The slumping Cincinnati Reds have reportedly been in the market for some source, any source of offensive upgrade for the last few weeks, and according to a source it appears they have some level of interest in Texas Rangers OF Alex Rios, according to Ken Rosenthal's sources.
As Rosenthal mentioned, that info was according to he and his Fox Sports colleague Jon Morosi's sources, and it appears that Will Carroll of Bleacher Report may have a similar source, too, per sources.
Things heating up between Reds and Rangers regarding a possible Alex Rios deal, according to a very good source.
Things heating up between Reds and Rangers regarding a possible Alex Rios deal, according to a very good source.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) July 27, 2014
Alex Rios, huh.
The 33 year old has put together a solid, lengthy career that has tallied 28.5 bWAR, 27.4 fWAR, and a pair of mid-season trades among American League teams, and he's hit to a respectable .299/.328/.428 line in 405 PA this season. He's been a source of both moderate power and moderate speed for most of his career, and both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference have generally appreciated his OF defense over the course of his 11 seasons as a big leaguer. But as you'd expect from any player of his age, both his range and his defensive value has been less valuable of late, and both rank him as a slightly below-average fielder in 2014.
That's one interesting caveat in the Reds' potential pursuit, as Rios has played exclusively as a CF/RF for all but one game of his career, yet the Reds would conceivably have him in mind to man the LF position that clearly has a FOR RENT sign placed prominently underneath the bleacher seats in GABP. Caveat number two, of course, is that Rios has a contract that includes a $13.5 million team option for 2015 (with a reasonable $1 million buyout), so his acquisition could be as much about the 2015 lineup post-Ludwick as anything he'd contribute this season.
Right now, he's on pace to be about a 2 WAR player at about the going rate for 2 wins in terms of dollars. That's not kick-ass amazing, but compared to what the Reds other options currently are, that's an upgrade worth trading for, probably.
There's been no mention of the potential cost it would take to acquire Rios, but I'm not sure it would be a terribly damning amount. He was flipped in August of last season to the Rangers from the Chicago White Sox while in the midst of a similarly successful 2013 for SS/2B Leury Garcia, a then 22 year old who never was listed on a major Top 100 prospects list.
Yorman for Rios? Would that do the trick?
Would you really care either way if it did?