Alex Rios Rumors

This Date In Transactions History: Alex Rios

Ever get the sense of deja vu?  It's a feeling that Alex Rios probably experienced this week.  On this date in 2009, the White Sox selected Alex Rios off of waivers from the Blue Jays.  At the time, Rios was 28 and was owed $60MM more on his contract.  For the rebuilding Toronto club, it was an opportunity to shed payroll with an eye on the future while the White Sox took a gamble to help bolster their club for the short and long-term. 

At the time, Rios was hitting .264/.317/.427 with 14 homers in 479 plate appearances for the Blue Jays.  While the Blue Jays weren't having a dismal season, their 54-57 mark at the time was good for fourth in the American League East and had them 14.5 games behind the first place Yankees.  And while Rios' offensive production wasn't anything to sneeze at, it wasn't on a par with the .299/.352/.505 combined slash line that he turned in during his All-Star seasons in 2006 and 2007.

Meanwhile, the acquisition of Rios continued a rather expensive summer for White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf as it was just days after landing Jake Peavy at the deadline for Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Adam Russell, and Dexter Carter.  Between the two, Chicago agreed to take on more than $100MM in future commitments.  Strangely enough, the summer of 2013 saw both players jettisoned from Chicago.  

This time around, it was the White Sox who found themselves as sellers and it only made sense for them to purge some of their more desirable veterans from their payroll.  The August 2013 Rios deal seemed like a longshot to happen, but ultimately the outfielder was sent to Texas along with $1MM for a player to be named later.  The Rangers hope that Rios can be the big bat that they need for their playoff push and the White Sox hope that they can use their new found flexibility to help build for the future.


Reactions To The Alex Rios Trade

With Nelson Cruz's suspension leaving the Rangers thin in the outfield, Texas acquired Alex Rios from the White Sox today for a PTBNL (widely reported to be infielder Leury Garcia) and $1MM. Now, several hours after news of the trade broke, here are reactions to the deal from around the web.

  • Assuming the player to be named later in the deal does turn out to be Garcia, the Rangers paid a reasonable price for Rios, Eno Sarris of Fangraphs.com writes. With Rios only under contract for one more guaranteed year after 2013, the Rangers aren't assuming too much risk. Garcia didn't rank as a top prospect entering the season, and the Rangers have several infielders around for the long term and therefore could afford to part with him.
  • The Rios trade is "a great move" for the Rangers, argues Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. The deal addresses the Rangers' needs both now and in the near future, since Rios is under contract in 2014 and Cruz and David Murphy are eligible for free agency after this season.
  • The deal makes sense for both teams, says CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The Rangers get an average player who adds depth to their lineup, Heyman says, and the White Sox avoid paying Rios' salary through 2014, when they didn't figure to compete anyway.
  • Rios says he will remember fondly, MLB.com's Scott Merkin writes (on Twitter). "It was a great ride," says Rios. "I enjoyed my whole time here. I had many great moments here. So, I’m going to miss this place."

Rangers Claim Alex Rios; Trade Unlikely

FRIDAY: A source involved in the trade talks between the two sides told Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio that the chances of a deal are "smaller than a bread basket."

THURSDAY, 4:51pm: A trade is unlikely to be reached, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Prior to the deadline, the White Sox were interested in lefty Martin Perez, right-hander Luke Jackson and infielder Rougned Odor, and the Rangers aren't keen on giving up those players in a trade for Rios.

3:29pm: The Rangers and White Sox "weren't even close" on an agreement when discussing Rios prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Knobler also tweets that Rios was placed on waivers on Monday, and the deadline to work out a deal for him is tomorrow. That would suggest that Rios was claimed earlier in the week, but the news only broke today.

2:45pm: The Rangers are the team that claimed Rios, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). Grant cautions that claiming Rios and actually striking a deal to acquire the 32-year-old are very different things.

12:58pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Alex Rios has been claimed on revocable waivers by an unknown team (Twitter link).

Because he is on revocable waivers, the White Sox have 48 hours to work out a trade with the claiming team or pull him back off waivers.  Chicago could also let the claiming team have Rios for nothing and be content to dump his salary — the very manner in which Chicago acquired Rios from the Blue Jays in 2009 — but that seems unlikely given his .277/.328/.421 batting line. Rios is controlled through 2014 and owed $12.5MM next season with a $13.5MM club option, though each of those salaries will increase by $500K if he is traded.

It seems likely that an American League team was awarded the claim on Rios, as waiver priority at this point in the season is determined by league and record. All 15 AL teams would have the opportunity to claim Rios before an NL team. The Rangers and Pirates were both connected to Rios prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.



Rosenthal On Rios, Rangers, Dodgers, A’s

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has his latest edition of Full Count up. Let's run through some of the highlights…

  • Some teams considering a trade for the White Sox's Alex Rios might consider the remainder of his contract – $13MM in 2014 and a $13.5MM club option for 2015 – to be a benefit. According to Rosenthal, Rios ranks fifth in wins above replacement among all right fielders since the start of the 2012 season. That's ahead of both Nick Swisher and Shane Victorino, who were able to sign large free agent deals last offseason. Rosenthal says Rios could still be traded this month or after the season.
  • Rangers officials told Rosenthal that they had more conversations about major leaguer-for-major-leaguer trades leading up to the deadline than ever before in their push to acquire a bat for their struggling lineup, but nothing came to fruition. Texas made almost every player on their roster available in trade talks, including the newly acquired Matt Garza.
  • The Dodgers opted not to bid on Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez because they were unsure of whether he profiled as anything more than a back-end starter or reliever. They also want to create opportunities for prospects such as Zach Lee and Chris Reed.
  • The A's decision this weekend to send Tommy Milone – the owner of a 4.39 ERA in 133.1 innings this year – to Triple A was aimed at adding another arm to the bullpen, as they don't need a fifth starter until Aug. 13. However, that Aug. 13 starter could end up being prospect Sonny Gray. The A's were originally considering putting Gray in the bullpen, but they could get left-hander Brett Anderson back within two weeks as a reliever, Rosenthal says.

Quick Hits: Lee, A’s, Rays, Yankees

In reality, the Red Sox were a "non factor" for Cliff Lee before they landed Jake Peavy, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  Will he get moved today to another club?  Baseball people are highly doubtful anyone would meet the supposed Phillies' asking price of three top prospects for a pitcher who has $70MM left on his deal through 2015.  "I don't know of a team in baseball that would [do] that. Taking on that much money and giving up three legit prospects seems like a stretch for anyone," one exec said.  Here's more from around baseball as we approach the 3pm central deadline..

  • The A's are still pursuing bullpen depth, tweets Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.
  • Teams that have spoken with the Phillies say they're not upbeat about making any deals today, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.  Michael Young is still in play, but there's no clear destination for the third baseman.
  • The Cardinals are leaning towards standing pat at the deadline unless there is a last minute drastic change, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times writes that the Rays have been looking into at least one more potential deal, presumably to add a bat.  Tampa Bay made a splash earlier this week when they landed Jesse Crain in a swap with the White Sox.
  • The Yankees were mainly working on smaller acquisitions like Alberto Callaspo this week and didn't have any interest in Alex Rios once they landed Alfonso Sorianotweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Callaspo wound up going from the Halos to the A's.
  • The Marlins don't expect to do much today and plan to keep Chad Qualls, Justin Ruggiano, and other trade chips if they can't get good value in return, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • Meanwhile, the Marlins are gauging interest in Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com
  • The Royals' search for a second baseman continues, but they don't appear to be close on anything at the moment, writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.  “Anything’s possible,” one club official said. “We looking at a lot of things, but I doubt anything get done unless things change in the last few hours.
  • The Indians got the left-handed reliever they needed yesterday in Marc Rzepczynski and would still be open to a rotation upgrade, but they don't like the price so far, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).  For now, the Tribe is prepared to stand pat.
  • There are a lot of present and veteran Braves who think the club is making a serious mistake by allowing Brian McCann hit the open market at the end of the season, writes Peter Gammons at GammonsDaily.com. "Only the people around the team understand what he means to that pitching staff. He’s a star player in the team concept,” said David Ross of McCann, who also leads the team with a .884 OPS.
  • Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com spoke with Nationals players to get their take on the trade deadline.  Scott Hairston and Adam LaRoche have both been involved in multiple deadline deals.

Alex Rios Rumors: Wednesday

White Sox right fielder Alex Rios is guaranteed almost $18MM through next year.  The latest trade rumors:

  • The White Sox would like to move Rios today, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark, but it doesn't look promising.  The Rangers and Pirates have no more than lukewarm interest, he adds.
  • Rios was watched by a Pirates scout last night, notes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  The White Sox have scouted the Pirates' farm system thoroughly, he says.  Rios left the game in the eighth inning after fouling a pitch off his foot, but the bruise appears minor.

Bud Norris Rumors: Tuesday

28-year-old Astros starter Bud Norris was scratched from his start in Baltimore today amid swirling trade rumors.  The righty is under team control through 2015.  The latest:

Earlier Updates

  • In addition to the Orioles and Pirates, the Diamondbacks are also in the mix for Norris, according to McTaggart (on Twitter). The D'Backs are also said to be hot after Jake Peavy, though I imagine they're only interested in adding one of the two arms.
  • Astros manager Bo Porter told reporters, including Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that trade talkes regarding Norris have "gotten deeper." Norris will start for Houston tomorrow if he isn't traded, adds McTaggart (Twitter links).
  • The Orioles have yet to make an offer on Norris, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  They appear to have interest in the Angels' Jason Vargas, more of an August trade candidate after he recovers from a blood clot in his left armpit.
  • Three teams are hard after Norris, reports McTaggart, including the Orioles, though no deal is imminent.
  • Norris is very likely to be traded today, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan, and Pittsburgh could be his landing spot.  He adds that the Pirates won't trade center field Gregory Polanco for Norris, but the Astros do like righty Tyler Glasnow.  Passan goes on to write that other teams are still in on Norris, and one executive says the Astros are motivated to move him.
  • Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle says that while Norris hasn't been informed he's been traded, all signs point to a deal by the deadline.  In contrast, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports hears the Astros have no trade close with anyone as of now.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


The Latest On Alex Rios

9:05pm: The White Sox announced that Rios has a contusion on his left foot and will receive cautionary x-rays, but the injury doesn't sound to be serious.

8:19pm: Rios left tonight's game after fouling a ball off his foot. He received medical attention and was able to walk off the field slowly under his own power.

6:16pm: ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yankees aren't interested in Rios having already acquired Alfonso Soriano with Curtis Granderson on the mend.

6:11pm: The Pirates' interest in Rios is losing steam, tweets MLB.com's Scott Merkin.

3:27pm: The Yankees have renewed interest in Rios, tweets MLB.com's Scott Merkin, though he'd have to approve a trade.  On Friday, Rios bristled at the suggestion he'd rejected potential a deal to the Yanks.

1:54pm: A deal with the Pirates is not close at this time, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears the same.

12:25pm: It sounds like the White Sox and Pirates are getting close on a deal for right fielder Alex Rios, tweets David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com.  He notes that the cash is being worked on, and he's not sure if the two clubs can find middle ground.  Rios will be owed over $18MM through 2014 if traded.  If the White Sox cover a substantial part of that, Rios could be coming to the Pirates, tweets MLB.com's Tom Singer.


Rangers Not Planning More Significant Moves

Four straight losses have dropped the Rangers to 1.5 games out in the wild card.  Here's the latest:

  • The Rangers aren't planning on making any major moves prior to the deadline, writes Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. General manager Jon Daniels doesn't think his team will acquire a significant right-handed bat, nor does he plan on trading Joe Nathan. Daniels told Wilson that the idea of trading Nathan never gained much traction: "We'll talk about anything," Daniels said. "That's our jobs, but talking about something and having it happen are very different things." Wilson adds that the Rangers haven't had any serious talks about Alex Rios, Hunter Pence or Kendrys Morales recently, and they were never that big on the idea of re-acquiring Michael Young or Marlon Byrd.

Earlier Updates

  • The Rangers are strongly considering standing pat, writes Yahoo's Jeff Passan.
  • Manny Ramirez doesn't have an opt-out in his minor league deal with the Rangers, writes Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, but the team "never intended to keep him dangling."  They haven't yet decided whether they'll keep Manny in the organization, though they aren't expected to promote him.  The 41-year-old is hitting .269/.347/.418 in 75 Triple-A plate appearances.
  • "I've never had to worry about this stuff before and I'm not going to start now," closer Joe Nathan told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News regarding his rumored availability.  It's hard to picture which contender could offer a quality bat for a closer, anyway.  

Latest On Alex Rios

White Sox right fielder Alex Rios is hitting .272/.325/.427 in 426 plate appearances this year, ranking him about 13th in baseball in offensive production at the position.  The 32-year-old is guaranteed just under $18MM through 2014, and he's limped to a .266/.311/.354 line since June.  The latest trade rumors:

Earlier Updates

  • Rios' agent Paul Kinzer told Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune nothing appears imminent with his client unless other teams are willing to improve their offers.
  • The White Sox have asked for two top prospects plus a lesser player for Rios without much luck, hears ESPN's Jayson Stark.  Stark feels it's possible the Sox could pull Rios back and market him in the offseason.