The White Sox have reportedly reached contract terms with 19-year-old Cuban star Dayan Viciedo.
11/24/2008 11:18 AM ET
White Sox sign another Cuban star
Viciedo has a shot to start at third base in 2009
"He has agreed to a deal and is flying to Chicago," agent Jaime Torres told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday.
Torres said that, beyond economics, an opportunity to compete for the White Sox job at third base was a primary consideration for Viciedo, who batted .287 with 36 homers and 162 RBIs over 327 games and four years in Cuba's top league.
The signing of Cuban infielder Alexei Ramirez was a highlight for the White Sox last offseason. Ramirez took over at second base and batted .290 with 21 homers and 77 RBIs to finish runner-up in balloting for the Players Choice AL Outstanding Rookie.
Hometown pride shines on Pedroia; Woodland, Calif., Residents are proud of native Dustin Pedroia's early career accomplishments.
"He's given hope to people of average size," Woodland mayor Skip Davies told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's given hope to people who are just willing to dedicate themselves to work hard and be good citizens. He and his family are just a grassroots, hard-working family with high moral character.
"All of us who live in Woodland take pride in the fact that we may have had something to do with him growing up with the strength of character and ability he has."
Utley to undergo hip surgery: Chase Utley is scheduled to havr hip surgery this week in a procedure that is designed to evaluate and hopefully fix the pain he experienced for much of last season.
"I don't look to change the way he plays," Scott Sheridan, the Phillies' head athletic trainer, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "That's certainly not the goal of surgery. The goal here is to promote his health for the long term.
"This was not something he probably could continue to play with, and certainly needed to be addressed surgically. Otherwise we wouldn't be doing it."
Irish football game no elixir for Billingsley: Chad Billingsley slipped and fell on ice outside his home in Reading, Pa., and suffered a spiral fracture of the fibula in his left leg. He underwent surgery on Saturday and had a metal plate inserted to aid in the healing process.
"The doctors said it turned out to be much better than they originally thought, because they thought it might have been really bad," agent Dave Stewart told MLB.com. "After the surgery, Chad felt well enough to watch his favorite college football team, Notre Dame. But the way that went [a one-point loss to Syracuse], I told him he should let the medication set in and go to sleep. He laughed."
The Dodgers expect Billingsley to be ready for the start of Spring Training.
Vazquez in talks with Diamondbacks: With the Arizona Diamondbacks in the market for a second baseman, the club has made a contract offer to Ramon Vazquez, who played for the Texas Rangers last season.
"We're talking," Vazquez's agent, Melvin Roman, told the Arizona Republic.
Vazquez, who can also play shortstop and third base, hit .290 in 300 at-bats for the Rangers and also has a .346 on-base percentage against right-handed pitchers during his career. Last year, his OBP against right-handers was .385.
Sarfate progressing after surgery: Dennis Sarfate, who just seven weeks ago had surgery to repair a fracture in his right clavicle, is on track to start throwing soon and should be ready to play by Spring Training.
"I can pick up my daughter now without any pain," the Orioles' pitcher told MLB.com. "I've kind of mocked a throwing motion, and it feels way better than it did. When I had the surgery done, [the doctor] said there was a little bit more in there than he thought. I guess when the bone started healing, it started fraying away some of the other stuff. But it's strong now."
Marson makes his mark in finale: Lou Marson didn't get a lot of action with the Phillies last year due to an intense pennant race and a trip to the Olympics, but he got a memory on the last day of the regular season that will keep him going until Spring Training.
"When I got there, they told me 'be ready,' but I know things were going good for them, and they were in a playoff race and [manager] Charlie Manuel likes to stick with the same routine -- and that's fine," Marson told MLB.com. "I finally got in the last game of the season, and it was a good experience."
In Marson's last at-bat of the day, he hit a home run and was greeted with the silent treatment when he crossed home plate.
"I walked into the dugout and everybody was sitting down, so I walked down the stairs and was high-fiving the air," he recalled with a laugh. "Then they all got up and congratulated me."
Weathers keeping options open: Free agent David Weathers could be back in Cincinnati next season after all.
"We're still negotiating and still talking," Weathers' agent, Danny Horwits, told MLB.com.
Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty noted last week that the Reds were still interested in Weathers, and Horwits confirmed the interest is there, but that there are other teams expressing interest, too.
"In terms of the process, everything is taking care of itself," Horwits said. "Other teams have gotten involved now that the market has opened. We're running through those teams and discussing their interest with David and also keeping the Reds informed."
Larish's stance includes success: Tigers prospect Jeff Larish is sticking with a batting stance that some observers consider unorthodox.
The left-handed hitting slugger, a fifth-round selection coming out of Arizona State in 2005, batted .375 in 42 games with runners in scoring position with the Tigers in 2008 and has experienced success at each level on the way up.
"I think I'm more convicted in what I'm doing," Larish told the Detroit Free-Press. "That's No. 1. You can say all you want about mechanics, but if you're not convicted in what you're doing, it doesn't matter. You're not going to be successful.
"A lot of people don't like my style, but it's something that works for me. I make little adjustments here and there. I've got a pretty good understanding of what I need to do, and I'm sticking to it, no matter what people say."
Izturis interested in Orioles: Free agent Cesar Izturis, who batted .263 and played his typically solid defense last season in St. Louis, is getting some attention in the market.
"Cesar has received a lot of interest since the market opened up," his agent, Chris Leible, told the Baltimore Sun. "Certainly, Baltimore's situation would be one that Cesar would be interested in."
-- Red Line Editorial