JP states that it he was let go to get some financial flexibility.
A quote stolen from MLB Trade Rumors:
Ken Rosenthal says that Jays have to let Rios go, regardless of what kind of return - if any - they receive. Freeing up $58.7MM over the next several years is too valuable of an opportunity. As Rosenthal points out, $12MM this offseason (Rios' approximate average salary) could have bought Bobby Abreu, Orlando Hudson, Russell Branyan, andAdam Everett, while leaving $800K to spare
Not that I'd want Adam Everett, and the only reason to have wanted Branyan is if you had a crystal ball that showed he was going to have this kind of season. Add in that I don't know where you would play Hudson, I like Hill better.
Not sure what I think about this yet. I guess it will depend if we are actually going to use the money being saved or if it is going into Roger's pockets. If we use the money to get a power bat that can play outfield, as well as keep Scutaro for a couple more years and perhaps put some of the money towards keeping Doc, then it's a good thing. If not then, well, we won't be very happy around here I am sure.
Rios is hitting .264 with not enough power to make up for that. If he is a .264 hitter going forward then is just as well he is gone. But does anyone believe he isn't going to have some good seasons? He is a player I like. Beyond the offense, I think we are going to have to stop thinking of the Jays as a good defensive team. If our outfield is Lind, Wells and Snider we aren't going to be great. add in that Encarnacion is at third in Rolen's place, I'm thinking we are lucky to be an average team defensively.
Being a fan I'll miss Rios.