Sep 19, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Michael Saunders (55) reaches on an error during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
With the recent news the Seattle Mariners are looking to shop outfielder Michael Saunders, would it make sense for the Chicago White Sox to acquire him? A possible Dayan Viciedo for Saunders swap has been discussed in the past, according to reports including ESPN and Yahoo!
Let’s break down Saunders’ game.
Saunders is a left-handed hitter, with decent gap and home run power. While he has never played a full season, if he did he, it is conceivable that he could be a 40 double/25 home run type hitter.
While it is doubtful you would ever see him knock in as many 85 runs, he still could provide decent run production. Speed wise, it is possible for him to steal 25 bases, or possibly a few more. One big downside is that he doesn’t take many walks, and that he will strike out a lot.
Assuming he played a full season, he might walk 60 times and could strike out 140-150 times. Another is that he doesn’t hit for the greatest average, considering he has never hit for a higher average than .247 in a full season.
As for Saunders defensive skill set, he is a solid left fielder. He would be a huge upgrade over Viciedo, and has good range and the ability to throw out 5-10 runners per year.
Sep 3, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo (24) catches a fly ball in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
While his arm isn’t as good as Viciedo’s, he is still much smoother in the field, and would increase the range of the White Sox outfield tremendously. Even though there would be a drop-off in arm strength, his overall defensive package is better than Viciedo’s by a longshot.
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Saunders has a chance to be a very good player in the majors. Viciedo does as well, however, the big question with him is does he have a position.
I think that Viciedo does have a place on a team looking for right-handed power, but Saunders may be a better fit for the Sox in left field. Viciedo still has a lot of upside, considering the fact that he is young.
Saunders is still on the right side of 30 (will turn 28 in December) and could be a good fit on the South Side. If I could make this trade straight up I would do it, but I don’t know if you can.
Viciedo has power, while outside of that his skill set is limited. Even with his power it is uncertain if he will ever hit for enough of it where a team would make him a designated hitter, therefore making this complex.
I think both of these players will be shopped this winter, the question in will it be for each other?