We are not even half way through March, yet there is already trade speculation surrounding the Chicago White Sox. Outfielders Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo have been the two names consistently being brought up. Although the White Sox have repeatedly said they are not actively looking to trade either player, they are fielding offers from other teams.
The rumors come amidst an offseason where two solid outfielders were acquired in Avisail Garcia and Adam Eaton. Viciedo and De Aza now find themselves battling for the vacant left field position.
According to Bruce Levine of CBSChicago.com, the Mariners have been in talks for Viciedo. This past offseason, the Mariners acquired Robinson Cano and likely want to surround him with some power, which is what Viciedo offers. Viciedo, who just turned 25, hit just .265 last season, but he has smashed 39 home runs over the past two seasons. In return, the White Sox were believed to be asking for a left-handed power hitter, someone who could replace Adam Dunn, whose contract expires after this 2014 season.
Another rumor is from Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com, who says the White Sox have shown interest in the New York Yankees backup catcher, Francisco Cervelli. The White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks are said to have “heavily scouted” Cervelli. Though neither Viciedo nor De Aza have been mentioned in this rumor, the trade rumor makes sense when looking at the White Sox because neither of the current catchers (Josh Phegley and Tyler Flowers) are a must-start. The White Sox definitely can upgrade at the catcher position.
One final rumor mentioned this week staked the Minnesota Twins as having shown interest in Alejandro De Aza. A year ago, the Twins traded away two outfielders in Ben Revere and Denard Span, and then their top outfield prospect, Aaron Hicks, struggled throughout the season. Writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, “[De Aza] is a trade chip for the White Sox, who are getting interest…His career .336 on-base percentage (.323 last season) isn’t that compelling, but for teams looking for a center fielder who brings some varied skills, he’s not a bad option. The Twins have some interest.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura is just working with the team he has. “Right now I’m looking at it from just what’s here,” Ventura said. “Something could come up and that changes [who we have], but I’m preparing with this group. If something happens then you can roll it and change and go from there. Right now it is what it is here, and you have to get your roster together with these guys.”
That’s all he can do: manage the team he has in front of him. Though baseball is played in teams, it is somewhat of an individual sport. It is always one player (the pitcher) versus another player (the hitter) and so these rumors should not impact the team as a whole, other than maybe with team chemistry.
I like De Aza’s speed and Viciedo’s power potential, but I am not overly attached to either of them. If White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is presented with a trade that satisfies one of the team’s needs, I think he should pull the trigger. Besides, the future of our outfield looks to be in good hands with the offseason additions of Eaton and Garcia.