Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Blue Jays have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Dayan Viciedo. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that Viciedo will earn a $2.5 million salary if he makes the major league roster.
The Blue Jays were linked to Viciedo shortly after learning the severity of the injury to Michael Saunders. Though Saunders is expected to return in April as opposed to July as was initially believed, it was still imperative to add some outfield depth and they did so in the form of Viciedo.
Viciedo was released by the White Sox on February 4 as the Melky Cabrera signing earlier this offseason left him without a starting role. In 563 plate appearances last season, Viciedo hit 21 home runs and knocked in 58 runs but mustered only a .231 average and .281 on-base percentage.
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.