and someone to hang out with Adam during spring training.
Next week at the 30th annual Cubs Convention more than 60 current and former Cubs players will be in attendance, but Sammy Sosa will not be one of them.
Like last year, Sosa has not been invited to the event because, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:
Issues between him and the team going back several years still haven’t been resolved. Sources have indicated in the past that Sosa needed to mend relationships with some former teammates before he can attend. Sosa was denied entry into the Hall of Fame earlier this week despite hitting 609 career home runs, including three seasons with the Cubs where he hit 60 or more.
It’s worth noting that the Cubs’ current management is not the same as the Cubs’ management when Sosa was in Chicago, at least in terms of the front office. Which suggests “some former teammates” are the ones keeping Sosa away. Sosa’s highest-profile Cubs teammates from 1992-2004? Kerry Wood, Mark Grace, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano. Hmm.