Reach way back in your memory to before the 2014 trade deadline, to that happier time when Cincinnati Reds fans thought our team might be a contender. You there? OK, then you might remember that one of the guys rumored to be on the Reds’ wishlist was Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios, he of the solid bat and easy buyout. According to Ken Rosenthal, Rios is not off the block yet, as the Rangers placed him on revocable waivers this evening:
Source: #Rangers’ Rios placed on revocable trade waivers today.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 5, 2014
Would the Reds be crazy enough to jump back in on a guy who will earn about another $4 million this season and then $13.5 million next season? They just might, depending on how things shake out in the next couple of weeks.
I’ve been as critical of the Reds’ recent slide as anyone, but they ARE just a handful of games back in both the NL Central and Wild Card standings, and they DO have a streak of games against the teams in front of them, starting with the St. Louis Cardinals in less than two weeks.
If the Reds could somehow head to Mound City within a game of the playoffs, having Rios’ bat in the lineup, in lieu of, say, Ryan Ludwick’s, would presumably give them a better chance of catching the Redbirds. The timing could work out, OK, too.
Assuming that Rios makes it through waivers without being claimed — which may not be a completely safe bet — that won’t happen until Thursday. Add a couple of days for negotiations and bidding wars, and we’re into the weekend, maybe seven days out from St. Louis. At that point, general manager Walt Jocketty would have a better gauge of whether his team had a shot at anything substantial.
Then again, Jocketty could have brought in Rios a couple of weeks ago, when the Cincinnati lineup smacking around baseballs like they were medicine balls, but he passed. It’s hard to think anything would be different now.
But it could be.
With a $1 million buyout of his 2015 option, Rios will be attractive to some team out there, and it seems pretty likely he’ll be part of a pennant push. Somewhere.