On Friday afternoon the Texas Rangers acquired outfielder Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox for a player to be named later or cash considerations. A deal between the two teams for Rios was considered unlikely after Texas claimed the 32-year-old on waivers earlier this week.
The Rangers badly needed to add some outfield production, especially with All-Star Nelson Cruz suspended for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. At the time of his suspension, Cruz was leading the Rangers with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs. With David Murphy, Engel Beltre and Leonys Martin making up the team’s current outfield, there was no doubt the Rangers needed to find another bat. They’re obviously hoping Rios can boost the team’s production.
Texas will receive Rios in exchange for a player to be named or cash. That player is expected to be shortstop Leury Garcia.
Rios is currently hitting .277 with 12 home runs and 55 RBIs. He has an on-base percentage of .328, an OPS of .749 and his WAR currently sits at 1.0. He also has 26 stolen bases and has scored 57 runs.
While those numbers won’t exactly blow anyone’s hair back, it’s impossible to overstate how badly the Rangers needed another right-handed bat. While Rios won’t set the world on fire, he is a two-time All-Star (2006, 2007) who can get hot and provides solid defense in the outfield.
Rios is making $12.5 million this year, and is set to make $12.5 million in 2014. The Rangers will hold a club option on him for $13.5 million in 2015, with a $1 million buyout.
Entering a four-game series at Houston starting Friday night, the Rangers have won nine of their last 10 games, and have made up six games in the American League West over that span. They are currently tied with the Oakland A’s for the division lead.
The trade of Rios opens up a spot in the outfield for Avisail Garcia in Chicago. The White Sox acquired Garcia as part of the three-team trade that sent Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox. Garcia came to Chicago from the Detroit Tigers.