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.