Tag: Alex Rios

Kelvin Herrera, Alex Rios Diagnosed with Chickenpox

The Kansas City Royals have hit an unexpected bump in their road to a repeat World Series bid. Or, to be more accurate, several bumps.

A chickenpox outbreak in the Royals clubhouse will leave outfielder Alex Rios and relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera out for at least two weeks, per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. Both had been absent from the team since the weekend as they underwent testing. The Royals believe Rios and Herrera are the only two players affected at this time.

Team officials have not publicly commented but are expected to address the situation before Tuesday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers. No additional information about how the breakout began is available as of publication.

“A child might have a couple hundred lesions,” Rafael Harpaz, a medical epidemiologist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told McCullough. “An adult might have over 500. The likelihood that they’ll end up getting pneumonia is much higher. That’s pretty rare in children. So there’s a number of complications that are more common in adults than in children.”

Rios, 34, is hitting .253/.288/.333 with two home runs and 22 RBI this season. His illness will be somewhat offset by the return of Alex Gordon, who had been out since July with a strained groin.

“This is kind of a one-shot deal,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said of Gordon over the weekend, per Laura McCallister of KCTV5. “He comes back and hurts it, he’s done. So we want to make sure that he’s in great shape, healthy and ready to go when he gets back.”     

Still, it’ll be harder to work Gordon back into the lineup slowly if Rios is on the shelf for an extended period. The Royals are already stuck with Ben Zobrist playing an outfield spot rather than replacing Omar Infante at second base, which is probably their best long-term option given Infante’s offensive struggles.

Herrera is 4-2 with a 2.12 ERA and 0.99 WHIP this season but is far more replaceable. With its September call-ups, Kansas City has more arms on the roster than at any other point this season, so losing a reliever—even a talented one—isn’t a crushing blow.


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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Alex Rios to Royals: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

A free agent for the first time in his 11-year MLB career, Alex Rios has opted to sign with the Kansas City Royals. 

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman provides details of the new contract:

Rios, who hired Scott Boras as his agent after the Texas Rangers declined his $13.5 million club option for 2015, will be 34 years old when the season starts.

Much like the rest of the Rangers, Rios’ 2014 campaign was mostly forgettable.

While his batting average hovered around .300 for much of the season and finished at a respectable .280, the pop in his bat almost completely disappeared.

In 521 plate appearances, Rios hit just four home runsthe same amount as San Franciso Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. His home run-to-fly-ball percentage was a measly 2.9 percent, while his OPS (.709) was his worst mark since 2011.

He hit 30 doubles and eight triples, so there was a bit of bad luck not to have more home runs, but it was still a major regression in the power department nonetheless.

As Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan noted, it’s the second move by Kansas City this offseason that banks on a bounce-back campaign:

There are reasons to be encouraged. Even in what was essentially a replacement-level season, the veteran crushed left-handed pitching, finishing with a slash line of .325/.353/.545 in 133 plate appearances. He also stole 17 bases, showcasing solid speed.

Perhaps most importantly, he wasn’t exactly healthy. He battled rib and ankle injuries down the stretch, which forced him to miss 31 games, the most since 2006 for the typically durable player.

“His numbers were down because of the injuries,” his former agent, Paul Kinzer, told The Dallas Morning News‘ Gerry Fraley on Oct. 15. “He stayed in the lineup and tried to do all he could because of what was happening with the team.”

Rios hit .305/.333/.440 with 16 stolen bases in the first half of last season and just .211/.246/.281 with one steal in the second half, so perhaps a return to full health will produce better overall numbers. 

While $11 million is a bit steep, the free-agent market was quickly drying up, and Kansas City took some of the risk out of the move by making it a one-year deal. 

If Rios, who has made a habit throughout his career of following up disappointing seasons with serviceable ones, can simply find some of his lost power, he’ll be a nice addition for manager Ned Yost.


All stats via Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on David Price, Alex Rios and More

With a mere nine days remaining until the MLB trade deadline on July 31, rumors are swirling around multiple contenders and pretenders around the league.

A few surprise teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers are well outside of the mix and looking to move veteran players. Then there are franchises looking to make the postseason this year hoping to add those valuable assets.

As several division races heat up, the time is now for teams to make a move that can help them. Teams like the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates are on the outside looking in with a chance to contend.

Here’s a look at the latest rumors surrounding some of the biggest trade prospects in the MLB.


Winning Affecting Possible David Price Move for Rays

For a team like the Rays, this has been a disappointing season thus far. But with a five-game winning streak, all seems back to normal in Tampa Bay, right? Wrong.

Two straight series wins over the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins before and after the All-Star break would appear to be a great sign for the Rays. Unfortunately, all it has done is complicate matters for the franchise and David Price, in particular.

Buster Olney of ESPN (subscription required) provides the latest on rumors about the starting pitcher:

The Rays will factor many things into their decision as to whether to trade Price, including their place in the standings, how well they are playing, their need for prospects and Price’s trade value, which gradually slides downward as he nears free agency. But one executive involved in the conversations with Tampa Bay believes that, ultimately, it’s the potential buyers that will clarify the choice for the Rays with the quality of their offers. 

Will he stay or will he go? That’s the question Tampa Bay must answer before July 31 while they also look to climb back into the AL East race.

Currently fourth in the division at 47-53, the Rays still have a shot to overtake every other team in the East. The Baltimore Orioles currently hold the lead but are without injured Matt Wieters, and the New York Yankees have question marks with Masahiro Tanaka.

Basically, what the decision will come down to now is simply how aggressive teams are in trying to acquire Price. The former Cy Young winner has been nearly flawless during July, pitching 31.2 innings over four starts while allowing just three earned runs, including his last two scoreless starts.

Making a swap for Price won’t be easy, and it clearly won’t be a given anymore with the Rays winning again. With Wil Myers reporting progress with his wrist injury and Chris Archer pitching well in three of his last four starts, the Rays have youth to get back into the chase.

Whether or not Price will be a part of that climb will be decided by July 31.


Alex Rios Among Potential Targets for Royals

He might not be showing the same power from years prior, but Alex Rios has still been a consistent force at the plate this season.

Unfortunately, his offensive prowess has been on the Texas Rangers, a team that was 3-14 during the month of July. That makes them dealers on the trade market and fifth in the AL West.

For the Kansas City Royals, the team is trying to make a push for their first postseason berth since winning the World Series in 1985. With a slumping offense, the Royals apparently have interest in Rios, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

The Royals are looking for corner bats as they try to fix their offensive woes and get back into the AL Central race, and Rangers right fielder Alex Rios is one player they’ve considered.

Kansas City is 14th in the AL with a .687 OPS and 12th with 388 runs, so it understands it needs some help.

Heyman goes on to say that the Royals are also interested in other options like Marlon Byrd and Domonic Brown, but Rios is a clear option for the team. With his consistency at the plate, the Rangers slugger might just be what Kansas City needs in the lineup.

Looking for their first playoff berth in nearly 20 years, the Royals will still have to overtake both the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians. Following a sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City might be another fringe team like the Rays when the deadline comes.


A.J. Burnett Drawing Interest from Pirates

On the heels of a three-game winning streak, the Pirates are right back in the thick of the NL Central race. If they plan on overtaking both the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals along with holding off the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh will need help in the starting rotation.

Help might just be on the way in the form of a familiar face, as Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports:

During his two seasons with the Pirates, Burnett finished with a 26-21 record and never saw his ERA rise above 3.51 either year. He also collected over 180 strikeouts both seasons as he returned to form after three down seasons with the Yankees.

If the Pirates truly do have interest, it could wind up being huge for both sides. Burnett is currently on a Philadelphia Phillies team that is nowhere near a playoff spot and Pittsburgh needs help to get there.

While several other teams might be looking to add Burnett, the familiarity of Pittsburgh might be just what both sides need.


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Texas Rangers: Most Memorable Events of 2013

The Texas Rangers are looking to put the 2013 season completely in their rear view as they gear up for 2014.

Last year was filled with both good and bad memories, from a near-perfect game to a trade that didn’t pan out. The team also made history during a July series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Texas didn’t get a chance at a playoff run, but it was still a fun season to watch.

We are going to look at some of the most memorable events from this past season, whether we want to remember it forever or erase it from memory.

What are the most memorable events for you from 2013?

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Can Alex Rios Replace Nelson Cruz’s Bat in Texas Rangers Lineup?

Alex Rios is officially a Texas Ranger.

The Chicago White Sox sent their star outfielder to Texas via waivers along with $1 million for either a player to be named later or cash, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.

Rios’ addition is big news for the Rangers, as Nelson Cruz was recently suspended 50 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

According to Sullivan, Rios is excited to play for a contending team once again instead of the lowly White Sox. Said Rios:  

You know what, with the situation that we were in, it wasn’t too much of a surprise. They were trying to get rid of salary or whatever they wanted to do. I think many people expected this to happen. You know what, it’s all good.

The Rangers are likely thrilled that they were able to acquire the best player available via waivers after already landing the crown jewel of the MLB trade deadline, Matt Garza.

The Rangers were tied with the Oakland Athletics for the AL West lead entering Friday night’s action, and Cruz’s absence did not bode well for the Rangers going down the stretch. However, adding Rios to the lineup for the weekend will be a huge boost.

The real question facing Texas right now is whether or not Rios will completely make up for the loss of Cruz.

Rios certainly can hit for contact on par with Cruz, and his defense is considerably better as well. However, one look at the two players’ stats will tell you that Rios lacks in the power department.

Nelson Cruz .269 27 76 .330 .511 .841
Alex Rios .277 12 55 .328 .421 .749

Rangers fans will be sad to see Cruz’s power out of the lineup, as he led the team in home runs and RBI this season before getting suspended. He was also second in slugging behind Adrian Beltre.

The team will now rely heavily on Beltre to be the slugger who strikes fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers. He is now the only player on the team with at least 20 home runs, as he sits at 25, which is nine ahead of Mitch Moreland, who stands second on the team in the wake of Cruz’s absence.

The Rangers still have decent power throughout their lineup, however, as Beltre leads six players with double-digit home runs. Jeff Baker’s nine home runs in 44 games is also very impressive, although he hasn’t hit one since June 10.

Losing Cruz’s power certainly hurts, but the addition of Rios’ 12 dingers into the lineup is certainly an improvement over Cruz’s replacement, Craig Gentry. Gentry only has one home run this year in 64 games, so adding Rios into the mix is a huge boost.

Rios will also provide a contact-hitting outfielder who can put pressure on opposing pitchers. He won’t be the cleanup hitter for the team, but he can get things going following the heart of the order if he takes over for Cruz in the six-spot.

Here’s a look at how the team’s lineup could look with Rios in it:

Batting Position Player Fielding Position
1 Leonys Martin CF
2 Elvis Andrus DH
3 Ian Kinsler 2B
4 Adrian Beltre 3B
5 A.J. Pierzynski C
6 Alex Rios RF
7 Daniel Murphy LF
8 Jurickson Profar SS
9 Mitch Moreland 1B

This lineup would give the team a solid combination of contact hitting and speed at the top and a pretty powerful cleanup trio of Kinsler, Beltre and Pierzynski to start things off. Then comes Rios and his solid bat, and if he gets on the last third of the lineup isn’t too shabby, either.

Obviously Rios doesn’t have Cruz’s power and his contact hitting isn’t enough to make up for that. However, adding him to the mix is a good move by the Rangers, and it will solidify the lineup as the team attempts to make a push into the postseason.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Updating All the Hottest Waiver-Trade Buzz

The first big move of August was made today with the Rangers acquiring outfielder Alex Rios from the White Sox, as was first reported by Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. After the two teams failed to agree on a deal at the trade deadline, the Rangers were awarded a waiver claim on Rios yesterday, and the deal came together shortly after Jim Bowden of ESPN and T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported that a deal was unlikely to happen. 

But the White Sox’s asking price appears to have dropped. While they were interested in top prospects such as infielder Rougned Odor and pitchers Luke Jackson and Martin Perez last month, according to Sullivan, they are reportedly settling for Leury Garcia as the player to be named later, along with $1 million. They’ll also save an estimated $18 million in salary (approximately $4 million remaining in 2013, $13 million in 2014, $1 million buyout on 2015 club option).

Garcia, 22, has plus speed and strong defensive skills but he’s nowhere near the aforementioned players in potential. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted a report he received from a scout, saying Garcia had Rafael Furcal potential but was most likely to become a solid regular. At worst, he’d be a utilityman in the majors.  

Ironically, the trade opens up the door for another Garcia recently acquired by the White Sox. Avisail Garcia, acquired from Detroit in the Jake Peavy trade, has been called up to take Rios’ starting spot in right field. 

Adam Dunn Clears Waivers

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported earlier today that Adam Dunn (pictured) cleared waivers, which is no surprise considering his $15 million salary in 2014 and his decline in overall production over the past few seasons. And after dealing away Rios, the White Sox might not want to subtract any more firepower from their lineup. 

But the 33-year-old has a .946 OPS over his past 55 games with 14 homers and 39 runs batted in and his value could be on the rise with a few contenders still in need of some power. He has started just nine games in the outfield since 2009 so he is likely limited to first base and the designated hitter spot and will fit best on an American League club. 

I recently named the Orioles as a possible fit, and the Rangers might not be done adding to their offense if Lance Berkman cannot return soon from hip and knee injuries. The Indians, who designated Mark Reynolds for assignment yesterday, could be an interesting match, although the Sox would likely have to pick up a good portion of Dunn’s remaining contract. 


Marlon Byrd Could Draw Interest

While the Mets surprisingly held on to outfielder Marlon Byrd (pictured) at the trade deadline, interest could pick up again if he’s placed on waivers. Heyman tweeted that the Orioles, Royals, A’s and Rangers all had interest last month.  

The 35-year-old, who is having a terrific season with an .821 OPS and 17 homers, isn’t likely to clear waivers since he’ll be owed just a couple hundred thousand dollars in salary. Most contenders would put in a claim at that price. Thus, any deal would likely happen with the first National League team to put in a claim.

The Diamondbacks and Reds might be the first contenders in line on the waiver wire, although there isn’t a desperate need for a starting outfielder on either club. For such little risk, though, it’s worth blocking him or even trying to strike a deal to bring him on as a backup. 


Dan Haren a Trade Candidate? 

Nationals right-hander Dan Haren (pictured) is on waivers, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, and he has a decent chance of passing through unclaimed because of the estimated $3.6 million he’s due for the remainder of the season. 

Interest would’ve been mild a month ago when he had an ERA over 6.00 and was on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness. But he appears to be back to his old form since his return, posting a 2.40 ERA with eight walks and 32 strikeouts in 30 innings over five starts. 

After four consecutive losses, the Nats are nine back in the wild-card race, and they’ll likely be open to moving the 32-year-old Haren. The Braves, Indians and A’s, who were among the teams in the mix for starting pitching help at the deadline, could have interest.


Could Mark Reynolds or Delmon Young Help a Contender?

Two players recently designated for assignment, Mark Reynolds of the Indians and Delmon Young (pictured) of the Phillies, are a bit more interesting than most names that usually pop up on the DFA list, which removes a player from the 40-man roster and allows a team 10 days to either trade, place on waivers, outright to the minors or release that player. 

Both players deserved to be cut—Reynolds had a .551 OPS over his last 73 games; Young had an overall .699 OPS in 80 games—but they’re also capable of putting up big numbers over the course of several weeks. 

Contending teams looking to catch lightning in a bottle don’t have to look further than Reynolds’ first 31 games of the season, when he hit .291 with 11 homers and 29 runs batted in. The 27-year-old Young had a strong month of June (.830 OPS), but it’s his success in the postseason (.859 OPS, 8 HR, 15 RBI in 28 games) that should land him a job late in the season. 

The duo’s ability to succeed against left-handed pitching (Reynolds has a career .843 OPS vs LHP; Young has a career .820 OPS vs LHP) should also ensure that there will be interest, although it’s a long shot that any team would trade for either player while taking on much salary and/or giving up any prospect of value. Don’t expect either to be out of a job very long, though. 


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Winners and Losers of Alex Rios Trade Between White Sox, Rangers

It appears reports of Alex Rios having no chance of being traded to Texas were premature, as Dan Hayes of Comcast SportsNet Chicago reported that the White Sox have sent the outfielder to the Rangers on Friday. 

One thing that the Rangers were criticized for after the non-waiver trade deadline came was not upgrading an offense that has been pedestrian this season. They currently rank eighth in the American League with 500 runs scored. 

Meanwhile, the White Sox continue their midseason fire sale. It is a bold step for an organization that has held onto aging players with big contracts far too long in the past, but a necessary one considering the system is a mess and the team is 26 games under .500. 

Time will tell if Rios, hitting .277/.328/.421 with 12 home runs and 26 stolen bases, the Rangers and White Sox get everything they want from this trade, but for now here are the winners and losers from this deal as we see it. 

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Alex Rios Traded to the Texas Rangers for Player to Be Named or Cash

Alex Rios has been traded to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named or cash.

Chicago White Sox insider Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago has confirmed the trade via Twitter.

The trade is completed after the Rangers claimed Rios on waivers yesterday. Hayes also confirmed via Twitter that the White Sox will be receiving a player to be named or cash.

Leury Garcia, a second baseman for the Triple-A Round Rock Express, was named specifically by Hayes, but Hayes tweeted out a cancellation on the proposal of Garcia joining the White Sox.

Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago also confirms that the Rios trade is for player to be named and/or cash considerations.

On August 8, the Rangers claimed Rios on waivers and had a grace period to work out a deal with the White Sox. Rios will now be a Ranger and could join the team this weekend in Houston.

Rios is a great addition to the Rangers, a team that did not end up completing any deals before the 2013 MLB Trade Deadline struck. Texas Rangers’ President of Baseball Operations and General Manger Jon Daniels is the man credited for bringing in the right fielder who can fill the hole left by suspended Nelson Cruz.

Rios is the favorite to replace Cruz in right field during Cruz’s 50-game suspension.

The Rangers will be looking for Rios to provide power in the middle of the lineup as well as continue to improve on his statistics from the season thus far. He is currently hitting .277 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI, but ended 2012 with a .304 average, 25 home runs, and 91 RBI.

How do you think Rios will fit into the Rangers lineup?

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Pirates Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Bucs’ Pursuit of Players for Stretch Run

The Pittsburgh Pirates trail the St. Louis Cardinals by just half a game in the National League Central and they have a 4.5-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Wild Card race. The Bucs have every right to be thinking big down the stretch.

With those high hopes comes the reality that the team must seriously consider tightening up the roster for the final two months of the season.

Pittsburgh has been active on the rumor scene and deals could be coming soon. Here’s a look at the latest news:


Alex Rios Could Be the Right Fit

David Kaplan of CSN Chicago tweeted that the Bucs and Chicago White Sox are seemingly getting close to a deal that would land Alex Rios in Pittsburgh.

Rios has a no-trade clause but is apparently willing to waive it to play for the Pirates. He is having a very solid season for a bad White Sox team. He’s hitting .272 with 12 home runs, 49 RBI and he’s also stolen 22 bases.

Rios would be a definite upgrade over the young Jose Tabata in right field.

A Pirates outfield of Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Rios would be solid. We’ll see if the Bucs and White Sox can close the deal.


Giancarlo Stanton Is a Long Shot

While Rios may be the more practical option for the Pirates, the team is apparently still sending out feelers on a player who could make a bigger splash down the road.

Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Pirates are among the teams that have been regularly checking on the availability of Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins.

Up to now they have been turned away, but a change of scenery could ignite Stanton’s bat. He’s struggled this year in a lineup that has been monumentally horrible. He’s hitting .262 with 13 home runs this year, but at 23 years old, Stanton still looks like he’ll be one of the majors’ premier power hitters over the next 10 years.

Prying Stanton away from the budget-conscious Marlins is worth exploring.


Bud Norris Could Be On the Way

It seems as though the Houston Astros are close to dealing starting pitcher Bud Norris. Per Dayn Perry of CBS Sports, Norris has been scratched from his scheduled start.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweets he expects Norris to be moved soon and names the Pirates as a likely landing spot.

The 28-year-old is only 6-9 with an ERA of 3.93, but in a pitching-starved market, he’s become a fairly hot commodity. If the Pirates can walk away with Rios and Norris, they will have strengthened their ballclub.


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The 5 MLB Teams That Can’t Afford to Fail at the Trade Deadline

With the July 31 trade deadline looming, less than two weeks remain for teams looking to make a non-waiver deal.

The deadline represents an integral period of time for both contending and rebuilding organizations. Contenders, like the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, must decide if this year is theirs and sacrifice a bit of the future to improve the present.

On the flip side, a team like the New York Mets would have to juggle an already-livid fanbase if they entertained trading homegrown closer Bobby Parnell, for instance. While a big return for Parnell would help fill gaping voids for 2014 and beyond, it’s never a popular decision to throw in the towel—especially in New York.

Regardless of a team’s direction, the strategy must be a resolute one: Failure simply isn’t an option.

Below are five MLB teams that can’t afford to fail at the trade deadline this year.

All statistics sourced (through July 18, 2013) from Baseball-Reference.com.

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