Alex Rios – Outfielder

When the White Sox acquired Alex Rios from the Toronto Blue Jays in August of 2009, the deal seemed to be a bust during Rios’ 41-game stint on the south side. Rios hit a putrid .199, with 3 HR, 9 RBI, 11 R, and 5 SB to finish out the season. In 2010, Rios rebounded to hit .284, with 21 HR, 88 RBI, 89 R, and 34 SB. In 2011, Rios took a step back and hit just .227, with 13 HR, 44 RBI, 64 R, and 11 SB. In 2012, Rios had a career-year while hitting .304, with 25 HR, 91 RBI, 93 R, and 23 SB. As you can see, Rios has had a rollercoaster career while being a member of the White Sox.

This year, despite the White Sox’ offensive struggles, Rios has been one of the few consistent performers in the lineup. Rios has enjoyed a solid season, hitting .271, with 11 HR, 38 RBI, 45 R, 16 SB. Any contending team would be wise to inquire about what it would take to add the veteran outfielder to their team. Out of all the White Sox’ trading chips, Rios would probably bring the most value back in a deal. Rios is still in the prime of his career at age 32, and because of that he should have at least two or three more seasons of peak performance. In addition, Rios is also under contract through 2014 ($12.5 million) and possibly through 2015 with a $13.5 million club option. Both of those salaries are reasonable enough for a team to be willing to part with a collection of top prospects to obtain Rios for 2.5 years.

Although the White Sox are listening to offers and actively shopping Rios, they do not have to trade him. Since Rios is still under contract, the White Sox would be wise to wait for the best possible deal. If no team is willing to part with a few of their top prospects, then the White Sox could wait until the offseason, or even next season to make a deal. Obviously, Rios’ value will diminish with each day that he is not traded, so now would be an optimum time for general manager Rick Hahn to pull the trigger if the right offer is on the table.

-Eric Tichelbaut

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