Thursday, July 25, 2013
Trade Target: Alex Rios
By Richard Durrett
We continue our "Trade Target" series, which also includes circling back to a few folks we've talked about over the last month. With Alex Rios back in the news with the Rangers interested (and they should be), let's look at him again.
Today's target: Alex Rios
Jon Daniels has talked about the lack of impact bats on the market (he discussed it again on Fitzsimmons and Durrett on Tuesday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM). And he's not the only one that's noted that. But Rios is one of the few. He's got a track record, is under club control for the next few years and would give the club a right-handed bat in the outfield who is putting up solid numbers.
The beauty of Rios for the Rangers would be they'd get a 32-year-old player who can patrol the outfield for the next two years. Rios isn't cheap. He's making another $6 million or so this season, $12.5 million next season and has a $13.5 million club option for 2015. He also had six teams on his no-trade list, but reports over the past few weeks indicate the Rangers weren't on that list.
This wouldn't be merely a short-term option. Nelson Cruz could be staring at a 50-game suspension at some point, though it's unclear when that might be. Either way, he's a free agent after this season. David Murphy's contract expires too. So the Rangers are going to have to deal with adding to the outfield soon. They know they should consider doing that now, if they can.
Rios is batting .278 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs. He's hitting .308 against left-handed pitchers and can play the corner outfield spots (and even center field if needed, though he's played every game this season in right field).
To get a player under club control for that long, the Rangers would have to give up prospects. But the price tag of Rios' contract should allow them to avoid giving up many of the top ones. Could guys like Wilmer Font or Luis Sardinas be in the conversation? Probably. And some others. We'll see what kind of package it would take, but it might not be as costly as you think because of Rios' salary.
Rios would make this lineup better, which is why the Rangers are talking about it. He's not a huge name, but he would help this team now and in the future.
What are you giving up to get him?