The Royals like Alex Rios, but they won’t be bringing him back in 2016. The team is “said to be” at it’s budget and they will instead go with internal options, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. The team’s plan will be to use Paulo Orlando, Jarrod Dyson, and others in the outfield.
The Royals held a mutual option on Rios’ contract that could have paid him $12.5MM for the 2016 season but, as expected, the team opted instead to pay him a modest $1.5MM buyout. Rios, a Scott Boras client, had one of the worst offensive seasons of his career, hitting just just .255/.287/.353 in 411 regular season plate appearances. The 35-year-old also added four homers and nine steals. The outfielder may have been held back by a broken hand suffered in April of last year, though he still produced a decent sample size of 105 games.
Rios signed with the Royals in December of 2014 after reportedly blocking a trade that would have sent him to KC that summer. It has also been reported that the veteran turned down a two-year offer from the Mariners last offseason, choosing instead to sign a one-year deal with the Royals. Rios apparently wanted to play for a winner more than he wanted a two-year guarantee, so he might not have any regrets about his decision today as he dons his World Series ring.