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Alex Rios trade value moves up and down

Monday's MRI showed that Alex Rios won't need to go on the disabled list for a sprained ankle. Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The good news for Rangers right fielder Alex Rios is that he won't go on the disabled list for a sprained right ankle.

The bad news is that his trade value is slipping due to the injury and the longer he remains on the Rangers' roster, the fewer contending teams will be available to acquire his services.

Rios underwent a MRI on Monday afternoon that revealed nothing more than a painful sprained ankle, something that’s bothered him after he swung the bat in Toronto July 19.

After that, Rios had treatment and did some light running from time-to-time to prepare to play.

The Rangers need Rios in their lineup for so many reasons. He gives manager Ron Washington something to work with, given he only has four players in his everyday lineup that are proven.

Rios also needs to play to be able to display his skills for opposing scouts and general managers, so Jon Daniels can make a move.

Each passing day, it becomes harder and harder for Daniels to do anything with Rios, especially when he doesn't play.

Rios was in the lineup Sunday in Houston after three days off to rest the ankle. In two plate appearances, he flew out to right and doubled to left center.

In the second inning, Rios re-aggravated the sprain sliding into home plate and came up hobbling, barely putting any weight on the foot.

It appeared Rios was going to be out for a while.

Then, he had an MRI on Monday and Rios was confident he wouldn’t need time on the DL. The team doctor assured him of it after reviewing the MRI results Monday afternoon.

Good news.

Now, Rios has to play again, and it won’t happen until at least Wednesday.

With Rios sitting, the rest of baseball, well mainly the contenders, are making moves to add more pitching or power to bolster their teams.

Monday night as the Kansas City Royals were moving into first place in the AL Central, they traded for right-handed hitter Josh Willingham and gave up right-handed pitcher Jason Adam.

How desperate are the Royals for extra hitting?

Willingham, in 68 games, has a slash line of .210/.345/.402 with 12 home runs.

Rios has just four home runs in 2014 but with a slash line of .294/.324/.415, he is a better player.

The Royals apparently expressed interest in Rios, however, the Royals are one of six clubs he can veto a trade to. It seems Rios would bypass this list for the right to play on a contending team. He's expressed an interest in doing that, but also likes to play for the Rangers.

At this stage, Rios might just finish the season with the Rangers. He's considered a durable player after playing in 313 games the previous two seasons.

He needs to play not only for himself, but also to let people know he's worth trading for.