Following a couple days of speculation, the White Sox officially claimed Alex Rios from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. The White Sox get a fat contract and a player with a lot of potential. The Blue Jays save a ton of cash.
In his career at U.S. Cellular Field (15 games), Rios has hit .273 with 2 homeruns, 8 RBI, 8 runs scored and a steal. He favored the home cooking during his time in Toronto, but he is still on pace for a 20/20 campaign, assuming he can get enough at-bats. This 20/20 potential will always make him attractive to fantasy owners.
While Ozzie Guillen has said he will play him all over the outfield, center field seems the most likely place for him to play everyday. His value over Scott Podsednik is painfully obvious if you take stealing bases out of the equation. That said, with Carlos Quentin’s penchant for the DL this year and Jermaine Dye’s aging, I can see the White Sox using him to spell them as well.
Going into last night’s games, Rios was batting .264 on the year with 14 bombs, 62 RBI, 52 runs and 19 steals. You have to like him for a 20/20 season even if his preseason projection of .288/19/90/100/25 seems unlikely.
Rios’ trade value also seems to be going up since he was acquired by the White Sox. In 1 for 1 trades on CBS Sportsline, he has been dealt straight up for the likes of Curtis Granderson, Nate McLouth, and Bobby Jenks over the last 24 hours. Compare those players to the guys he was dealt for in 1-for-1 deals on August 10 – Johnny Cueto, Wade Davis, Alex Gordon, and Jay Bruce – and it would seem most people think his value is going to go up in his new surroundings.