The Cubs have outrighted infielder Edwin Rios, according to Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune. There had been no previous indication that Rios had been designated for assignment. Chicago’s 40-man roster drops to 39 as a result of the move. Rios has the requisite service time to reject an outright assignment, but would forfeit the remainder of his $1MM salary in doing so.
A sixth-round pick by the Dodgers in the 2015 draft, Rios made his big league debut with the club in 2019 and thrived in a bench role with LA, slashing a phenomenal .260/.338/.634 in 139 plate appearances across his first two seasons in the majors. The following two seasons, however, weren’t as fruitful. From 2021-22, Rios battled hamstring and shoulder injuries while slashing just .183/.263/.365 in 152 plate appearances. That combination of injuries and ineffectiveness led the Dodgers to non-tender Rios this past offseason.
Upon departing LA Rios joined the Cubs, who signed him to a $1MM major league deal in hopes of Rios providing lefty power off the bench for the club. Things didn’t go according to plan for Rios or Chicago, however, as the now 29-year-old slugger slashed just .071/.235/.214 with a massive 47.1% strikeout rate in 34 trips to the plate. That performance was enough for the Cubs to demote Rios to Triple-A for most of the 2023 campaign despite the small sample size.
Now, more than a month removed from Rios’s last big league appearance, he’s off the 40-man roster entirely. Assuming he opts to accept his outright assignment in order to retain the remainder of his salary, Rios figures to serve as a depth bench option for the Cubs’ infield, though he’s blocked by the likes of Matt Mervis and Miles Mastrobuoni, both of whom are already on the 40-man roster.