Alex Rios Rumors

Chone Figgins Too Pricey For White Sox?

Recently, the South Side of Chicago has been identified as a logical destination for Angels third baseman Chone Figgins as he heads into free agency.  However, manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't envision the 31-year-old utility player fitting into the White Sox' budget, reports Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Cowley says that in 2010 high-priced pick-up Alex Rios will take over in center field and Carlos Quentin will move from left to right in place of Jermaine Dye, whose $12MM option is not likely to be picked up.  This leaves one spot open, which could be solved by signing Figgins or retaining Scott Podsednik, who Guillen would "love" to have back.

Podsednik played a slightly below average left field this season, posting a UZR/150 of -3.4 at the position.  Figgins, meanwhile, hasn't played the outfield regularly since 2006. 

Can Figgins be had for less than $10MM per year in a depressed economy?


Odds & Ends: Rios, Hardy, Knapp

A couple more links as the day winds down…

  • According to Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune, one scout called Alex Rios "a teaser," and that he's the kind of the guy that "can get you fired." Kenny Williams sure hopes that's not the case.
  • Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider explains why the Mariners should go after J.J. Hardy. Something tells me we'll see quite a few more posts like this.
  • Jason Knapp, one of the prospects the Indians acquired for Cliff Lee, will have arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder to remove "loose bodies," according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince. GM Mark Shapiro says they will not file a grievance.

Perrotto’s Latest: Twins, Damon, Franklin, Penny, Dye

John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus brings us his latest from around the leagues:

  • When they come off the DL, Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins will be used in relief. So, the Twins are hoping to add a starter who can pitch in the playoffs. This means they have until tomorrow at midnight to do so.
  • The Yankees would like to re-sign Johnny Damon to a one year deal and give Austin Jackson a second year to develop at Triple-A, while pursuing Matt Holliday and Jason Bay in the offseason.
  • The Marlins and Giants are frontrunners to land Brad Penny.
  • The Cardinals expect to exercise Ryan Franklin‘s $2.75MM club option and then sign an extension with their closer for 2011.
  • The Royals want to extend G.M. Dayton Moore who is signed through 2010.
  • Perrotto says the Cubs are likely to deal Milton Bradley this winter, even if it means eating a large portion of the $21MM owed to him through 2011.
  • Jermaine Dye will more than likely not see his $12MM option exercised by the White Sox after a dip in production in tandem with the salary demands of Alex Rios and Jake Peavy.
  • For the postseason, the Dodgers are seeking “a left-handed bat with power” for their bench.
  • The Nats are auditioning Livan Hernandez as a veteran innings eater for 2010.
  • The Diamondbacks may non-tender Conor Jackson.
  • Brewers manager Ken Macha said G.M. Doug Melvin “scoured the area for pitching” before the deadline but was unable to add a starter because he refused to trade Mat Gamel or Alcides Escobar.
  • After making seven trades this year, the Pirates are the youngest team in the MLB.


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Deadline, Rios, Yanks

On this date two years ago, the Yankees and Padres failed to reach an agreement on a trade for Kei Igawa after San Diego claimed the pitcher on waivers. The Yankees also chose not to let Igawa go to the Padres for just the waiver claim. Since then Igawa has made two starts for the Yankees and has spent the entire '09 season in Triple-A. With several teams active in the waiver market this season, let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere…

  • Around the Majors takes a look at how the deadline deals have worked so far.
  • The Blue Jay Hunter looks at what the Alex Rios move could mean for the Jays moving forward.
  • The Sports Bank gives 11 reasons why Alex Rios was a good pick up for the White Sox.
  • A Game Of Inches argues that the White Sox would have been better off acquiring a minor league center fielder.
  • UmpBump makes the case that the Alex Rios move was good for both sides.
  • Josh's Thoughts takes a look at what the acquisition of Alex Rios by the White Sox means for the Twins and the rest of the AL Central.
  • The Pinstriper imagines what the Yankees roster would look like today had they signed Mike Lowell in '07.
  • Jorge Says No! says the Jays still need to move Vernon Wells if they ever want to move forward.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com. If you have a suggestion for this feature, Cork can be reached here, and followed on Twitter here.


Stark On Smoltz, Reds, Strasburg, Thome

ESPN.com's Jayson Stark adds the Astros to the list of teams interested in John Smoltz. Here are the rest of his rumors:

  • The Cubs could look for another bat and another starter, but it depends on how healthy Aramis Ramirez, Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano are.
  • Stark points out that Aaron Harang's 2011 club option becomes a more expensive $14MM mutual option if he's traded. The Reds haven't seemed willing to take on cash in a trade involving Harang or rotation-mate Bronson Arroyo. 
  • The Yanks don't appear to have interest in either Reds starter, or John Smoltz, for that matter. 
  • Don't expect any serious negotiating to occur between the Nationals, Scott Boras and Stephen Strasburg before the last minute. Most execs who Stark surveyed expect Strasburg to sign in the end.
  • The Braves could re-sign Adam LaRoche after the season, when the first baseman will hit free agency. 
  • Jim Thome still impresses scouts and should be able to find work as a DH after the season. 
  • Some teams doubt Vicente Padilla's character because the Rangers are ready to part with him even though they need pitching.
  • Some of Alex Rios' former teammates question the outfielder's work ethic and desire.  
  • Stark hears that Andy Sonnanstine and Jeff Niemann were claimed on waivers and quickly pulled back by the Rays. 
  • The Braves made a quick run at Victor Martinez before the Red Sox acquired him, but didn't get very far. 
  • Though their negotiations with Aaron Crow could theoretically continue into late spring, the Royals may impose a deadline of their own to sign their top pick.  

Odds And Ends: Tate, Draft, Tejada, Jays

Some afternoon links…


Heyman On White Sox, Mets, Bay, Holliday

Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Blue Jays asked for a player currently on the White Sox in exchange for Alex Rios before asking for a prospect and eventually settling for salary relief. Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi didn't get MLB talent back for his right fielder, but executives around the league say they understand the thought process behind the trade. Here are the rest of Heyman's rumors:

  • One GM says Rios would be a good gamble at $30-35MM, but the $60MM remaining on his deal is too much.
  • White Sox GM Kenny WIlliams says he's fully confident that Jake Peavy will transition into the American League and help the White Sox down the stretch.
  • It's uncertain whether Gary Sheffield and Pedro Feliciano were claimed off waivers. Two AL teams were interested in Sheffield before his hamstring injuries popped up. 
  • Teams are claiming more cheap, young players than ever. 
  • The Red Sox would love Marco Scutaro, but aren't likely to get the chance to acquire him since teams with worse records would presumably claim him. 
  • Heyman hears that Matt Holliday could press for a no-trade clause and may not take the biggest deal he sees as a free agent this offseason. 
  • Some estimate that Jason Bay could make about $60MM over four years when he hits free agency after the season. 
  • The Nats could name a new GM by the end of the month. Acting GM Mike Rizzo is receiving praise around the league for acquiring Nyjer Morgan. 
  • Most execs believe John Smoltz is more likely to land in the NL.

Olney On Rios, Upton, Davis, Smoltz, Webb

ESPN.com's Buster Olney suggests that Alex Rios would sign a deal worth $20MM over two years or $30MM over three if he were a free agent right now. That means the White Sox are paying more than market value for their new outfielder, but clubs can't often acquire talented players in their prime. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors:

  • The White Sox are better equipped to win this year and, even though they took on lots of money, they didn't give up a single player to acquire Rios.
  • Some talent evaluators are convinced the Rays will listen to offers for B.J. Upton this offseason.  
  • Olney hears that Doug Davis is currently on waivers and John Smoltz cleared waivers. 
  • If the D'Backs don't exercise Brandon Webb's $8.5MM option for 2010, he could become a gamble for big-market teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.

More Reactions To The Alex Rios Trade

More reactions to the biggest deal we've seen this August

  • ESPN.com's Keith Law says the White Sox can afford Alex Rios since they have a hole in center field, salaries coming off the books and a deep enough system to afford the price of "no players."
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the White Sox are making risky, fascinating moves.
  • Danny Knobler of CBS Sports doubts the Blue Jays can win next year, even with Roy Halladay around. It takes a special team to win in the AL East and Knobler suggests the Jays don't have enough talent.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams picked up a $56 ticket for jaywalking in Seattle yesterday, according to MLB.com's Christian Caple. He committed a million times as much to Alex Rios.
  • Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reminds us that the Giants at least considered a Tim Lincecum-Alex Rios swap less than two years ago.

More Rios Reactions

The world's had a few hours to digest the Rios trade and a few have made their judgments. Let's check it out, with more likely on the way:

  • Mark Gonzales at the Chicago Tribune talked to Jermaine Dye, who called the move "a shock" and doesn't know what the future holds for him.
  • Ken Rosenthal at FOX Sports says the White Sox have managed their payroll well enough in order to take on a contract as big as Rios's.
  • Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times has an in-depth piece on the deal. Apparently Sox GM Kenny Williams had tried to acquire Rios before the deadline. Williams admits that the team went "out on a limb" for Rios money-wise, after claiming finances would be an issue for the Sox this season.
  • Drunk Jays Fans sees it as "the right move for whatever direction this club might be headed in." (Maybe not safe for work/children, but entertaining as usual.)