Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has just tweeted that Alex Anthopoulos has struck again: the Blue Jays have reached a deal with Cuban outfielder Dayan Viciedo, formerly of the Chicago White Sox.
Sources: #BlueJays in agreement with Viciedo.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 1, 2015
Viciedo, who will be 26 on March 10, has been seen as a potential slugging outfielder who was never able to put things together in parts of five seasons in the major leagues, combining for a .254/.298/.424 slash line with 66 big league homers in 1798 plate appearances. He does have seasons of 25 (2012) and 21 (2014) home runs when he’s played every day but his 5.3% walk rate over the course of his career puts his lifetime OBP under .298.
A right-handed hitter, Viciedo hits left-handed pitching better than right-handed pitching with a 51-point boost in batting average, a 45-point boost in OBP and 114-point boost in slugging percentage against lefties over righties. Viciedo doesn’t play defense well, leading all outfielders in errors (with eight) in 2014, despite ranking in the top five in assists in 2012 and 2013.
Viciedo was a free agent after he cleared waivers and was released by the Chicago White Sox when they signed Melky Cabrera and when they didn’t want to pay Viciedo the $4.4 million salary that the arbitrator had awarded him. After releasing Viciedo, the White Sox are still on the hook for one-sixth of the salary (about $733,000). Viciedo received a big league contract and a $10 million guarantee when he signed out of Cuba. He still has two years of arbitration eligibility left and will likely be fairly cost effective if he makes the major and/or the Blue Jays hang on to him.
Thanks to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Jays will look at Viciedo at third base, left field and third base and he’ll receive $2.5 million if he makes the team.
As I wrote yesterday, I thought the Blue Jays might be better served by claiming outfielder Alex Hassan who had been designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles. He was claimed by the Oakland Athletics who held his rights briefly this offseason after claiming him from the Red Sox (before they DFA’ed him and the Orioles picked him up from the A’s).
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