Blue Jays, Athletics talking to Dayan Viciedo

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Blue Jays and Athletics are among the various teams talking to free agent outfielder Dayan Viciedo.

Viciedo was designated for assignment by the White Sox in late January and ultimately released in early February. Since then, the Reds and Indians showed interest but each moved on. The Blue Jays recently lost outfielder Michael Saunders for five or six weeks after he tore his meniscus, so they are understandably looking to add some depth.

Viciedo, 25, will certainly provide some power from the right side as he has bashed 60 home runs and knocked in 192 runs over the last three seasons. However, that’s about the extent of his production as he doesn’t hit for average, has no speed, and is subpar defensively.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.