Desperate for offense, the Texas Rangers put in a waiver claim on White Sox outfielder Alex Rios. And with time to finalize a deal running out, the two teams have finally reached an agreement.
Texas will send a player to be named later to complete the deal for Rios. The 32-year old is expected to fill the void in rightfield that was created when Nelson Cruz was was hit with a 50-game suspension earlier this week.
Originally a first round pick by the Blue Jays in 1999, Rios lived up to his lofty expectations during his first five seasons in the majors. But after the Jays signed him to a long-term contract, Rios turned into a Jeckyl and Hyde type of player. Toronto eventually soured on him and sent him to the White Sox in a similar waiver wire deal in August of 2009.
Rios slumped badly in 2011, putting up career lows in most offensive categories. But he came back strong last season, establishing career highs in homers, RBIs, and batting average. So far this season, Rios is hitting .277/.328/.421 with 12 homers and 26 stolen bases. Rios should be a nice fit in Texas and the Rangers needed to upgrade their offense.
Even though the Rangers are on the hook for the remainder of Rios’ 2013 salary and another $12.5 million for 2014, this still has the makings of a bargain for Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan, and company. Rios also comes with a team option for 2015 worth $13.5 million with a $1 million buyout. With both Cruz and David Murphy headed for Free Agency at the end of this year, Rios looks like a veritable bargain for the Rangers.
The player to be named later in this deal has been rumored to be Leury Garcia. The Dominican infielder has played 25 games for Texas this season and is currently working at AAA Round Rock.
There has been no word as to whether or not Rios will be in Houston in time for tonight’s game. However, I would imagine we will see him at some point this weekend.