Well, here’s an interesting pair of moves.
Gordon Beckham, who played the first five-and-a-half years of his career for the White Sox before being traded to the Angels in August, has re-signed with Chicago on a one-year, $2 million deal.
And to make room for Beckham’s return to the roster the White Sox designated for assignment outfielder Dayan Viciedo, whom they signed to a one-year, $4.4 million deal to avoid arbitration just two weeks ago.
Presumably the White Sox are close to trading Viciedo, because it’s hard to imagine them eating money to cut him loose when they could have done so for free a couple months ago.
Beckham figures to compete with Emilio Bonifacio for playing time at second base (or maybe third base). He showed a lot of promise as a 22-year-old rookie in 2009, but since then Beckham has hit just .241 with a .660 OPS in 662 games.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.