David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reported earlier today that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox were closing in on a deal for the Alex Rios. He noted that the trade might be difficult to complete because the two teams were having trouble deciding how much of Rios’ contract the White Sox would have to pick up.
Rios isn’t the greatest option available, but he would still potentially be a solid pickup. He is certainly an upgrade over the Pirates’ current starting right fielder Jose Tabata. As always, it’s hard to get a read on how good of a deal it would be for the Pirates without knowing the prospects involved or how much cash the Pirates will be responsible for.
The veteran, at 31 years of age, is batting for a .272/.324/.428 slash line in 430 plate appearances this season with 12 home runs and 22 stolen bases. Tabata, in 165 plate appearances, is batting for a .253/.327/.370 line with two home runs and three stolen bases. Rios would also be an upgrade defensively over Tabata.
He is better than Tabata on the bases at 4.2 base-running runs above average compared to -0.9 for the incumbent.
The Pirates and White Sox have been involved in all kinds of crazy rumors today. Another rumor that didn’t seem to have much legitimacy was a Jake Peavy and Alexei Ramirez trade to the Pirates in exchange for top prospect Jameson Taillon, Alex Dickerson and another prospect.
The MLB trade deadline is a difficult time to be a player, but an exciting time to be a fan. Don’t take all the rumors too seriously though, because they are just rumors.