The Chicago White Sox are interested in unloading some of their outfield depth, reportedly fielding offers on outfielders Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The two are currently battling for Chicago's left field spot, with the loser likely to be deemed expendable.
The White Sox' outfield makeup has gone through quite a bit of change since last July. The team first sent Jake Peavy to the Red Sox, acquiring Tigers' outfield prospect Avisail Garcia. In August, they dealt right fielder Alex Rios to the Rangers, clearing the path for a true youth movement in the outfield. Finally, Chicago added former Diamondback Adam Eaton as part of the three-way Mark Trumbo trade in December.
As it stands, Eaton and Garcia are expected to man center and right field, respectively, with the left field position an open competition between Viciedo and De Aza.
De Aza, nearly 30, is under team control for just two more seasons but is certainly the more reliable option to VIciedo. Since taking over Chicago's starting center field job in 2012, he has hit .271/.335/.408 (100 OPS+) with a 4.9 WAR, 26 home runs, and 46 stolen bases. Last season, his on-base ability dipped (.349 in 2012 to .323 in 2013), but he saw a significant boost in his over the fence power, raising his home run total from 9 to 17. As a center fielder, De Aza has a slightly below-average UZR of -0.3, but defensive runs saved has him as among the worst center fielders in baseball, attributing him with costing the White Sox 18 runs in the field last year. A move to left field would significantly raise his defensive profile, though it would put quite a bit more pressure on the bat to perform.
Viciedo, 25, came over from Cuba in 2008, but has failed to live up to expectations. He has shown well above-average power, blasting 25 home runs in 2012 and slugging .432 for his career, however, he doesn't do much else, as he has a career .306 OBP to go along poor baserunning and atrocious defensive skills. Unlike De Aza, Viciedo absolutely doesn't belong in the field and it is likely that any acquiring team would immediately move him to first base or, preferably, designated hitter. He is blocked at both positions in Chicago by Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, and another Cuban import in Jose Abreu.
The White Sox are pretty much looking to deal any player that they don't deem as a part of their future. They have been quite active acquiring young talent through trades (and in Abreu's case, free agent signings) over the past year, adding Eaton, Garcia, Abreu, and Matt Davidson. They have also been active in rebuilding a depleted farm system, drafting shortstop Tim Anderson last June and developing high-end prospects such as Erik Johnson and Marcus Semien. The team is lucky enough to also already have two-fifths of their future rotation in Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.