The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly speculated on Monday the Orioles may be a possible trade partner with the White Sox for outfielder Dayan Viciedo, as the Orioles have an abundance of pitching and the need for another corner outfielder.
When Alex Rios agreed to terms with the Royals on Monday, the supply of outfielders on the free agent market dwindled considerably. As a result of decreasing supply, the White Sox may find an opportunity to trade Dayan Viciedo. Teams will certainly notice that Colby Rasmus and Nori Aoki are still available, but they will also be inclined to explore cheaper trade options. The Mariners acquired OF Justin Ruggiano from the Chicago Cubs Tuesday for RHP Matt Brazis, and I expect the Orioles to follow their lead.
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The departure of right fielder Nick Markakis to the Atlanta Braves via free agency left a glaring hole in Baltimore’s outfield, one Dayan Viciedo could potentially fill. David Lough is a possibility in either right or left field for the birds, but he lacks power. Lough posted a .385 slugging percentage in 2014, which contributed to a paltry .694 OPS. The Orioles may be enticed by Viciedo’s 60 home runs over the last three seasons to pick up the phone and make an offer to White Sox general manager, Rick Hahn.
If the Orioles do make a run at Viciedo, the White Sox may be able to acquire another starting pitcher. The Orioles were rumored to be shopping RHP Bud Norris last month, according to Ken Rosenthal from Fox Sports.
If the O’s are coaxed back into the trade market, Norris seems like a logical starting point. The 29 year-old veteran won 15 games in 2014 and posted a career-best 3.65 ERA. However, by swapping Norris for Viciedo, the White Sox would be taking on an additional $4 million in salary. It’s possible the Sox could ask for cash to go along with Norris, but it’s doubtful the O’s would feel the pressure to do so.
Another interesting option is RHP Zach Davies. Davies pitched in Double-A last season, posting a 3.35 ERA with 109 strike outs in 110 innings. He also joined some of the White Sox top prospects, playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs, in the Arizona Fall League this October and November. Davies went 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA in 25.2 innings. Much like his former Fall League teammate, Francellis Montas, Davies looks very close to being ready to contribute at the big league level.
Dayan Viciedo would fill a need for the Orioles, while the O’s have an abundance of what the White Sox are seeking, right-handed starting pitching. At the end of the day, that’s all it takes for the phone to ring and a deal to be made.
* All advanced stats, unless otherwise noted, courtesy of baseball-reference.com