The Texas Rangers have found their replacement for recently suspended Nelson Cruz. They have acquired outfielder Alex Rios and $1 million in cash considerations in exchange for a player to be named later or cash from the Chicago White Sox. The player is rumored to be a mid-level prospect, but nothing is official yet.
What is official is Alex Rios replacing a big bat that the Rangers have lost for the rest of the regular season. In Chicago, Rios was batting .277 with 12 HR and 55 RBI in 109 games on the season. That should make up for some of the production that Cruz was delivering before his 50-game suspension due to the Biogenesis scandal (27 HR, 76 RBI).
Before being traded to Texas, the 32-year-old Rios was drawing interest from the Pirates, Royals, Giants, and Diamondbacks before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
He will now join a Rangers club that seems to be in another tight race with the Oakland Athletics for the AL West crown. Texas has surged of late, winning nine of their last 10, while the As have lost their last three games, causing both teams to fall into a tie of the division as of today. A bat like Rios should help this team win more games and possibly help them take the AL West this season.
If Texas can make the playoffs, they will have a slew of right-handed bats, highlighted by Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, Alex Rios, and even Nelson Cruz. Pop in the lineup like that, while having quality pitchers like Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, and Matt Garza, could make Texas a serious threat to make a third World Series in the last four years.
For right now, Texas should be thrilled they have found a replacement for Nelson Cruz in Rios. He should fill in smoothly at right field, and his bat should help this team stay in the AL West race with an As team that is certainly no joke. Let’s see if the Rangers can stay steady and make the playoffs for the fourth straight season with a solid player like Rios now in the lineup.
Rios is the third notable south sider to be traded this season, joining starting pitcher Jake Peavy (Red Sox), and relief pitcher Jesse Crain (Rays).