Alex Rios

In the next 24 hours we will learn if what the Jay's have decided to do with Alex Rios. For those of you who have been in the bush in the interior of BC for the past week (that would be me) and haven't been following the Jays as closely as normal, Rios was claimed off recallable waivers by some team. Everyone is saying the White Sox are the team, so let's go with that.

Now the Jays can do 3 things, pull him back off waivers (the MLB equivalent of your brother offering you a candy then pulling his hand back when you reach for it), work out a trade with the White Sox (I'll give you the candy if you give me that baseball card) or let the Sox have him (go ahead have the candy, oh but I promised to pay the candy for the next few years, you owe it now) (yeah I guess the metaphor falls apart there).

So what will the Jays do? I'd imagine they are trying to work out a trade for him at the moment, but Rios isn't exactly having a great season so his trade value is pretty low at the moment, compared to what it has been. I'm not sure what we would get for him in a trade. 

Would they just let him go? Alex is in the 2nd year of a 7 year contract, he is making $5.9 million this year, $9.7 million next, $12 million in 2011-12, $12.5 in 2013-14 and in 2015 there is a $13.5 million club option. Alex has a no trade clause this year and next so he would have to agree to go. At the time it was signed it didn't seem like a bad contract, but the economy has changed in the past couple of years.

Let's take a look at his career:

Year Age G     AB   R      H  2B   3B HR RBI  SB  CS  BB     SO      BA    OBP    SLG   OPS   OPS+
2004 23 111 426   55 122  24   7    1     28  15     3    31      84   .286   .338   .383   .720      85
2005 24 146 481   71 126  23    6  10    59 14      9    28     101 .262   .306   .397   .703      84
2006 25 128 450   68 136  33    6  17    82 15      6    35     89   .302    .349   .516  .865     120
2007 26 161 643 114 191  43    7  24   85 17       4    55   103   .297   .354   .498  .852     122
2008 27 155 635   91 185  47    8  15   79 32       8   44     112   .291  .337 .  461  .798      111
2009 28 108 436   52 115  25    2  14   62 19       3    31     78    .264  .317    .427  .744      94
 

 

His first couple of seasons, I really didn't think we had anything, I thought he looked like a 4th outfielder, good defense but not enough bat for a corner spot. Then he started off the 2006 season just great, clubbing home runs, until about mid-season when he somehow picked up a staph infection and missed more than a month and when he came back he didn't have the strength he had earlier in the season. It was very understandable.

2007 he started off great again and he put on a show at the All-Star game home run derby. Whether that effected his swing or not he didn't have as great a second half, but you could see why the Jays liked him and we all figured he'd take another step forward and become a 30 home run type. He also picked up that big contract, the Jays doing what many teams had, buying out his first few free agent seasons. The last couple of years the power has dropped off. Last year was a decent year but we expected more power, this year he hasn't been good.

He can be irritating. There  moments he doesn't appear to have his head in the game, which, if he was hitting 30+ homers, we'd likely laugh off. Then there are bizarre statements to the press, saying 'he wouldn't change his daughters diapers' or 'he doesn't set goals at the start of the season' just come off wrong and give up the impression he is self-centered at best. He also gives the impression, from the outside at least, that he isn't very teachable.

I get the feeling that if he had one of the old style managers like Billy Martin or Earl Weaver, he'd be dead by now or at very least doctors would have the interesting task of trying to remove Martin's cowboy boot from his butt. You do get the feeling the guy needs a kick occasionally and we don't know that Cito doesn't do that, behind closed doors. Cito isn't the type to brag about it afterwards.

He has been the reverse of Vernon Wells this season: he is hitting great at home (12 homers, .292/.357/.519) and lousy on the road (2 homers, .237/.278/.339). He hasn't had home/road splits like that before. Maybe he isn't as macho as he'd like us to believe and he misses his kid when he is away. If he was hitting as well on the road as at home, we'd be coming close to that 30 home run season we all think he has in him. It does make you wonder what would happen to his numbers if he did go to another team.

The trouble for the Jays is that we all know he has that big season in him and if they let him go, he might just have it. Then you look like a fool. But if you keep him and he doesn't have that big season, well you look like a fool. It would be tough to give him up for nothing. Of course, in reality you wouldn't be giving him up for nothing. You would have all that money that you aren't paying him. In the 'new baseball economy' that could buy you a few players or help you resign Roy Halladay. If, and that's a big if, Rogers lets you invest that saving back into players. If you keep him and he has that big year and he leads us to the playoff, that is worth a lot more than his contract.

The other question is, if he is gone, who plays right field. Simple Travis Snider, but then they haven't called him up to fill the black hole that is left field, would they call him up to fill right field? Or would we be treated to watching Kevin Millar play right? Honest, you would have to sedate me to get me to watch that.

Anyway, let's have the poll:

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