Jun 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Rios hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. (Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Alex Rios. One name I have seen linked to the Reds multiple times. Nothing in a major way though.
But there is much to like about the current right fielder for the Chicago White Sox. For one, his offensive production.
Now, here’s something to ponder. Those Reds stats, taken from Fangraphs (FG) and Baseball Reference (BR), represent the stats for Reds left fielders., not right or center. Two reasons.
The Reds have been emphatic that they will not move Shin-Soo Choo to left field. Rios can play center. We know that Rios will not go to right – there’s a guy named Bruce there – if Rios would become a Red. That only leaves left. Rios has played left all of one game in his MLB career. That was in 2010.
I won’t completely rule out Jay Bruce moving to left, but I would say the chances of that are severely small. Somewhere south of 1%?
Stranger things have happened…
And when we say left field, we are now naturally led to one Ryan Ludwick. The Reds did sign him to a two-year, $15M deal prior to this season. He received a $2M signing bonus, but his 2013 salary is only $1M. Next year, Ludwick is due $7.5M. There’s also a mutual $9M option for 2015 that has a $4.5M buyout. We are hearing that Luddy will be back around the beginning of August.
Can the front office wait for Ludwick’s return? Hmm…
Let’s gravitate over to Rios’ contract. He will be due $12.5M in 2014 and, with a trade, his option for 2015 increases to $14M. That buyout is $1M. This season, Rios is in the midst of collecting $12.5M.
After this season, Ludwick is due at least another $12M including the buyout for 2015. Including his 2015 buyout, Rios is only due $13.5M. The issue would be this season, not so much beyond.
But aren’t these Reds supposed to be “all-in” for 2013? That’s the word on the street. Like to think it goes beyond 2013 as well.
Rios is a little over 2 years younger than Ludwick, a little over a year older than Choo. Take your pick there, but if you bring Rios into the fold, the need for a center fielder for 2014 is covered should Billy Hamilton need a little more seasoning in Triple-A.
If that’s the case, things could get tricky.
Something else to consider here.
What would Choo and his agent Scott Boras demand (more than likely Boras doing the demanding) for staying in Cincinnati? If Boras has been contrary to his norm, he hasn’t even hinted to Walt Jocketty of a number, years or dollars. He prefers his clients test the free agent waters. Almost bit a couple of them this past off-season. Curious to see if Boras holds that form going forward.
The question for the Reds may not be so much the dollars in as much as the number of years.
And what of the money still due Rios for 2013? Thinking the more you ask the Pale Hose to cover, the better the package heading to the South Side.
And that may put a potential deal in the tank.