The White Sox took another step toward solidifying their 2014 roster on Monday, signing left fielder Dayan Viciedo to a one-year, $2.8 million contract while avoiding salary arbitration.
Viciedo made $2.5 million last season, which was disappointing. The 24-year-old outfielder had a .265/.304/.426 hitting line with 14 home runs and 56 RBI, down from 25 and 78 in 2012.
Injuries were an issue, as Viciedo was on the disabled list from April 19-May 10 with a strained left oblique.
Center fielder Alejandro De Aza and second baseman Gordon Beckham are the Sox' remaining arbitration eligible players, and both are expected to come to terms before spring training.
The bigger issue is the logjam in the White Sox' outfield.
Speedster Adam Eaton is expected to be the new starter in center after joining the Sox in a Dec. 10 trade from the Diamondbacks.
Avisail Garcia is the starter in right field, so that leaves Viciedo and De Aza in left. While a platoon situation is possible considering Viciedo is a right-handed hitter and De Aza swings from the left side, a trade appears to be more likely.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn discussed his options shortly after acquiring Eaton.
"If at the end we decide our best team is going with all three (Eaton, Viciedo, De Aza) of those guys on the roster, (manager) Robin (Ventura) and I have already talked about different ways to make that work and get the most out of that from a matchup standpoint, offensively and defensively," Hahn said. "We've had some conversations about a number of players, and I suspect on those two (Viciedo and De Aza), given this trade, we'll hear even more."
The Giants and Mets are rumored to be interested in De Aza, who batted .264 with 17 home runs and 62 RBI last season but struck out 147 times and was a liability on the bases.
Still in need of an established catcher, De Aza could be moved to fill the void.
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