When the Chicago White Sox put outfielder Alex Rios through waivers, a mystery team ended up claiming him, and everyone had their suspicions about who that mystery team was.
At the time, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports guessed it might be the Texas Rangers. However, on Friday morning, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com wrote that while the Rangers and White Sox still had time to come to an agreement on a deal, it was unlikely that one would be finished.
A few hours later, the news began to leak that not only had a deal been worked out, but the Rangers got the guy they wanted for next to nothing. Thursday afternoon, I talked about the potential of this deal happening. I was sure Texas didn’t want to give up the names Chicago wanted, however, I tweeted about why this deal would get done before Friday’s deadline in the Rangers really wanted it to happen.
— Todd Kaufmann (@T_Kaufmann) August 8, 2013
According to numerous reports, the Rangers acquired Rios from Chicago for a player to be named later, rumored to be minor leaguer Leury Garcia.
You might ask, “Why is that significant?”
Prior to the July 31 trade deadline, the asking price for Rios was two top prospects and a lesser prospect. There was no way the Texas Rangers, or general manager Jon Daniels, was going to pay that kind of price tag for an average outfielder accused of being lazy.
Two weeks later, the White Sox realized they weren’t in a good bargaining position and decided to make the deal for what they could get in return.
For Texas, they get a guy who is a definite offensive upgrade over David Murphy, not to mention he has stolen 26 bases in 32 attempts so far this season. That will fit right in with the speedsters they already have on the bases with Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus.
As far as where he fits into the lineup, most see him hitting fifth behind Adrian Beltre.
This is a good deal for the Texas Rangers, and say what you want about his reputation and being pulled from a game due to the lack of hustle, he isn’t the first player to do so. Although not for being lazy, A.J. Pierzynski didn’t exactly have the best reputation when he signed with the Rangers prior to the 2013 season. Since Pierzynski was teammates with Rios in Chicago, so he may be able to accelerate Rios’ acceptance in the clubhouse.
The Alex Rios era begins tonight in Houston. How will it play out? Stay tuned.