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Sox Get Alex Rios; Jays get Financial Savings

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SoxNet Staff

Joe Cowley is reporting that the Chicago White Sox have acquired outfielder Alex Rios from the Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox acquired Rios via the waiver process and as a result did not have to give up any players to get Rios. The move will effect the future of the franchise though as Rios, 28, is set to make 58.7 million between the 2010 and 2014 seasons.

How they got Rios?

Most Sox fans wouldn't believe it, and in this economy it is even more shocking, but Jerry Reinsdorf's willingness to take on payroll is what made this move possible. In fact, over the past two weeks the White Sox have acted more like the Red Sox, adding over $100 million in guaranteed contracts (Peavy and Rios).

Scouting Report:

Rios is a good offensive player, but is best known for his defense. While Rios roamed right for the Jays, for the Sox he'll play center, which is his natural position (i.e. he isn't another Swisher, Mackowiak or Podsednik with the glove). Rios is a natural centerfielder, who only played right for the Jays because he was blocked by Vernon Wells. Offensively, Rios has been a league average player, but he has plus offensive tools and the ability to be the Sox first 30/30 player.

Impact on 2009:

Prior to the trade, the Sox already had a pretty productive outfield, so some may wonder how much of an upgrade Rios really is? He's a big upgrade, even if only for his defense, which has been the Sox's biggest weakness. Rios is a premiere defender who will solidify the outfield defense, add more team speed, and still be a quality weapon on offense. Rios also gives the Sox more depth, as they can now rotate four spots between Thome/Dye/Rios/Pods/Quentin, which, given the injuries and aging vets the Sox have at some spots, can be a good thing.

Impact on 2010 and Beyond:

The White Sox had only one outfielder, Carlos Quentin, under contract for next season, and only one in the minors who was close (Jordan Danks), so Rios' impact is even greater for the future. On top of that, Rios immediately becomes the Sox best centerfielder in this decade and has the potential to be the franchises best centerfielder since Shoeless Joe. Some probably just spat soda onto their computers, but Rios has a very good set of offensive tools (to go with plus defensive tools) and could realistically produce at a .280, 20-30 HR, 80-100 RBI, 30SB clip for the remainder of his contract. Combine Rios with Quentin, Ramirez, Getz, Beckham, Peavy, Floyd and Danks, and you are talking about a nucleus of players under 30 that should contend for the playoffs and more for the next five seasons.

Rios Contract:

- 7 years/$69.835M (2008-14), plus 2015 club option

- 09:$5.9M, 10:$9.7M, 11:$12M, 12:$12M, 13:$12.5M, 14:$12.5M, 15:$13.5M club option ($1M buyout) full no-trade clause, 2009-10 limited no-trade clause, 2011 - end of deal (may block trades to 6 clubs)

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7 Comments

Jason Gage said:

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Huge acquisition. Evidently Jermaine Dye called the move shocking and hopes it doesn't spell the end of his career. I really hope the Sox can find a way to resign Dye and let him be the DH and allow him to ocassionally play the outfield and have him platoon with a lefty who can DH.

Thome would obviously fit the bill as well, but no way will the Sox pay both.

Jason Gage said:

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http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/rios-wells

That links talks a lot about Rios value and how his contract is actually still fair.

wacky24 said:

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Mario Scalise said:

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Wow. I'm having a hard time completely liking this deal, but for entertainment purposes, this is exciting. Not that the Sox got Rios, but that this time of thing happened. Just crazy. If the situation can somehow work so that everyone stays happy in the clubhouse and gets their share of playing time, I can live with this. Wow. Following the Sox and Williams all these year, you'd think this stuff wouldn't come as a surprise anymore.

Jason Gage said:

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It is very important to remember that the Sox made this move for the next few seasons, not just this year. And Rios is a 2 time all star that immediately gives the Sox a plus defender up the middle. If Ramirez can develop himself at short, we'll be talking about the Sox having some of the best up the middle defense in baseball (excluding catcher).

wacky24 said:

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IT SEEMS MONEY IS NO OBJECT WHEN IN THE HUNT FOR A WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. PEOPLE NEED JOBS. PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING, WOULD IT NOT SERVE HUMAITY BETTER TO SPEND THAT MONEY ON A FACTORY OR A BUSINESS THAT WOULD CREATE JOBS FOR MANY INSTEAD OF ONE?

JimH. said:

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Of equal interest to me is how Williams and Hahn fit the jigsaw pieces together. Sox fans berated them all year for not doing enough in the offseason. Sometimes it is all about timing. I spoke to Mike (SS2K5) over the offseason and told him KW and Hahn knew full well that lots of top flight talent would be available around the trade deadline ... despite not being available last winter.

And look what happened ... two top flight guys in Peavy and Rios are now members of the White Sox. Timing is everything in life, the casual fan on a message board just cannot fully understand the intricacies of acquiring players. There is a lot more involved than simply "I'll take your player for my player".

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