Between re-signing first baseman Paul Konerko to a three-year, $37.5 million deal and seemingly clearing the way for rookie Brent Morel to take over as the everyday third baseman the White Sox pushed prospect Dayan Viciedo out of the infield picture, but now Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that they’re giving him a look in the outfield.
Viciedo played right field yesterday and made a pair of nice plays, drawing praise from manager Ozzie Guillen. Viciedo has played exclusively first base and third base since signing with the White Sox for $10 million in 2008, but Gonzales notes that he saw some outfield action in Cuba before defecting.
Viciedo is listed at 5-foot-11 and 240 pounds, and many people were skeptical about his ability to show the range needed at third base, so counting on him to track down fly balls in an outfield corner is hardly a guarantee. Still, if he can be a passable defender while developing some much-needed plate discipline offensively the White Sox could step up their efforts to trade Carlos Quentin knowing they have the 22-year-old Viciedo waiting in the wings.
The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.
Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.
Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.
Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.