Waive Goodbye to Alex Rios

In hindsight, I guess all those reports about Alex Rios being claimed on waivers really did mean something. Last week the White Sox were the “mystery team” that put their name in the hat first to grab Rios and today the deal was made official. After ten years with the Toronto Blue Jays organization, Alex Rios is now a member of the Chicago White Sox.

J.P. Ricciardi said that the trade was made so the Toronto Blue Jays could have financial flexibility going forward. The White Sox assume the rest of the Rios contract, which has $59 dollars remaining on it. While I agree that this season perhaps Rios was a little overpaid, I don’t think it was a complete waste of money.

Vernon Wells contract is the real burden on the Blue Jays payroll, and in a way his contract was partially responsible for Rios’ trade. Rios was the only valuable player on the team who could feasibly be moved after the non-waiver trade deadline, and so he was.


At no point did I ever think that the Alex Rios contract extension was a huge mistake. The Blue Jays wanted to make a big splash by re-signing two of their most talented young players in Aaron Hill and Alex Rios, and they both received the kind of money they deserved. At $5.9 million dollars this season, I would say that Rios is still a bargain and even at his peak of $12.5 million dollars, Rios is nowhere near close to being the most overpaid outfielder in baseball.

While most of us can agree that Alex Rios probably won’t be the 25+ HR 100+ RBI player that the Blue Jays expected him to be, over these past few years he’s been a great outfielder and has the potential to be a phenomenal full time center fielder.

I think I might feel better about this whole trade if we were reassured by J.P. Ricciardi and the Blue Jays management that this money saved in the Rios trade would go back into re-signing key players like Roy Halladay or attracting free agents to play in Toronto. But somehow, I have a feeling that the money will go elsewhere or will just disappear back into the pockets of Rogers.

What inclination would Roy Halladay have to stay with the Blue Jays now that they have traded away two of their key players? Halladay isn’t impressed that the team has shed payroll; his number one priority is to win a championship, and losing two All-Star players certainly isn’t helping the Blue Jays cause for the 2010 season.

After dishing out all this money in failed contracts to players like Frank Thomas, B.J. Ryan and Vernon Wells, I hope that Rogers and the Toronto Blue Jays have learned their lesson when it comes to overpaying for mediocre talent.

I feel great for Alex that he gets to play for a team that actually has a shot at making the playoffs, yet I don’t think he will look back on his time with the Blue Jays with fond memories. He spent his entire career up to this point in the Blue Jays organization, and up until earlier this season Alex Rios was the new face of this franchise. Now he’ll be the new face of another franchise.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

9 thoughts on “Waive Goodbye to Alex Rios

  • August 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I'm tapped out of discussing the Rios angle (FML), but came to quibble with one of yer tweets.

    You have more confidence in Frasor than you ever did in Ryan? No fucking way, dude! Do you not remember BJ's absolutely nails first season? Lights out, baby.

    And I thought Frasor was going to hyperventialte in the 5 minutes between each pitch last night.

  • August 11, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Yes, FML on the Rios trade. I now have a Alex Rios Figurine and Bobblehead on my desk that are outdated. FML.

    Sorry Ack, I should explain that one about Ryan/Frasor.

    I meant to say that I have more faith in Frasor than I ever had in Ryan this season. Ryan was badass in 2006 (38 saves, 1.37 ERA) but after that, it all went downhill. He was okay last year too, but his ERA ballooned to 2.95. After those reports in spring training about how his velocity was down, that was the red flag right there.

    Usually when your closer comes in, you get a sense of relief that this guy is going to shut the door on the game. I never got that feeling with B.J. Ryan this season.

    While small and stature and not really a power pitcher, Frasor gets the job done and his confidence has improved about 1000 percent from last year. He's one of the players who has really benefited from Cito's coaching this year.

  • August 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    we`re with u on frasor.
    maybe he`ll replace Rios as the number one tee shirt sold at teh jays shop!

  • August 11, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I wonder what Doc is thinking. Right now. Right this very moment.

    I'm interested to see where Rios will play in Chicago. I hope he does well. I wish no ill will upon him. Enjoyed his time in Toronto.

  • August 11, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    I think Doc is just hoping that cash saved goes to him. If not, he's probably dreaming about where he's going to play next season.

    I imagine Rios will probably platoon in the outfield at first. Jermaine Dye's time is coming to an end and he's hitting below the Mendoza line since the All-Star break, so I imagine Rios will take over within a few weeks.

  • August 16, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Do you guys actually follow baseball or just talk out of your ass? The White Sox just traded away their future center fielder in Anderson..so now they have a centre fielder..he's not a "Right Fielder" hes a center fielder playing right. He may not be an everyday player there but they didnt get him to spell Dye in RF.

  • August 16, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I'll be honesty that I'm not as familiar with the White Sox as I am with the Blue Jays. I think it's a good idea to keep Rios in center field because that is the position where he is best suited and most valuable to the team.

    I guess that all depends on whether or not Quentin comes around next season and if the White Sox decide to pick up Dye's option for the 2010 season.

  • August 16, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    you ball lickers dont think bjays maybe lose his yonguer and lesion free player and keep an older and disable like v.wells who has a really big contract,go ahead rios we are a family of 10 who buy tickets for the 85% of the season and now we stay in home to see the games of my new team chicago w.sox
    b.jays sucks

  • August 16, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    The problem with that is that no team would be dumb enough to take over the Vernon Wells contract. If they could, I'm sure they'd love to dump Wells but he's owed 98.5 million over the next 5 seasons.

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