Dayan Viciedo: All Kinds of Wrong for the Seattle Mariners
In the next week we will find out just how much Seattle Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik loves outfielder Dayan Viciedo.
According to Jeff Todd at MLBTradeRumors.com, the White Sox have requested the unconditional relief waivers for their 25-year old Cuban outfielder. With Viciedo already designated for assignment, this move by the White Sox’s front office makes clear the organization will not be trading the outfielder and therefore can’t get anything in return.
With the DFA, the White Sox are essentially eating $733,000 of Viciedo’s $4.4 million 2015 arbitration salary.
If Viciedo isn’t claimed within the waivers window, he will become a free agent for the first time since coming to the MLB from Cuba.
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The powerful outfielder– averaging 22 home runs per 162 games– has been a speculative favorite of the Seattle Mariners in recent seasons. Rumors swirled incessantly that Trader Jack was intrigued by the outfielders right-handed power bat.
Under ‘team control’ for two more seasons, will some MLB team take a flyer on Dayan Viciedo? I am sure they will. I just hope on all things good and holy that that team isn’t the Seattle Mariners.
Why? There are really three reasons:
1. Dayan Viciedo isn’t all that good:
Sure,Ã‚Â of his 425 MLB hits, 146 of them are for extra bases. But his career .253/.298/.424 triple slash is less than stellar and his defense in the outfield is sub-par. With an outfield that consists of Melky Cabrera, Adam Eaton, and Avisail Garcia (who?), it should be a bit of a red flag the ChiSox have requested an unconditional relief waiver on Viciedo.
If the White Sox can’t use him– and the Mariners arguably have a deeper, younger outfield and a better team– why should the Mariners even bother?
2. The Mariners Have Their Right-Handed Power Bat:
Oct 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) against the Detroit Tigers during game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Viciedo has 66 home runs in the MLB, but the Mariners have 68 million reasons why they don’t need the clunky slugger: recently signed boomstick Nelson Cruz. The four-year, $68 million contract inked with the veteran outfielder signals the M’s desire for power in their lineup. And Cruz’s career .268/.328/.501 triple slash sure looks a lot prettier than Viciedo’s. And, if the M’s really just want a power-hungry right-handed hitter in their lineup, Cruz averages 33 home runs per 162 games compared to Viciedo’s 22.
3. Now Is NOT The Time For The M’s To ‘Take Flyers’:
The M’s took a flyer on Corey Hart last season and look how that turned out. He, coupled primarily with midseason addition Kendrys Morales, combined to be the worst DHs statistically in the American League. Seriously, from the spot in the orderÃ‚Â designated for hitting, the Mariners sucked in 2014.
Would Dayan Viciedo take Seth Smith‘s– or Justin Ruggiano‘s– starting spot in right field? Unlikely. Would he beat out Dustin Ackley in left? That sounds far-fetched with Ackley’s continued late-season progress, and the organization’s desire to give him one last gasp before giving up on the first-round pick.
And there’s no way in hell Viciedo would ever find time at DH with Nelson Cruz ahead of him.
All in all, there’s nowhere on the 25-man roster for the 25-year old Cuban outfielder. He flashes power, but his poor contact rate and a 21.6% K rate (2.2% higher than the MLB average) provide too many red flags.
The Seattle Mariners have a rare mix of talented youth and seasoned, experienced veterans. If they want to take a crack at the World Series in 2015, wasting spots on DFA’d, clunky power-hitting outfielders would only prove ineptitude in the front office.
So please GM Jack, for the love of all things good and happy and exciting in the Mariners organization, don’t pick up Dayan Viciedo.