From our distance, it's probably a stretch to say that the Baltimore Orioles were or are certifiably interested in Dayan Viciedo. They did have a connection to him that was stronger than most teams, in the form of a local beat writer's speculation.
Cabrera’s signing, however, should make another outfielder potentially available. The sense is that White Sox corner outfielder Dayan Viciedo is now the odd man out on the south side of Chicago. He was a ballyhooed player when he defected from Cuba but has been a bit of a disappointment. Still, he is only 25, is in his first year of arbitration, can play both corner outfield spots and has power (60 homers in the past three seasons). The White Sox could use help at the back end of their rotation, and the Orioles have a surplus there – so this one could be a fit.
The Orioles lost both their corner outfielders -- Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis -- via free agency, so they have a greater need than most teams. They also have a decent track record of extracting production from players who had hit professional walls, from Chris Davis to Nate McLouth to Steve Pearce.
The problem with the Viciedo rumor now is that they just retained one of those career revival cases by re-signing Delmon Young to a one-year deal, and he and Viciedo are pretty much redundant:
- Corner outfielders who shouldn't be in the field if possible.
- Right-handed hitters who don't qualify as "lefty-mashers."
- Threat of power usually nullified by a complete lack of plate discipline.
- Are younger than the frustrating track records make them seem.
Young, who actually hit well enough to receive MVP votes in 2010, fell until a subsequent funk that lasted until this past season. He bounced back from three consecutive sub-replacement-level years to give the Orioles a good bat off the bench in 2014, batting .302/.337/.442 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 83 games. A glance at Baltimore's depth chart suggests he can vie for a more prominent role, as lefties Alejandro De Aza and David Lough are the front-runners in both corners, unless rumors of more activity are realized.
That seems like the role Viciedo would most likely occupy for a team with ambition -- no guaranteed everyday role, but some career advancement possible if he somehow reversed his sliding production.
And according to the Sun's report, the open-market value of that kind of player in that role is a one-year, $2.25 million deal, and up to $3 million with incentives. That's well short of Viciedo's projected $4.4 million salary, and there's some indication that Young aimed higher before settling, as the Sun reported that Young sought a two-year deal.
This is why I'm not particularly bullish about Viciedo's trade value, even on a relative scale. Scott Merkin and I have a mild disagreement on this matter:
@SouthSideSox I think they are closer than you think to trading him. Right-handed power still coveted ~— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) December 14, 2014
@SouthSideSox I think they can get a bullpen piece for him ~— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) December 14, 2014
And he could very well be right, if a team is desperate for age-based upside and has the opportunity to let it play out. At the moment, though, this signing illustrates my position/prediction. If a Viciedo-ish player can only get $3 million with no players attached, it's hard to see a team taking on a $4 million obligation (or more) and sacrificing an MLB-caliber talent for the honor.