With the MLB non-waiver trade deadline less than three weeks away, the Texas Rangers are right in the thick of things in the American League West. However, GM Jon Daniels is looking to bolster his roster and will certainly look to add an outfielder at some point.
Right now, the trade market is still developing. That doesn’t mean there aren’t players already available. The Chicago White Sox have made it clear that just about everyone not named Chris Sale is available and that includes 32-year-old outfielder Alex Rios.
Rios is hitting .276/.328/.440 this season with 11 home runs and 40 RBI, 19 stolen bases and 46 runs scored. He would provide a much needed bat to go in the middle of the order and would allow manager Ron Washington to platoon David Murphy where his bat can be much more impactful as he has been exposed this season as a full-time starter.
Rios might be the best outfielder available on the market this year. His 19 stolen bases would lead the Rangers who are currently led by Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus who both have 18. Of course, speed isn’t the name to the Rangers offensive game. That would be power. The Rangers are currently tied for third in the AL with 108 home runs and ninth in runs scored. Adding Rios would add a dynamic piece to an already solid offense.
If the Rangers are interested in adding Rios they might not be alone. The Pittsburgh Pirates could also be looking to add a bat like Rios’ to improve their chances of making the playoffs. The Rangers do have the pieces in the minor leagues to get a deal done and are willing to take on salary which sits at $13 million this season and runs through the end of the 2014 season with a team option for 2015.
Rios would be able to slide into left field and the fifth spot in the lineup between A.J. Pierzynski and Mitch Moreland or in the second-spot which would allow Washington to move Andrus, who has struggled at the plate this season, to the bottom of the order. No deal is imminent but expect the Rangers to give the White Sox a call and kick the tires on Rios.
The Rangers have also been linked to talks with the Milwaukee Brewers regarding pitcher Yovani Gallardo and possibly outfielder Norichika Aoki. The Rangers are definitely looking to upgrade their rotation and outfield situation. The question is, will they be able to find the player or players that would help put them over the top?