According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, trade talks for Rangers outfielder Alex Rios are “gaining traction” in several places.
The Rangers are willing to eat some of the remaining salary on Rios’ contract if that’s what it takes to move him.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that the Indians, Giants, Reds and Royals are among a bevy of suitors who have Rios on their radar, and he appears to be a lock to be traded before Thursday’s deadline at 4:00 PM EST.
The Rangers seem willing to absorb a significant amount of the $5 million remaining on his contract for this season, and part of the attraction is a $13.5 million team option for next season with a $1 million buyout. It makes him much more valuable than a typical two-month rental.
Rios is batting .305 this season with a .764 OPS. The 33-year old has a league-leading eight triples, 22 doubles, four home runs, 42 runs scored and 43 RBI on the season with 16 stolen bases. He bats right-handed and is slashing at .378/.413/.659 against lefthanded pitching.
Last season, Rios hit 18 home runs, drove in 82 runs and stole 42 bases while scoring 83 runs, and while his defense has dipped in center, he’s a solid defender in left or right field.
I wondered if the Mets could make a play for Rios a couple of weeks ago, and I see him as a player who’d be very well suited for a park like Citi Field.
Additionally, Rios would give the Mets a true leadoff hitter that could free up Grandy to bat in the middle of the order which is why he got that $60 million deal from the Mets in the first place.
Sandy Alderson has said he’s not interested in trading for any two-month rentals and has his sights set on players who can help the team next season as well.
“I don’t think we would deal significant prospects or significant value for somebody who is going to help us for a couple of months,” Alderson said. “We spent too much time improving our Minor League system and setting ourselves up for the future to commit significant resources to somebody in a deal that is only going to help us for a short period of time. In that sense, we would probably be looking for somebody who can help us longer term as well.”
Perhaps Rios is the kind of player that would appeal to Sandy.