I’ve written plenty about Dayan Viciedo here over the last few weeks, and I’ve done it all knowing that there is a distinct possibility that, by the time the season actually starts, Viciedo won’t even be in a White Sox uniform. I’ve spent the whole winter wondering whether or not Rick Hahn would trade either Viciedo or Alejandro De Aza, and while there’s no guarantee he’ll move either, there is interest in Viciedo.
In a report, Bruce Levine implies that there are multiple teams interested in Viciedo, though the only team he’s able to confirm has interest is the Seattle Mariners.
Several major league sources confirmed that the Sox and Mariners have had discussions on a deal that could center around Viciedo.
The Mariners top talent evaluates Ted Simmons and Pete Vuckovich were both in attendance at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, watching Viciedo and his teammates playing the Seattle Mariners. The White Sox have a need for young left hand hitting who they can project as run producers. Only Adam Dunn, a would be free agent after 2014, has extra base and RBI potential from the left side on the 40 man roster.
Seattle is trying to add a power bat from the right side to help protect Robinson Cano in the lineup. GM Jack Zduriencik has admired the potential of Viciedo since he signed with the White Sox as a free agent in 2008.
Yes, like Zduriencik, I have admired the potential of Dayan Viciedo as well. It’s just, having watched him these last few years, I’ve tempered my expectations on that potential quite a bit. Now, as we all know, talks and genuine trade interest are two different things entirely. Levine writes that the two teams have talked about a possible deal that would center around Viciedo, but personally, I’m not sure how much further the discussion can get besides just that: talking.
I just don’t get how this trade would work. If the Mariners truly are interested in Viciedo, that’s fine. While I think they’ll be disappointed in the long run, I can at least understand why they’d have interest. But where this deal loses me is that Levine says the Sox are interested in left-handed run producers, which I totally get, because this current iteration of the Sox lineup doesn’t have much of that.
But what left-handed run producers do the Mariners have that they’d give up for Dayan Viciedo?
I’d be more than happy to take Kyle Seager off Seattle’s hands, but I have to assume Seattle isn’t that stupid. Is Dustin Ackley a possibility? Would Seattle be willing to do a “change of scenery” deal, and if they were, is Ackley a run producer?
He certainly showed that potential when he first reached Seattle, posting a bWAR of 3.7 in only 90 games in 2011. He just hasn’t been nearly as effective the last two years, posting an OPS+ of only 82 in that span, with an OBP of .304. So, essentially, dealing Viciedo for Ackley would be like dealing Viciedo for Viciedo, though Ackley has shown more promise at times, and like Viciedo, Ackley isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season.
Ackley could play in left field if needed, but bringing him to Chicago could also provide insurance for Gordon Beckham. Ackley came up as a second baseman, and he’s above average there defensively. In fact, using advanced metrics, he’s a large upgrade over Beckham defensively, though I’ve always felt like the metrics are more than a bit unfair to Beckham.
And that’s the catch about Ackley. I feel like if you’re going to trade for Ackley, you should do so with the intention of playing him at second base. He’s got a much better chance to give you plus value offensively at second than he would as a corner outfielder. So if the Sox do that deal, that means they’ve got to find a new home for Beckham as well.
Which seems like a lot of work just to get rid of a guy like Viciedo who you don’t need to get rid of any time soon.
So while the Mariners may be interested in Viciedo, and they may be talking to the White Sox about him, I wouldn’t expect anything to come from it. And if it does, I bet there will be a lot more parts other than Viciedo involved.
Keep up to date with everything in Chicago sports by following The Chicago Homer on Twitter.