In a bit of a surprising turn of events, Alex Rios cleared waivers, meaning not one team claimed him and he can now be traded from the Texas Rangers to any team in baseball through the end of the month.
It's surprising because Rios is owed about $4 million for the remainder of this year and has a $13.5 million club option for next season with a $1 million buyout, meaning a contending team could get a big boost from him for roughly $5 million if they want to cut ties with him following the season.
Many times one contending club will make a claim on someone just so another contending club can't get that player, but this time, nothing happened and Rios is free to be traded to anyone like he was last year when the Rangers acquired him after the trade deadline from the Chicago White Sox.
It's still a mystery whether the Rangers will deal Rios, because they have no good options in right field for 2015 if Rios is elsewhere, and make no mistake, the Rangers plan to be contending for a pennant in 2015 despite their awful, injury-riddled 2014 season.
After the Rangers declined to deal Rios at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Rios told ESPN Dallas he hopes to remain with the Rangers in 2015 but he also realizes he might not be, come September.
"I don't have to prove anything," he said. "I've played this game for quite a bit now. I think I've had an OK career. It's their decision whether they want to bring me back or not. I'm not here to judge; I'm here to focus on playing the game. If they have plans for me, that's great. If they don't, that's their opinion or their way to see things. I'm here to play the game."