Dayan Viciedo LF/RF CWS 1 Day
Viciedo was designated for assignment on Wednesday.
This move was necessary to open up a spot on the 40-man roster after the White Sox signed Gordon Beckham. On the surface it may seem that Viciedo would be an attractive option for several teams given his raw power from the right side. But it was no secret that Chicago was aggressively trying to trade him this winter, and clearly there was not a lot of interest. Any team that claims him will also get his $4.4 million contract, so it is more likely that he gets traded after clearing waivers, with the likely role of fourth outfielder on a team desperate for right-handed power.
Gordon Beckham 2B/3B CWS 1 Day
Beckham signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the White Sox on Wednesday.
While on some level this makes sense because the White Sox were the team that drafted and developed Beckham, it is also interesting because they have gotten to see firsthand how mediocre he has become. He certainly won't be an everyday player if Chicago can stay healthy, as Emilio Bonifacio and Micah Johnson, among others, should also vie for at-bats at second base. But he offers the ability to play third base and shortstop as well, should a need arise, which seems to be the primary reason the White Sox signed him. He has not posted an OPS above .700 since 2009, and should only be considered in very deep AL-only leagues.
Wilkin Castillo C PIT 1 Day
Castillo signed a minor league contract with the Pirates on Wednesday that includes an invitation to spring training, John Morosi of Fox Sports reports.
Castillo spent 2014 playing in Mexico for two different teams, batting a combined .206/.265/.317 with two home runs and 11 RBI. He seems like a longshot to make the roster out of spring training, but the Pirates don't have any studs behind the plate with Russell Martin gone, leaving open the possibility of him nabbing a roster spot with a strong spring training.
John Baker C SEA 1 Day
Baker signed a minor league contract with the Mariners on Tuesday, and received an invite to spring training, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports.
There is no reason the 34-year-old catcher cannot win the backup job behind Mike Zunino in Seattle, as they could value his veteran presence. However, Baker hit .192 with zero home runs and zero steals in 208 plate appearances last year with the Cubs. If he didn't bring excellent qualities in the clubhouse and working with young pitchers, he would have been out of the big leagues years ago.
Aaron Hicks CF MIN 1 Day
Hicks will compete with Jordan Schafer for the starting center field role with Danny Santana set to compete with Eduardo Escobar for the starting shortstop job this spring.
Hicks won the starting center field job last spring but struggled the first two months with just a .567 OPS and spent much of the season in the minors. It looks like he'll get another chance to win the starting role. He could win the role on his defense alone with defensive liabilities Oswaldo Arcia and Torii Hunter set to play in left and right field. However, Arcia will need to finally hit at the major league level to hold any kind of regular role. However, whoever wins the job is likely just keeping the seat warm for a few months until Byron Buxton finally arrives in the majors.
Danny Santana SS/CF MIN 1 Day
Eduardo Escobar and Santana will compete for Minnesota's starting shortstop job this spring, manager Paul Molitor told MLB.com reports.
The Twins sound committed to moving Santana back to shortstop, where he played in the minors, after mostly playing center field in the majors last season. However, it's not clear that the Twins have a set plan for a replacement in center field. If Aaron Hicks or Jordan Schafer are not seen worthy of everyday playing time this spring, it's easy to see the Twins leaving Santana in the outfield. Escobar would likely move to a utility role if Santana moves to shortstop.
Eduardo Escobar SS/3B MIN 1 Day
Escobar and Danny Santana will compete for Minnesota's starting shortstop job this spring, manager Paul Molitor told MLB.com.
The Twins sound committed to moving Santana from center field back to shortstop, where he played in the minors. If Santana wins the job, Escobar would likely move to a utility role. However, it's not clear who the Twins would start in center field, so it's possible no center field candidate emerges as worthy of everyday playing time and Santana stays in the outfield. Escobar could see a reduction in playing time depending how the competition shapes up this spring.
Casey Janssen RP TOR 1 Day
Janssen signed a one-year contract with the Nationals on Wednesday that includes a mutual option for 2016, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports.
Although the veteran racked up 81 saves for the Blue Jays over the last three seasons, his average fastball velocity was below 90 for the first time in his career in 2014, leading to an increased ERA and WHIP with a lower strikeout rate. He could work his way into ninth inning duty in Washington if Drew Storen struggles, but most likely Janssen heads into spring training as part of the Nationals' set-up crew.
Andrew Lambo LF PIT 1 Day
Lambo's chances of breaking spring training with the Bucs somewhat increased following the trade of fellow outfielder, Travis Snider.
The organization seemed to sour on Lambo in 2014, recalling inferior options over the lefty, but he put up strong minor-league numbers -- .312/.386/.536 in 263 AB -- and is still just 26 years of age. Lambo will likely either stick with the Pirates or move on to another organization in 2015. Pittsburgh doesn't seem to consider first base an option for the eighth-year minor leaguer.
Zach Stewart RP ATL 1 Day
Stewart signed a minor-league contract with the Angels on Tuesday, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.
The deal doesn't include an invite to big-league spring training, as Stewart mostly languished at Triple-A Gwinnett last season, posting a 4.58 ERA and just 59 strikeouts over 106 innings. Now 28 years old, the former top prospect for the Blue Jays now looks to be nothing more than an organization depth arm.