Just because the July 31 MLB trade deadline has passed, it doesn't mean teams still can't wheel and deal, it's just a bit harder with some red tape to go through.
Alex Rios was acquired by the Texas Rangers after the deadline, and now he could be shipped off elsewhere in the same way this season, though there's still a lot that has to happen.
He was placed on waivers at some point yesterday, and generally after 48 hours we know the final verdict. He'll either be claimed by another team, or he'll pass through waivers without being claimed.
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The right fielder is under contract via club option for 2015 for $13.5 million with a buyout of $1 million. He's having a good season, minus a massive power drop-off. But he is hitting .296 with four homers and 45 RBIs and a league-leading eight triples. He also would fill a big question in right field for the 2015 season.
If Rios is claimed by another team, the Rangers can trade him to that team, let the club have him and his remaining contract for 2014 — roughly $4 million, or they could just pull him back and ride it out this season with him. If he passes through waivers without being claimed, then that's when things get interesting. The Rangers could then deal Rios to any interested team with no restrictions.
Again, it make most sense for the Rangers to hold on to Rios for one more year simply because their only in-house options for right field in 2015 are Michael Choice and Mitch Moreland, neither of which is terribly appealing. Or, they could go after someone like Nelson Cruz this winter.
It's going to be interesting to see what happens, and what the Rangers would get back at this point in a trade. They gave up just middle-tier infielder Leury Garcia for Rios at this point last year, and that return wouldn't be good enough to make it worth it.