The Texas Rangers have declined the $14 million option on Alex Rios, and will buy out his contract for $2 million. Although he’s probably not going to get very many big offers, he’s more than likely to get some good short term deals. At 33, it may look like his career is in a big decline, but he has some baseball left in him. Injuries limited his production in the second half of the season, but he still was able to hit .280. He hit four home runs in 131 games this past season, compared to the 2013 season where he hit 18 home runs, that is sure to raise a few eyebrows about his ability to still produce. The main knock on his game is that some games, he’s great, and some games he belongs in Triple-A, he’s very inconsistent but when he’s on, he’s (almost) All-Star quality. There are a few teams that could be a good fit for him, the Yankees, the Braves, or the Tigers.
The Braves have had some of the worst centerfield play in baseball since the signing of BJ Upton, Rios would most likely be a better solution to that problem. Although Rios is more suited for right field, but he’s cheaper, and he’s an upgrade to BJ Upton. He wouldn’t see right field unless Atlanta wanted to move Jason Heyward to center field, which has been talked about but is unlikely. It’s up in the air whether or not the Yankees will bring Ichiro back, if not, Rios could fill in well, and would produce more home runs, although it doesn’t help them get any younger, a one year deal to Rios wouldn’t hurt. Not too sure about whether or not the Tigers are going to re-sign Torii Hunter, it seems unlikely. With the increased production of Victor and JD Martinez and the decreased production of Torii Hunter, bringing him back at the price he’ll most likely want won’t happen. Alex Rios would be a cheaper and younger solution, especially since he’s most likely going to take a pay cut to build his game back up.
Alex Rios may go the Nelson Cruz route, but Nelson Cruz is a little more coveted considering his power. Rios is probably looking at the $9 million to $10 million range, the market for the type of player he is will always be decent, but if he wants to show he can still produce at this level, he’ll be looking at it a one year deal.