Alex Rios Rumors
Earlier this afternoon, Royals infielder Miguel Tejada was suspended for 105 games after a pair of positive tests for Adderall. Tejada will serve his suspension for the rest of this season and is expected to retire rather than sign with a team and serve the remainder of the punishment in 2014. He issued the following statement:
“I apologize to my teammates, the Royals organization and to the Kansas City fans. I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat. I took that medication while re-applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. Under the requirements of the Joint Drug Program, I made a mistake in doing so.”
Here's more out of the AL Central...
- The White Sox will attend Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu's showcase next month, writes Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. Executive vice president Kenny Williams told Hayes that the Sox need to see more of Abreu before making a decision, but spending money is something the team isn't afraid to do. Paul Konerko is a free agent at season's end, and Adam Dunn will be off the books following 2014.
- In his latest Q&A with readers, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that while Alex Rios would've been a good fit with the Indians, the financial commitment to him was too much for the Tribe. Hoynes also tackles questions on acquiring a middle-of-the-order bat and Asdrubal Cabrera's struggles and trade value.
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he's not worrying about his own future following the dismissal of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel yesterday: "In all honesty, this is my 12th year (managing the Twins). It doesn't get much better than that. Managers just don't stay in places like that. I feel like I've been blessed. I'm lucky. I'm not going to sit here, if this is my last year, and mope, believe me. If it is my last year in Minnesota, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it." Prior to Manuel's firing, he, Gardenhire and Mike Scioscia of the Angels were baseball's longest-tenured managers.
AUGUST 11: The White Sox have announced, via Twitter, Garcia is the player to be named later in the Rios trade. Garcia will report to Triple-A Charlotte and will most likely be a September call-up, before if needed, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (Twitter links).
AUGUST 9: It looked like a long shot just hours ago, but the White Sox and Rangers have announced a trade that will send Alex Rios to Texas in exchange for a player to be named later. The White Sox are reportedly including $1MM to help offset some of the remaining money on Rios' contract.
Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago feels that it's likely Leury Garcia will be the player to be named later at a time when he's not required to clear waivers to be moved (Twitter link). MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan agrees that Garcia will head to the White Sox, adding that the trade came together just minutes before the deadline to move Rios before his waiver period expired.
The 32-year-old Rios is hitting .277/.328/.421 with 12 homers and 26 stolen bases this season. Originally set to earn $12.5MM next year with a $13.5MM option for 2015, Rios has a clause in his contract that escalates both of those figures by $500K if traded, which is likely the reason that the Sox included the $1MM in cash.
The Rangers claimed Rios off waivers earlier this week after expressing interest in him prior to the trade deadline. This is the second time that he has changed teams in August, as the White Sox originally acquired him from the Blue Jays back in 2009 in a down season when the Jays simply dumped his contract onto the White Sox. In parts of five seasons with the White Sox, Rios hit .269/.310/.430, offering solid defense in right field. He's also capable of playing center field in a pinch, though he hasn't done so regularly since 2011.
The 22-year-old Garcia is hitting just .192/.236/.231 in 57 plate appearances this season. The switch-hitter entered the season ranked as the Rangers' No. 20 prospect, according to Baseball America. In their scouting report, BA noted that Garcia is a near 80 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale and also possessed the best infield arm in Texas' system. His ultimate role may be a super utility player capable of handling second base, shortstop and center field, according to BA.
Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago first reported that Rios had been traded and that the White Sox would receive a PTBNL (Twitter links). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported that that the White Sox were including $1MM (on Twitter).
Let's take a look at the latest from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal in this week's edition of Full Count:
- The Diamondbacks were the runner-up among teams vying to acquire Bud Norris from the Astros. The Snakes planned to keep Norris in the rotation for the remainder of the season, then shift him to the bullpen through the end of his contract, Rosenthal says, noting the team's wealth of young starting pitching and contracts for relievers Heath Bell and J.J. Putz that will expire after 2014. However, the Orioles were able to offer Houston the superior compensation pick.
- Tim Lincecum is pushing his free agent stock up with his recent run of strong starts, but the Giants haven't initiated contract talks yet with the hurler. An executive cited by Rosenthal pegged a potential deal for Lincecum in the three-year range with a $13MM-14MM annual salary. Though that initially appears high considering the right hander's poor performance last year and at the beginning of this one, the qualifying offer the Giants are likely to extend will probably be in the same $13MM-14MM range.
- Though the White Sox weren't able to find a taker for Alex Rios' contract before the deadline, Nelson Cruz's suspension changed the thinking in the Rangers' front office, according to Rosenthal. Texas was previously asking for significant cash back in any trade, while the Pirates weren't even interested enough to discuss specific names, Rosenthal reports. However, the Sox will likely eventually get infielder Leury Garcia from their deal with the Rangers, which could give them the flexibility to trade either second baseman Gordon Beckham or shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
- The dearth of hitters reaching the open market could have made Chase Utley quite popular in free agency. Rosenthal cites the Dodgers, Athletics and Orioles as potential suitors. The two years and $27MM of guaranteed salary that Utley received from the Phillies is comparable to guarantees that David Ortiz, Torii Hunter and Carlos Beltran got in free agency, Rosenthal notes.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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 Soriano, tweets 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.
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.
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:
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets that the Pirates have no plans to move Glasnow, though they still have plenty in the system to acquire Norris. Alex Rios also remains a target for Pittsburgh.
- 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.