Indians Interested in Dayan Viciedo?

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bleacherreport.net
bleacherreport.net

According to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com, the Indians have expressed interest in former Chicago White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo. Throughout the offseason, the Indians have made it apparent that they would like to add another right-handed power bat to their lefty heavy order. Viciedo might be that bat.

Before being released on February 4th by the White Sox, Viciedo had played in parts of five seasons with the club. Last season, Viciedo hit only .231 (121-523), struck out 122 times and only posted an on-base percentage of .281, while playing awful defense in both left and right field. Last year was a down year for Viciedo overall, but his power numbers and runs batted in remained solid. Last season, Viciedo hit 21 home runs and drove in 58 runs. Over the past three years Viciedo’s home run totals have stayed consistent: 25 in 2012, 14 in 2013 and 21 in 2014. His RBI totals have also been pretty consistent, with marks of 78 in 2012, 56 in 2013, and 58 in 2014.

Viciedo became expendable after the White Sox signed Melky Cabrera to a 3 year/$42 million contract earlier in the offseason.

The Indians are looking for another right handed bat because of health questions with Ryan Raburn, Nick Swisher, and newly acquired outfielder Brandon Moss. Moss underwent right hip surgery in October. Raburn had his left knee operated on in September. And Swisher had a shoulder injury and had both of his knees operated on in August. Time will only tell if they can stay healthy during the regular season.

The Indians may have interest in Viciedo, but Viciedo may not have interest in the Indians as his free agent destination. Viciedo, 26, might be able to find a better opportunity to start elsewhere. With Michael Brantley already securing the left field spot and Michael Bourn securing the center field spot, playing time may be hard to come by for Viciedo. The only action he would likely see would be against left-handed pitching and/or in the event of an injury endured by one of the right field candidates.

Another obstacle for the Indians is the fact that Viciedo is expected to get a big-league deal. According to Hoynes, Viciedo was eligible for arbitration at the end of the 2014 season and the White Sox signed him to a 1 year/$4.4 million contract. Since the salary wasn’t guaranteed the White Sox only had to pay Viciedo $733,000 (1/6 of the contracts monetary value) when they released him. The Indians would probably have to spend more than they would like to sign Viciedo.

The Indians have been searching for a right-handed power bat for at least the last 3 offseasons now to compliment the rest of the lineup. Is Viciedo that bat? Time will only tell. Right now though, it’s unclear if the Indians are interested in signing Viciedo to a big-league deal right off of the bat. Unfortunately, that might be what it takes to sign Viciedo in free agency.

 

By Gabe Cohn

Follow me on Twitter: @CSTGabe

 

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