Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that a waiver claim has been placed on Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Alex Rios by an unknown team..
The 28-year-old Rios is batting .261 with 12 homers and 58 RBIs this season. He has a hefty contract that is paying him $5.9 million this season, $9.7 million in 2010, $12 million in 2011, $12 million in 2012, $12.5 million in 2013 and $12.5 million in 2014.
Once a player is claimed on waivers, they have on of three options.
• They could work out a trade with the team that claimed him.
• They could pull him back from waivers, and keep him for themselves the rest of this season.
• They could simply allow the team that claimed him to take him, at no cost.
The early speculation was that either the Red Sox, Giants or Mets were the mystery team, but according to Joel Sherman via his Twitter account, the Mets are not involved whatsoever.
A high-ranking Mets official assured me it was not them.
I didn’t think the Mets would be interested simply because it would have made too much sense for them. In case you haven’t noticed, common sense hasn’t exactly been one of the Mets’ strongest suits this season.
The Blue Jays have until Tuesday to decide which way they want to go.
Joe D. wrote extensively about Rios back on July 3rd when the Mets still had a fighting chance. He writes,
The Blue Jays are strapped for cash and at the same time the team wants to make an offer to their ace pitcher Roy Halladay who wants to finish his career in Toronto. Rios has a huge contract that they need to unload, and it’s for that reason that he wouldn’t cost much in the way of prospects or players in return.
In his last three full seasons, Rios has hit .296 with 56 homers, 245 RBI, 64 stolen bases, 273 runs scored, 123 doubles, and 21 triples.
Currently he is batting .260 with 19 doubles, 9 homers, 37 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases. He is just 28 years old.
How can anyone say that this one bat would not make a difference?
Plus, he wouldn’t be a rental player as he is signed through 2014 at an average of $12 million dollars annually. He will only be 33 in the final year of that contract, and there is an option for 2015.
He can play rightfield, and also plays a solid centerfield and can give Beltran’s knee a rest when needed to keep him fresh for the stretch run.
Alex Rios’ career numbers are actually quite similar to Beltran’s numbers before he was traded to the Astros.
All I’m trying to impress on you is to forget that notion that one trade is not going to help. One player has made the difference plenty of times in baseball, and this could be another one of those times.
Let’s not gamble on the unpredictable returns of Reyes, Beltran and Delgado, and hope we are still in what has now become a four team race in the NL East.
Let’s do the right thing and give these fightin’ Mets a chance now… while they still have an opportunity to take this division in July.
We have fought too hard, and endured too much to just leave our play-off hopes to the slim chance that more reinforcements will arrive in time.