[In light of trade rumors, I have bumped this March 7 article to the top.
Yes, I’d want to avoid giving up newly thermonuclear Brandon Maurer for him, but any other RH reliever and a prospect, sure.]
== Now here is a heat-seeking missile aimed directly at LH pitching ==
That’s maybe all you can say, but you can say it loud. Cuban outfielder Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox is a beast against lefty pitching.
Other than that, he’s nothing too special against right-handers, suspect on defense (except for his arm), has no speed, is not exactly sleek and athletic, is arbitration-eligible, and is out of options.
Meanwhile, Viciedo (vee-see-AY-do) must make the White Sox 25-man roster or face designation for assignment, and is not assured of a regular job.
So is there a match here?
Viciedo was signed out of Cuba in 2008 and is known as The Tank. Or El Tanque Cubano. The Mariners already have a “Tank” in Tyler O’Neill, but that can be worked out.
And he is tank-like, listed at 5-foot-11, 230 — but the latter figure appears maybe a bit of an understatement.
But, boy, can he make a baseball go a long way. Here’s a highlight reel:
And here’s a spray chart:
And how about some numbers? The first set compares major plate outcomes to the 10-year MLB average. The final three columns are our Brainstorm Designer Stats measuring “non-random offensive results” — avoidance of non-random outs, production of non-random offense, and the composite of the two.
So his aversion to walks is a prodigious as his power. But he strikes out at a much better rate vs. LHP, and his power against lefties is just huge.
If he could figure out how to draw a walk now and then, he’d be something.
But that’s the point. He’s had two years as an almost-full-time player and he hasn’t really made any progress. In fact, except for his HR-rate dipping, his 2013 season was pretty much identical to his 2012 season, and it’s hard to pencil in a guy every day with a .300 OBP no matter how much power he’s got. And Viciedo’s .146 ISO vs. RHP isn’t going to make up for that on most days.
As noted, Viciedo is out of options, and the Pale Hose may face a roster squeeze as they try to retain franchise cornerstone Paul Konerko while also making room for another Cuban, newcomer Jose Abreu. Those two are limited to 1b/DH, as is Adam Dunn. So keeping an extra corner-OF type like Viciedo may not be possible. De Aza and Jordan Danks (brother of pitcher John Danks) can both play center.
All of which adds up to a possible trade scenario.
I would not give up Nick Franklin for a guy who will be a part-time corner outfielder in danger of being DFA’d — no way. But if Viciedo could be had for spare parts, sign me up.