Chicago White Sox: Is Dayan Viciedo a Viable Solution to 3rd Base Problem?
New Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has already made a splash since taking over in his new role by signing Jake Peavy and picking up the option on Gavin Floyd.
Both of these were bold but solid moves as the White Sox rotation has now been solidified.
However, Hahn's work is far from done.
The White Sox have other issues that need to be addressed and one of those issues is third base.
The first option that has been much debated is whether or not they should look at bringing back Kevin Youkilis.
Hahn recently decided not to pick up the $13 million option on Youkilis, which allowed him to become a free agent.
Youkilis was a great midseason pickup for the White Sox in 2012 as he came over from Boston and gave them instant offense and steady defense. However, he faded in the final months and the price to bring him back may be pretty steep considering the lack of free agent third basemen on the market.
So the question is, should Hahn pursue this route?
For me the answer is no. The price to bring him back is not worth the return value. Despite providing a spark early on for the White Sox, it appears that Youkilis' best years are behind him and the last thing the White Sox need is to add another contract for an aging veteran.
Would you feel comfortable with Viciedo at third base in 2013?
Other options include pursuing another free-agent third baseman, but to be honest there isn't much there after Youkilis. Or it's possible that Hahn may try to acquire someone via trade, which may be the reason he picked up the option on Gavin Floyd. That remains to be seen.
Finally, there's the option of just finding someone in-house who can fill the void.
The White Sox have already tried the Brent Morel experiment once and if he returns to spring training healthy he will probably get another long look. However, I'm not sure many fans would be too excited to see Morel back at third after what he has shown over the past couple of years.
Recently there has also been talk about the possibility of 20-year-old prospect Carlos Sanchez getting a shot at third base in spring training. Sanchez is more of a middle infielder, but he can play third and that's obviously what the White Sox need at this point.
Sanchez is a switch-hitter who looks like he could be a nice hitter in the two hole, which is another need for the White Sox. It's definitely something to keep an eye on come spring training.
Finally, what about the idea of moving Dayan Viciedo back to third base?
With the amount of young talent in the organization in the outfield, would the White Sox entertain the idea of moving Viciedo to third and replacing him with one of their outfield prospects?
He came up as a third baseman, but hasn't played there since 2010. That season he played about 50 combined games there with the White Sox and Triple A Charlotte, committing seven errors.
The season prior to that he played 114 games at third for Double A Birmingham and committed 30 errors.
So he probably isn't going to win any Gold Gloves over there, but is it something the White Sox should consider?
If so, they would need to find someone to take over Viciedo's outfield spot and join Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios.
But they may have several candidates for that.
They currently have Jordan Danks on the big league roster as well as prospects such as Trayce Thompson, Jared Mitchell, and Keenyn Walker down on the farm.
If one of those guys can show that they are ready to make the jump, then it may be an option.
Or it's possible Hahn could go after a second-tier free-agent outfielder to take his place. There are certainly more free-agent options in the outfield than at third base.
At first glance I wasn't sold on the idea of Viciedo at third and I'm still not sure about it because I don't know if he can provide enough defensively.
The White Sox were the best defensive team in baseball in 2012 and that would certainly take a hit with Viciedo at third in 2013.
But considering the other options at present, this one may be worth a look.
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