Do the White Sox have interest in Alex Rios?

According to an ESPN.com report, citing Major League sources, the White Sox are most likely the team that will be awarded the waiver claim on Toronto outfielder Alex Rios.

Teams cannot comment on waiver claims, but the outfielder is a player who has been on the White Sox radar previously. The Blue Jays could work out a trade with the team that reportedly claimed Rios, they could pull him back from waivers and thus keep him for the rest of the season or they could let the team who put in the claim take him. According to the report, Toronto has until Tuesday to make the decision.

Hypothetically adding Rios would also mean the addition of another larger contractual obligation to go with recently acquired hurler Jake Peavy, although the White Sox could be having the contracts of Octavio Dotel, Jose Contreras, Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome coming off of the books for 2010. Remember, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said he had to be talked into making that Peavy move by general manager Ken Williams and assistant general manager Rick Hahn. Then again, Reinsdorf said part of his hesitation was committing $52 million guaranteed from 2010-12 to a pitcher.

Over the past three years, Rios, 28, has never hit below .291 in a full season. He has plenty of speed and a strong outfield arm, along with more than a little bit of pop in his bat. His statistics have tailed off a bit this season, hitting .261 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIS.

Rios has roughly $2 million left owed to him this year and is guaranteed $59.7 million from 2010 to 2014. Rios would make sense in Williams’ plan to go a bit younger in the present, while also staying highly competitive and aligning the White Sox to stay strong in the future.

The questions that arise from even this possibility are numerous: What would become of Dye, a popular figure among management and within the clubhouse, not to mention a highly productive offensive force? Where does Rios fit this year? And if a trade was discussed, would the White Sox have anything that interests the Blue Jays. They never really seemed to be in play in the pursuit of Roy Halladay, but then again Halladay figures to require a different return than Rios.

And of course, all of this movement, if the White Sox are indeed the team awarded the claim, could be to block the Tigers from going after Rios or to set up possible future trade discussions.

11 Comments

Why doesn’t Rios replace Jim Thome. Thome is a great guy. However, he leads the majors in strike outs. He has the entire left field area to hit in with the overshift, and he would rather beef up his statistics than to drop a bunt down the third base line to keep a rally going or to knock in a run for the team. Rios hits 290 or above. Thome hits 250 or 240 because he would rather go for the statistics than to get on base for the team. If Thome wants to get into the Hall of Fame and he can’t bunt down the third baseline he has no logical reason for being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sox lost the Angels game and Cleveland game and Thome could have gotten on base six more times with the over shift instead he snuffs out rallies continuously just to chase down the glory of hitting 561 home runs. He is a nice guy, but let him strike out in between the four times he will get a hit for Toronto and let Rios get on base.
Ken Carlson
Rock Island, Il.
pss. Maybe Jim can’t see that they are leaving left field open for him because of his age and eyesight is going bad. Or maybe he does not think he is a good enough baseball player to bunt.

Ken, what are you talking about? I don’t think you’re watching the same games as I am. Thome is leading the team in On Base Percentage and has basically the same rbi’s as dye and konerko. Dye barely takes a walk and Thome is walking all the time. Thome is a better team player than anyone on that team so until you get your facts straight, SHUT UP!

Ken, what are you talking about? I don’t think you’re watching the same games as I am. Thome is leading the team in On Base Percentage and has basically the same rbi’s as dye and konerko. Dye barely takes a walk and Thome is walking all the time. Thome is a better team player than anyone on that team so until you get your facts straight, SHUT UP!

Although there has been intrest in Rios in the past, he doesn’t seem to fit in their plans now. I believe the Sox put in that waiver claim to block Detroit from claiming him.

Ken, your an idiot. Thome is paid to hit for power and drive in runs, not bunt for base hits. He is an easy lock for the hall of fame, and please tell me one person that has gotten in strictly on their bunting abilities, because I cannot think of one. I think this was just a block so he doesn’t go to Detroit, but it does make sense if they plan on him replacing Dye next season because of his age, however, I do not know where he would fit on this team at the present.

THIS MOVE WOULD IN FACT BE A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD. Not only to block the Tigers but Rios plays perfectly into williams contract stratgy. Everyone knows that the White Sox aviod free agecy like the plauge. The peavy move was bold but if peavy can be peavy then they will have cheated the system by getting a player who gave another team a hometown discount. ENTER ALEX RIOS. Also this may be less to the Bluejays for aquiring talent as sheding payroll. 3rd basement Dayan Viciedo would be a sure bet to be included. Perhaps even C Tyler Flowers but he may hold the highest value to the white sox in their own minor lueage system.

Thome is the heart of the 09 Sox. He does draw a lot of walks and is a great team player. If Rios comes in a waiver deal fine, but trading for him makes no sense. Part of the fun of this season is trying to win for Thome to give him a chance for that championship. With Peavy coming and the team playing well its a definite possibility. I work in Peoria (Thome`s home town) and there is great local interest for a guy who has been a good guy and great personality everywhere he has played. He is one dimensional but is a classic slugger as the greats of the past (Killebrew,McCovey, Stargell,McGwire,Allen, Howard, etc.)

to celticballer11
Ken, what are you talking about? I don’t think you’re watching the same games as I am. Thome is leading the team in On Base Percentage and has basically the same rbi’s as dye and konerko. Dye barely takes a walk and Thome is walking all the time. Thome is a better team player than anyone on that team so until you get your facts straight, SHUT UP!

Thome has 94 strikeouts. Can you name another player on the White Sox team that has more strikeouts? A player should do what you have to do to win. If you were a player, are you telling me you would rather strikeout than bunt? I said Thome was a good guy. He has given a lot to all around him. But on the other hand, it is just like a chess game, if an entire left field zone is open, why not get on base instead of striking out 94 times. His double play inducements are also on the high end. You can trade me, and keep Thome. I do not think any player is TOO BIG to bunt. But on the other hand, I do not mean to incite a riot!!!!! Statistics are statistics. You won’t win a world series if your hero hits 240. On the other hand, I like the fact that you are a loyal fan, and you defend a player that is a nice guy. I know that advice is hard to take in a world where different is wrong!!!!! I just look at the world and see what is different rather than what is normal. Have a nice day!!!! and I do mean that!!!!

1) Ken is an idiot, I’m sorry. Thome does NOT lead the majors in strikeouts, he is not even in the top 20! The only thing you can knock about him is the fact that he is slow on the basepaths, but if a DH is going to hit 35HR and knock in 110 runs, you are obviously not getting him for his fleet feet.

2) I don’t think this was a claim JUST to block Detroit. I mean, that is a HEFTY contract to take on (5YR-$60M) just to block one team. I think it has more to do with players coming off the payroll after this year (possibly Dye/Thome, definitely Dotel/Contreras) which add up to $40M/yr the Sox have to play with. And as much as I love Scotty Pods, but he is not the long-term answer for the Sox, being that he will be 34 on Opening Day 2010. Rios is 28, has great speed and a great arm, and can easily hit 25 HR while batting .290 at US Cellular, at a somewhat affordable price. Just think, he is making as much per year as Milton Bradley, and less than Fukudome… who would you rather have??

I think it is definitely a deal for the future, which also gives us very good depth in the outfield for the 2009 stretch run. Kenny Williams knows what he’s doing. I would trust that man if he were to trade away anyone (repeat, ANYONE) on the team. Remember when fans didn’t like when he traded away Freddy Garcia? How did that work out for us? Oh yeah, we got Gavin Floyd in that deal, and Garcia went on to win ONE game for the Phillies. The man knows where he is steering us, so just sit back and enjoy the ride!

ken, i’m sorry but i really think you have not a clue. several people have covered this pretty well but what makes you think you know more than people who make their living in the game? thome in the lineup changes so many things that i assume you don’t understand.

Don’t get all riled up here, my fellow Sox fans. JP Riccardi’s the same guy that wouldn’t trade Halladay unless he got the moon in return, yet he’s pretty sure the guy’s going to leave via free agency. If Kenny Williams can actually pull off a waiver-line deal with this tightwad Riccardi, he should probably look into curing cancer right afterward.

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