Although the Chicago White Sox folded like a cheap suit down the stretch, there were a whole lot of surprises on the 2012 squad: Adam Dunn rebounded from his historically bad 2011, Jake Peavy pitched well for 200 innings, Chris Sale is a legitimate Cy Young contender, AJ Pierzynski dropped a career-high in bombs and Alex Rios was without a doubt the team’s most valuable player. But considering Rios still has $25 million remaining on his contract, wouldn’t this be the perfect time to shop the former all-star?
There were some MLB rumors floating around Twitter yesterday that the Sox would do just that and I can’t say I disagree with the notion. Heck, I am actually 100 percent behind the idea, especially since I predicted they would do so in an offseason outlook a few months back.
This is the absolutely perfect time for new GM Rick Hahn to shop Rios. For all intents and purposes, the Sox are going to stink next season. For all the reasons I was optimistic about this season – players rebounding, Sale starting, player’s WAR increasing, etc. - I am pessimistic about 2013 and beyond. The White Sox had absolutely everything go their way this season and it still wasn’t enough. I just don’t see how they can replace a Jake Peavy, Kevin Youkilis and AJ Pierzynski with ease, nor do I think we will see seasons out of Paul Konkero, Dunn and Sale in 2013 that we did this season. Therefore, there’s no reason to keep Rios abroad a ship that is going to sink.
Also, Rios is coming off a year where is value is sky-high. His .516 slugging percentage and 127 wRC+ are career-highs for the veteran outfielder, making him all the more valuable to teams looking for an outfielder. Trading Rios also starts the inevitable rebuilding process for the White Sox, a process that was stalled this season due to the team’s success for a majority of the season.
As much as I hope the White Sox will be good next season, I just don’t see how it will be possible. If trading Rios is an option to help the future of this club, then the Sox have to take it.
#TeamRios. Forever and always. No matter where you end up next season.
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