Back in June, it seemed like a no-brainer that the Texas Rangers would bring back right fielder Alex Rios on a $14 million club option instead of buying him out for $1 million. Of course, $14 million is a pretty decent bargain for a guy that was near the top of the league in hitting and led the league in triples with the capability to steal 30-40 bases.
Forget the fact his power numbers completely diminished this season, as he has just four home runs — a massive drop from his career numbers — he was still an appealing player and better than any other options the Rangers had for right field.
But now, Rios isn't nearly as appealing, as was evidenced when he wasn't dealt at the July 31 trade deadline and not really coveted during the post-waiver trade period, either. That's because over his last 58 games, he's hitting .222 and over that time his average has taken a nosedive from .335 to .283.
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Four home runs from a corner outfielder is bearable if they're hitting .335. But a .283 hitter with four home runs in a power position? That's not too appealing.
Rios said he knows his 2015 status is up in the air, but he's not worrying about it at the moment.
“I don’t have a feel for what’s going to happen,” Rios told the Star-Telegram. “It’s something that the management has to decide if I’ll be back or not. This is a team that is going to have the same chances of being successful that we had at the beginning of this year.”
It'll be interesting to see what the Rangers decide on Rios, who has gone from a virtual lock to return next season to a guy who might be on the brink of being less than 50/50 to return. The big question is what the Rangers will do to replace Rios if they decide on buying him out, and there really isn't a clear answer to that at the moment.