The White Sox will trade outfielder Dayán Viciedo “for sure”, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY writes. With a starting outfield that includes Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton, and newcomer Melky Cabrera, Viciedo no longer has a regular role for the team.
The Mariners, who lost the Cabrera bidding to the White Sox, could pursue Viciedo. It would be no consolation, as Viciedo has put up slightly below-average numbers over the past three seasons, batting an aggregate .250/.294/.425 with 60 home runs and 192 RBI in 1,579 plate appearances. Since the start of the 2012 season, only four outfielders (min. 1,000 PA) have been less valuable than Viciedo, according to FanGraphs.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have engaged with free agent Michael Morse recently. Jackson adds that the club prefers to go the free agent route for a first baseman as opposed to trading pitching, such as Henderson Alvarez or Jarred Cosart.
With Melky Cabrera now off the board, Morse is one of only a few enticing hitters remaining in free agency. The list becomes even more dour when you limit to first basemen.
Morse would certainly be a boon to the Marlins if he’s able to replicate his production from the 2014 season. He hit .279/.336/.475 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI in 482 plate appearances.
From Shi Davidi of Toronto’s Sportsnet.ca …
Another former Blue Jays outfielder could also find his way to the Windy City.
The cross-town Cubs recently met with Colby Rasmus, and are one of several teams to have shown interest in the centre-fielder.
The other “former Blue Jays outfielder” that Davidi is referring to is Melky Cabrera, who agreed to terms on a three-year, $42 million free agent contract with the Chicago White Sox late Saturday night.
Rasmus batted just .225 with a .287 on-base percentage in 2014 for the Blue Jays, eventually getting benched. But he is only 28 years old and was a 4.8 fWAR player in 2013, hitting .276/.338/.501 with 22 home runs.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon is known for utilizing platoons and Rasmus, a left-handed hitter, has good career numbers against right-handed pitchers. Adding him to the mix could ease some of the pressure on Arismendy Alcantara, who hit just .190/.215/.350 against right-handed pitching this past season as a 22-year-old rookie.
Rasmus had some major clashes with Tony La Russa in St. Louis and Rasmus has pointed to that rocky relationship as a reason he struggled to live up to his prospect hype. Maddon is very player-friendly, an embracer of odd personalities, and could maybe pull something out of Colby that his past skippers couldn’t.
The Orioles are also known to have some interest in working out a deal with Rasmus this winter.
Update #2 (1:55 AM EST): MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez has confirmed the deal, which is estimated between $42-43.5 million over three years.
Update (12:38 AM EST): Levine says the deal should be in the “$45 million range”.
Bruce Levine of 670 The Score is reporting that the White Sox have signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to a three-year deal, pending a physical. The specific terms of the contract are not yet known.
Cabrera had drawn a significant amount of interest from several teams throughout the off-season, even receiving a three-year offer from the Mariners on Friday. The addition of Cabrera is the latest in what has been a busy off-season for the White Sox. They traded for starter Jeff Samardzija and signed closer David Robertson last week, and signed 1B/DH Adam LaRoche in November.
Though the Mariners had offered shortstop Brad Miller as part of a package in an effort to acquire outfielder Matt Kemp from the Dodgers recently, Mariners officials contend the club is not actively looking to move him. One official said explicitly, “We’re not looking to trade him,” reports Bob Dutton of The News Tribune.
The Kemp deal stalled, Dutton writes, when the Dodgers insisted on receiving either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton along with Miller and others. Kemp was eventually traded to the Padres.
As for Miller, there were even some rumors that the Mariners would consider him as an outfield option if they failed to make another deal. They have made a three-year offer to free agent Melky Cabrera and could still have others, such as Michael Morse, on their radar. The Mariners were also interested in trading for Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, which would obviously displace Miller if he did not switch locations in such a trade.
For now, Miller is likely to be the Mariners’ starting shortstop on Opening Day after batting .221/.288/.365 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI in 411 plate appearances last season. Should Miller not get the nod, Chris Taylor would.