Here we go again. Via Bob Dutton, the Mariners are interested in Dayan Viciedo yet again, which is surprising and unsurprising at the same time. It's no secret the M's have a continued obsession with power hitting corner outfielders, mostly right-handed, who can't play defense. They went after Viciedo last year, and they're back at it again. Which is where the surprising part comes in, given that just a day or two ago they seemed to have their sights set much higher on Melky Cabrera.
I was very much against the thought of Viciedo a year ago, and that was before he completed the worst year of his career, posting a 88 wRC+ coupled with terrible defense, resulting in a -0.7 WAR. Viciedo's career WAR now sits at -0.1, and he hasn't been above replacement level since 2012. Viciedo has power, but it's hollow. His .174 ISO is coupled with a career .298 OBP.
It's almost too easy to go straight one to one given that the Mariners now employ a semi-interesting pitching piece in J.A. Happ, but Viciedo isn't just worse than Michael Saunders, he's much worse. Like a theoretical 3 wins worse. Somehow, Steamer projects Viciedo to be worth 0.7 WAR last year, but that seems wildly generous given that his career year was worth 0.4 WAR.
I'm trying to see why the Mariners are interested, but I can't. Viciedo might, in theory, have some value as a DH platoon bat, but DH is occupied by Nelson Cruz. Viciedo does have a career 124 wRC+ against LHP, but was actually worse against them in 2014. His value is likely at an all-time low, and that's just about the only appeal. That and he isn't Endy Chavez, but he might actually be worse.
Viciedo is now into his arbitration years, and is still controlled for three more seasons. The only way he fits on the roster is if the Mariners find another quality left-handed outfielder to platoon him with (maybe Toronto has one?), and even then it's hard to call him an upgrade in any meaningful way. The Mariners might as well sign Delmon Young if they're going to trade for Viciedo. If you're out on Melky, at least get Alex Rios and give yourself a shot at an upgrade, M's.
Everything I said last March still applies (was terrible, is terrible), except it's even worse for a team that needs clear upgrades. Adding a sub-replacement level player certainly isn't that, especially if he costs some talent, however marginal, to acquire.
Finally, I'll just leave this here, with my head in my hands. From March 2014:
Hearing Michael Saunders is a name that has been discussed in Dayan Viciedo talks with White Sox.— Jason A. Churchill (@ProspectInsider) March 9, 2014
Please be nothing.