Blue Jays ink Dayan Viciedo to minor league deal


The Toronto Blue Jays add some roster depth in the outfield, signing Dayan Viciedo to a low-risk minor league contract.

Despite getting some good news earlier in the week in regards to the torn meniscus for Michael Saunders, the Toronto Blue Jays apparently felt that they still needed to add roster depth in what appears to be a shallow outfield. On Saturday, they addressed some of that need, signing former Chicago White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo to a minor league deal per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

The White Sox designated Dayan Viciedo for assignment on January 28th in order to clear roster space for Gordon Beckham. However, they were unable to trade him within the 10 day waiver period and ultimately granted Viciedo his release on February 4th. The White Sox will still owe Viciedo the 30-day termination pay due on the $4.4 million salary the two parties agreed to earlier this winter to avoid arbitration.

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According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the deal with Viciedo is worth $2.5 million if he makes the Major League team. With Saunders out until mid-to-late April after undergoing knee surgery to remove part of the cartilage, chances are pretty good that Viciedo will receive a shot to win a spot out of camp.

A career .254/.298/.424 hitter at the Major League level, Viciedo has hit 20 or more home runs in two of the last three seasons. However, that also comes with a propensity for striking out (113.3 avg. last 3 seasons), and an inability to draw a walk (28 avg. last 3 seasons). Those struggles, coupled with his inability to adequately field his position, have led to unrealized potential for the 25-year-old Cuban import.

Interestingly enough, Davidi also notes that the Blue Jays use Viciedo in left field, but will also give him a shot to contribute at first base, third base, and designated hitter. Of the four spots, DH would make the most sense, as he isn’t remotely adequate with the glove in any position. In fact, as you’ll see by the advanced range metrics below, the Blue Jays may get more out of strapping a glove to the back of a turtle than putting Viciedo anywhere in the field.

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Still, beggers can’t be choosers, and we all remember the Blue Jays rolling out some other seemingly inadequate fielders in the outfield in the past (Moises Sierra anyone). With the power potential, and the relatively minor cost if he explodes, the risk is relatively limited on Dayan Viciedo. He’s not a bad pick-up from a depth perspective, but one would have to get seriously worried if he becomes a line-up fixture like Juan Francisco did a season ago.

Next: Blue Jays expect quick return for Michael Saunders