Texas Rangers have officially traded a PTBNL to the Chicago White Sox for OF Alex Rios and cash considerations.
First of all…(FIST PUMP)…there’s the bat!
The Player to be Named Later (PTBNL), have a couple thoughts on that part of the deal. First is that there is strong indications that the player will be Leury Garcia. Garcia started the season as the Rangers’ utility man, but multiple factors changed the Rangers’ needs of Garcia. Jeff Baker’s emergence, Jurickson Profar’s promotion, and Nelson Cruz’s suspension all made trading Garcia for an OF bat a lot more important.
Alex Rios is owed around $3.5M this season, $13M in 2014, and $14M option in 2015 (with a $1M buyout). Rios is batting .277/.328/.421 on the season with 12 HRs, 22 2Bs, 55 RBI, and 26 steals (in 32 attempts). And in 78 at-bats since the All-Star Break, Rios is batting .308 while driving in 15 runs and 7 steals.
Another very important part of this trade for the Rangers’ is that it’s not a rental. Rios is controlled through at least 2014. In 2013, David Murphy has been struggling mightily at the plate and Cruz is now on suspension for the remainder of the regular season. Not to mention that Murphy and Cruz are both free agents at the end of the season, now the Rangers have filled one of those spots for next season as well.
Rios is also a right-handed bat, something the Rangers need to balance the lineup a little more, especially now with the loss of Cruz. Rios will likely fill right into place in the 5 or 6-hole behind Adrian Beltre and with former teammate A.J. Pierzynski.
Final point is the cost the Rangers paid. The Rangers will pay Rios a little less than $17.5M for the next year and two months. I don’t expect the White Sox to have kicked in a substantial amount of money, since all they got back was one second-tier prospect. Personally, cash is just cash to me, I might think differently once I own a Major League team. As for the prospect return, I’m a fan of Leury, I really do like the kid and hope for the best for him. He has a much better chance of a lengthy MLB career in Chicago than he does in Texas, just like Mike Olt. That doesn’t mean trade him just to trade him, but if you can get a controllable return that can help support the core of the team…then make the trade. Jon Daniels has done just that.
Good luck Leury, sorry Frank (he’ll be devastated by the loss), and Welcome to Texas Alex.
Now let’s go win a division…a pennant…a Wor--… Hold on, one step at a time.