So, this happened Wednesday:
At first glance, this is quite a mixed bag of emotions. While the jettisoning of Dayan Viciedo spares us of having to watch him flail at breaking balls at the plate and fly balls in the outfield, alike, the reunion with Gordon Beckham brings about concerns that the failed prospect is Rick Hahn's solution to the second base conundrum.
“Adding Gordon improves the depth and flexibility of our roster,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “We are thrilled to have him back. Like Emilio Bonifacio, Gordon brings the ability to play solid defense at multiple positions or play on an everyday basis should the need arise. This also gives Robin the ability to play matchups more effectively when setting the lineup.”
It certainly sounds as if Beckham will be used as a utility infielder. If that were the case — being an insurance policy for second base and spelling Conor Gillaspie at third base against lefties — a one-year, $2 million investment is perfectly acceptable.
But if April 6 rolls around and and Beckham is manning second base because some combination of Micah Johnson, Carlos Sanchez and Emilio Bonifacio failed to stand out in spring training, that's a problem.
As for Viciedo, his White Sox tenure appears to have ended just a few months after he agreed to a $4.4 million deal to avoid arbitration. The idea of the White Sox being on the hook for that amount isn't ideal, but per MLB Trade Rumors, they will only be responsible for paying 1/6 of the agreed upon amount — $733K — should he be released.
In the long run this seems a solid small move by the White Sox that is given a greater spotlight because of the name recognition of the players involved. Beckham helps improve the White Sox's infield depth and Viciedo's departure means the White Sox can use Bonifacio, J.B. Shuck or some other hopefully non-negative players as insurance for the presumed starting outfield of Melky Cabrera, Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia.