We’ve known for several weeks that the Texas Rangers were looking to add a bat, even going back way before the trade deadline. With an impending suspension set to come down on Nelson Cruz, they knew they needed to add an outfield bat to the mix.
It was long rumored that the bat they coveted was Alex Rios, but nothing was able to materialize before the trade deadline. Instead, the Rangers had to wait an extra couple of weeks, eventually acquiring the veteran outfielder for a bargain price.
However, while Rios does add some pop to the mix, is he the type of player that the Rangers should want replacing Nelson Cruz? After all, you have a premium power bat out of your lineup for 50 games. Can Rios bring enough to the mix to make up for that?
Rather than trying to replace Cruz, Rios will bring his own flavor to the mix for the Rangers, and it should be a welcome one. He’s not going to go out there and swat 10-15 home runs before the end of the season. He’s not the power bat that Cruz is/was.
However, he will bring plenty to the equation for the Rangers. He can hit for average, as he went for .277 in his time in the Windy City before he was traded. He can contribute some pop, and playing in Texas, he should be able to hit five to seven home runs before the end of the year. He brings added elements, though, including an ability to make noise on the basepaths, something that Cruz did not do.
It’s nearly impossible to replace the type of power that Cruz brought to the mix for the Rangers, performance enhancing or not. But Rios should do a fine job of adding some offense to the mix for the Rangers in his own right, as he has the ability to make an impact in multiple ways, even after he leaves the batter’s box. This was a solid addition for the Rangers, and considering the low price at which they acquired him, it’s a pretty big steal as well.