Alex Rios has been shut down and won't play over the final seven games of the Texas Rangers season after having last played in early September while dealing with a thumb injury.
It's hard to blame Rios for wanting to shut it down and get well, because the Rangers' right fielder will almost certainly be out on the free agent market this winter as it's expected that the Rangers will pay him a $1 million buyout instead of picking up their $13.5 million club option.
Back in the first part of the season, it looked like a lock that the Rangers would pick up that option. That was back when Rios was hitting .305 over the season's first half and led the league in triples despite having a career-low power year that will end with him having hit just four home runs for a guy that has capabilities to hit 20-25 homers.
Now, it's almost a certainty the Rangers will give him the buyout and allow him to become a free agent after his awful second half has dropped his season average to .280. But Rios said he'd be open to taking a cheaper deal than the one he'd be owed with the team option to stay in Texas.
"That's a situation you have to examine," Rios told the Star-Telegram, adding he'd be open to staying in Texas and that money won't be the leading factor to decide where he plays in 2015.
Interim manager Tim Bogar, who could very well be hired full-time this winter, said he'd love to have Rios back if he's with the club in 2015.
"He's much more valuable than four home runs," Bogar said. "There's more to Alex's game. I don’t think it’s fair to say Alex Rios has to carry the team with power."
Take 2013 for instance, when Rios split time between Texas and the Chicago White Sox. He hit 18 homers, which is a respectable total, and also stole a career-high 42 bases, a number that dipped to 17 this season.
He has the talent to be a special player, it just remains to be seen if the Rangers want to try to pursue him this winter or save their money to spend on pitching.