The Texas Rangers entered the month of August holding a valuable trade chip for a waivers deal in outfielder Alex Rios. The only problem is, Rios started dealing with injury woes at the worst possible time.
Rios has been dealing with an ankle injury for the past couple weeks. That issue has sapped much of his trade value. For their part, the Rangers know they are running out of time to get Rios on the field to showcase his value and then flip him before September 1st.
Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com writes the following about the situation:
The Rangers need Rios in their lineup for so many reasons. He gives manager Ron Washington something to work with, given he only has four players in his everyday lineup that are proven.
Rios also needs to play to be able to display his skills for opposing scouts and general managers, so Jon Daniels can make a move.
Each passing day, it becomes harder and harder for Daniels to do anything with Rios, especially when he doesn’t play.
Watkins also notes that Rios was in the lineup this past weekend but appeared to re-injure himself.
Given the need for right-handed offense around the league, teams likely would not have to see much from Rios to re-engage the Rangers about a potential deal. In 112 games this season Rios is batting .293/.323/.414 with 31 extra base hits and 46 RBI.
The advantage of trying to deal Rios now is that teams have had more time to assess their standing in the race and decide to commit to a playoff push. Such a committed team could still swoop in and snag Rios if they have reason to.
Now it is just a matter of whether or not the Rangers can get their outfielder back in the lineup to consider those possibilities or if time will run out on them.