After the Rangers claimed Alex Rios on waivers from the White Sox on Thursday, the two teams completed a trade to send the 32-year old to Texas, contrary to a report from Jim Bowden of ESPN on Friday morning saying the deal had a small chance of happening. Chicago receives a player to be named later for Rios, and it's rumored to be Leury Garcia heading to the South Side.
Texas needed a bat in the outfield after Nelson Cruz was handed a 50 game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal this week. With Rios also signed for next season and Cruz hitting the free agent market, I'd wager that Cruz's days as a Ranger are numbered. In 109 games with the White Sox this year, Rios is hitting .277/.328/.421 with 12 homers and 26 stolen bases in 32 chances. He's making $12.5 million next year, and the Rangers will also hold a $13.5 million option on him for 2015.
The 22-year old Garcia is hitting just .192/.236/.231 in 57 major league plate appearances this season, but hit .264/.314/.409 with four homers and 12 stolen bases in 47 AAA games. Baseball America ranked the middle infielder as Texas' 20th best prospect heading into the year, and they also called him the fastest baserunner in the Rangers farm system this winter. He's an above average defender at short and might end up in a super utility role, but his acquisition could mean that the White Sox look to shop Alexei Ramirez this month or this offseason if they feel Garcia can play every day for them.
I think Texas did pretty well here, especially considering the bounty Chicago was seeking for Rios two weeks ago. Sure they'll have to pick up a much larger chunk of Rios' contract, but they've effectively filled a hole in their outfield for next season as well as this season as they look to overtake the A's for the AL West lead.