As the trade deadline comes screaming toward us rumors, denials and odd potential trades shower us like a runaway lawn sprinkler. I prefer to look at things that might realistically happen- a LOOGY or a bench bat – rather than those that won’t; David Price for a ticket to Six Flags. Along that line a few RHH outfielders have been bandied about so I’ll look at them.
Bench outfield bats
The Braves fourth outfielder is supposed to be Jordan Schafer but he’s not been hitting very well – I’m sure he’d say he doesn’t get enough at bats bit that’s another post – so Ryan Doumit is seen in the corner outfield spots as much or more than Schafer. Given that Doumit started out as a catcher and roughly that as agile as that, he’s not exactly the ideal guy particularly for that job. Philip Gosselin came up to provide a utility infield bat so the bench bat search is probably centered on outfielders I wrote about Geraldo Parra earlier and defensively he’s superb – or was – but what about others whose name has popped up?.
Three years ago I lobbied hard for the Braves to acquire Denorfia from the Padres. The 34 year old RHH has essentially been the right handed platoon for various Padres lefties like Will Venable. When I suggested trading for him in 2012 he went on to have a .293/.345/.451/.796 season with 8 homers, 19 doubles and 6 triples (he plays at Petco where triples happen). Since that time however his numbers have dropped off each year, most noticeably his OBP is down 40 points from his career numbers. Defensively however he can still go get it. Fangraphs has him at a 7.5 UZR right fielder and a 6.0 UZR in the outfield overall though left field isn’t his best location. As much as I liked him three years ago the time for him to wear the Tomahawk has passed.
Rios started his career and made his name in Toronto before moving to the White Sox and on to Texas. A year younger than Denorfia at 33 Rios has been a solid if not spectacular performer since arriving in Texas however his power seems to have stayed in Chicago. Prior to joining the Rangers he hit 21,13 and 25 homers with the Pale Hose and had 12 there in 2013. He hit 8 more in Texas in 2103 but this year has managed only four. He has however provided 22 doubles and eight triples so he’s driving the ball just not out of the park, something his .305/.334/.431/.766 supports.Defensively he’s been a 2-3 UZR player but his DRS is a negative number. Still we don’t want him to play everyday just to play when needed and provide hits from the pine. How well he’d transition to that role is really the question. Contractually Ken Rosenthal says the Rangers are willing to make things easy.
Talks for Rios could go to end. Several of interested clubs – CLE, CIN, KC, SF – fading of late. #Rangers willing to include cash in deal.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2014
What would it take to get Rios?
If they Braves were taking on his salary an arm who isn’t in our future plans might have done it. With them taking his $6M for the remainder of the year it will require multiple prospects, a mid level arm Aaron Northcraft, a catcher Stephen Lerud and perhaps another arm low level arm. They might even throw in Neal Cotts is we ask nicely and add Ian Thomas.
Rios would be a rental though he has an option for next year it’s a $13.5M with a $1M buyout option; no one will pick that up. I like Rios but I fear the price is too much for the potential return.
Viciedo’s name hasn’t been bandied about much, the White Sox have been focusing on moving John Danks. Still he fits the general description and he has some upside. He’s a 25 year old RHH nicknamed “the Tank” because he’s 5’11 and 240 – at least according to the media guide. He played some first and third (not very well) and has become a corner outfielder because he has a strong arm and hits home runs, big home runs. Below is a compilation of Viciedo highlights including one of Ryan Doumit at the end. The music is loud and exuberant so you may have to turn it down or mute it if the kiddies are sleeping. . .in the house next door.
Viciedo’s appeared in 102 games and has a .238/.287/.394/.681 line with12 homers, 20 doubles and 2 triples, driving in 37. You might think he’d be a big strikeout guy but he’s doing it at about the league average of 21% but he doesn’t walk a lot either 6%. Obviously he’s a 4th outfielder bench bat but he’s inexpensive at just over $1M for the rest of the year and is first time arbitration eligible next year. The current contract is a hold over from his initial signing. If a power bat is what you want this guy is a good choice. What the Sox would want for him is hard to figure but a low level arm would probably deliver a tank to Atlanta.
That’s A Wrap
Obviously this isn’t every candidate but it is some of the lesser known and discussed options that fit out needs and our budget. As we learn more so will you so keeping checking in here at the Take.