Can the Texas Rangers Still Trade Alex Rios?


Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers may yet deal Alex Rios. Rios was placed on revocable waivers today which means that other teams may claim Rios and Texas will decide whether to let Rios go or to pull him back and work out a trade. This is the first step towards dealing Rios over the next month.

The team did not manage to swap the outfielder at the non-waiver deadline which left those analyzing the team somewhat puzzled that the team would deal Jason Frasor and Joakim Soria but hold onto Alex Rios. Those of us who closely follow the Rangers know that the team believes it can compete in 2015 and thus the team is happy to keep Rios. The alternative is not pleasant given that the team appears to have no major league ready corner outfielders after Michael Choice’s struggles earlier this year. Choice may well improve enough over the next year to claim the job in spring training but it is doubtful that the team wants to risk this since if Choice does require more seasoning the Rangers will have to start the year with someone like Jim Adduci or Dan Robertson in left field. This, of course, ignores the possibility of signing someone in the offseason. In the end, the Rangers are probably happy to keep Rios but would trade him for the right prospect.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates lost Andrew McCutchen this week to a broken rib. The injury seems to have occurred, or least made worse, when McCutchen was hit by a pitch from a Diamondback’s pitcher in apparent retaliation for Paul Goldschmidt’s season ending injury. That injury was caused by the Pirate’s Ernesto Frieri’s errant pitch. This childish behavior by the Diamondbacks is probably going to cost the Pirates their pennant run. The Pirates will be hard pressed to replace the ostensible MVP front runner in McCutchen. One option the Pirates might turn to is the Texas Rangers’ Alex Rios.

The Pirates have outfield flexibility with players like Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco being able to play multiple positions. By moving one of them, most likely Marte, to centerfield in place of McCutchen, they could free up a place for Rios in rightfield. The Pirates’ farm system has some interesting prospects that the Rangers would like to have but the Pirates do have other potential options with players like Marlon Byrd and Josh Willingham being available.

The Pirates are the most obvious option after the loss of McCutchen but teams like Seattle, and Kansas City might also have interest in Rios. After the nice returns that Frasor and Soria fetched it would be interesting to see what Texas could acquire for Rios.