After failing to make a deal involving Alex Rios before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, many wondered if the Chicago White Sox had missed a golden opportunity by not moving their right-fielder. However, after the Texas Rangers claimed Rios off waivers on Thursday afternoon, the White Sox were able to strike a deal with the Rangers on Friday.
Sending Rios to Texas along with $1 million, the White Sox will receive a player to be named later or cash considerations.
It was initially reported that Texas had sent infielder Leury Garcia to Chicago, but when the deal was made official, a player to be named later or cash was the exchange the Sox were given for Rios. That being said, many believe that if Garcia can clear waivers, he will ultimately end up being the player the South Siders receive from Texas.
Garcia, 22, hit .192 in 57 at-bats for the Rangers in 2013. With explosive speed and an above-average glove, Garcia’s success at the big league level will come down to his ability to develop into a more consistent hitter. If he is indeed the White Sox’ return for Rios, I’d expect him to become a reliable utility man with the possibility of eventually taking over for Alexei Ramirez at shortstop.
Not only does Rios departing for Texas give the Pale Hose the opportunity to land another young prospect, it also frees up much needed cap space for the offseason. Not including arbitration cases, the White Sox now have just $48 million committed to next year’s payroll. If GM Rick Hahn is able to find value during this winter, he and the Sox will have the money to sign some impact free agents.
Quite possibly the most exciting part of the Rios deal for Chicago is the roster spot it opened. Moments after the deal was announced, the White Sox called up prospect Avisail Garcia. If he’s able to get to U.S. Cellular Field before today’s nightcap of the Sox doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins, chances are Garcia will make his White Sox debut this evening.
With Chicago continuing to build for the future, Friday’s deal allows Hahn and the Sox to keep retooling a team in need of a transformation.