The Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants are among several teams that have “checked in” on the availability of Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rios is considered one of the top candidates to be dealt before the trade deadline on July 31.
Other than the Mariners and Giants, the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds have also discussed Rios with the Rangers. The Yankees should probably be considered a long shot, however, as Rosenthal notes that they’re one of six teams included on the veteran’s no-trade clause.
Rios, 33, is in the midst of a solid season for Texas, batting .299/.328/.428 with four homers and 43 RBI over 405 plate appearances. He’s on pace for his lowest home run production since 2004, but leads the American League with eight triples and has 16 stolen bases, as well.
His defense doesn’t grade out as well as it used to, though, so Baseball-Reference pegs his value at just 0.6 WAR through 100 games this season. That’s not great, but it is certainly possible that teams are evaluating Rios’ defense more positively than B-R is.
The outfielder’s contract also makes him an intriguing trade candidate this season, as it includes an affordable team option for 2015. Instead of being a full-on rental, the team acquiring Rios would have the option of retaining his services next season for $13.5 million, or buying him out for just $1 million. Either way, it’s flexibility that would likely appeal to certain clubs.
The Mariners already brought back Kendrys Morales recently, but continue to look for extra power as they battle for a Wild Card spot in the AL. The Giants and Reds are also competing for playoff spots, although Cincinnati needs to turn things around soon after losing eight of its past 10.