Aug 23, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Alex Rios (51) bats against the Kansas City Royals during the game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Royals defeated the Rangers 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
When the 2014 Cincinnati Reds came out of the All-Star break with a chance to make a playoff run, they stumbled hard, and speculation abounded about which players on the trade market might help them out on offense. One name that popped up in more than one outlet was Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios, but that trade never materialized, and the Reds tanked. Now, Rios is a free agent, and the Reds are still thin at the plate and in left field, so you know his name has popped into general manager Walt Jocketty’s mind at least a couple of times.
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Why He’s Available
Rios played out the heart of his contract in 2014, and the Rangers last month declined his $13.5-million option for 2015. Given that Rios will be 34 next season and that he was plagued by injuries and ineffectiveness in this season, it seems unlikely that the Rangers will try to sign him to a new deal. He was part of an ugly season in Texas, and the Rangers would like to put it behind them.
Why He Fits for the Reds
Even during a season disrupted by injury, Rios was league-average at the plate and decent in the field. He still shows speed on the basepaths and is just one year removed from solid power numbers, and received MVP votes as recently as 2012.
Why He Might NOT Fit for the Reds
As mentioned above, Rios will be 34 next year, and he has played just one game in left field in the Major Leagues. Tim Dierkes at MLBTradeRumors.com predicts that Rios will make $8.5 million in 2015, and that’s too much to pay an aging outfielder, especially for a team that likely won’t contend, anyway.
If the Reds had picked up Rios at midseason and he had helped them make the playoffs, it’s quite possible they would have re-upped to keep him on the Riverfront. That ship has sailed, though, and I think Rios will land elsewhere.