Monday, October 28, 2013
Defining Dozen: Trading for Alex Rios
By Todd Wills
Editor's Note: This is the sixth of a 12-part series titled "Defining Dozen," which looks at the 12 moments that impacted the 2013 season the most. We will count down from 12 to 1. The moments will include highs and lows for the Texas Rangers from a season that lasted until Game 163.
Alex Rios was a nice addition and one of the Rangers' most consistent bats in September.
The Rangers weren't able to completely replace the offense they lost when Nelson Cruz was suspended for the final 50 games of the regular season. But they did make a nice addition after the July 31 trade deadline when they acquired outfielder Alex Rios in a waiver wire deal.
Rios was a nice addition in the Rangers' clubhouse, where he was well received. And he was a good all-around offensive player in his 47 games for Texas, batting .278 with six home runs, 26 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.
Rios was one of the Rangers' most consistent bats in September, hitting .291 with five home runs and 19 RBIs. He had an .834 OPS (on base plus slugging percentage) for the final month.
He had perhaps the best game of his 10-year career in the last week of the season. Rios hit for the cycle, propelling the Rangers to a 12-0 victory over the Houston Astros on Sept. 23. He finished off the cycle in six innings, flying around the bases for a triple after lining a fastball into right-center field for a triple.
Rios became the seventh Rangers player to hit for the cycle, and the win moved the Rangers within a game of the second American League wild-card spot.
Rios was greeted with a standing ovation when he went out to the field for the top of the seventh.
"I had goosebumps when I was running to right field, so it felt great," Rios said after the game.
Rios wasn't a rental player for the Rangers. He'll be back for at least one more season for $12.5 million, bolstering an outfield that could be without Cruz for the first time in six seasons (Cruz is a free agent, but the Rangers still have interest in bringing him back).
Rios should help the Rangers have a more balanced offense in 2014. He stole 42 bases for the Rangers and White Sox, third-most in the AL. The Rangers can search for a few power bats, knowing they have a solid all-around player with Rios.