One layer is the final 47 games of this season. The next is 2014.
Rios, acquired by the Rangers on Friday along with $1 million for a player to be named later or cash considerations, provides a veteran right-handed bat who can help ease the pain of the loss of Nelson Cruz, the team's home run and RBI leader, for the regular season.
Rios can help win now by bringing pop with 12 home runs, speed with 26 stolen bases and a strong arm in right field with eight outfield assists.
"I don’t think the void that Nelson left can be filled," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "[Alex] is a solid baseball player, and we just want him to come up here and play his game. He fits in well. He fits in extremely well."
Rios, also signed for $13 million in 2014, gives the Rangers a pair of outfielders to build around next season along with emerging center fielder Leonys Martin. Cruz and left fielder David Murphy are both free agents at the end of the season.
There are many questions about whether the Rangers will bring back Cruz, starting with his suspension for 50 games for the Biogenesis case and whether club truly wants to bring him back. Another is the price that Cruz might command on the free-agent market.
"It certainly adds a layer to it for us," Daniels said. "Not only does he help us this year, but we have guys who are going to be free agents who play corner run producing players, so he certainly fits the bill for us going forward."
Washington and Daniels both repeatedly said Friday on a conference call that Rios is a good fit for the Rangers. White Sox manager Robin Ventura benched him recently for not hustling on the bases, but the Rangers believe their culture will take care of that.
Rios will join a strong former teammate in A.J. Pierzynski, and the Rangers don't have a history of players not playing hard for Washington.
Washington was asked if he's concerned about Rios.
"No, being in this environment," Washington said. "I don't know the reasons behind [what happened in Chicago]. It happens to a lot of players. But that isn't anything that's going to stop us from moving forward or Alex."