Trading Dayan Viciedo to the Mariners never made much sense, even in the thick of 2014. Viciedo was in the middle of a career-worst season, and was revealing himself to be a power-only right-handed clod, who would potentially play in a park that absorbs right-handed power and erases any trace of its existence.
Then the Mariners signed Nelson Cruz, a sort of vastly superior version of Viciedo with the same defensive limitations. Now in the off-season, and not in the emergency DH-production where they would be forced to try any random thing to breathe life into a Wild Card spot, all that could possibly push Viciedo to Seattle was egregious misjudgment in player analysis.
And yet, for moments of Thursday, the fire rose.
When this whole episode boils into the ether, never to return, the brightest moments of this saga will be the few hours that White Sox Twitter danced in the streets at just the implication and progress, while Mariners Twitter threw their furniture onto the lawn and started burning it. Alright, it was mostly the latter that I enjoyed.
This one is from the day before but it still probably best captures the emotions still.
That tweet is baseball fanhood; encapsulated with brevity and poignancy I did not think possible.
As enrapturing as the possibility of not only clearing out Viciedo as a playable outfield option, but trading him for something resembling value--like a hard-throwing reliever who could actually be coached into delivering meaningful contributions--the nagging doubt that anyone would ever find a reason to do this pricked away at the back of our necks. Why would a team duplicate right-handed designated hitters? By adding a borderline non-tender candidate no less? In early December?! In the winter meetings when they're surrounding by superior trading partners!?!? It felt like an implausible happy ending to a sloppily written adventure film. Deus ex machina, almost.
Then the Seattle Times' Ryan Divish provided the inevitable pin in the balloon.
I...uh...yeah. Those are some good points. Rather than on the precipice of finding salvation, the Sox appear more to be trying to drum out trade interest by leaking out rumors--something they almost never do--to one of the few teams from which that would seem remotely possible, in hopes of shaking out the last vestiges of any actual Viciedo true believers to put in a bid, lest they fear some window of Viciedo opportunity closing shut.
That doesn't portend well to being able to move him at all. It's early yet, and there's no limit to how far they can drop their demands, but it's a question whether the Sox tendered a contract to someone no other team would pay $4.4 million.
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