The Case for Alex Rios


 Earlier this month, the Texas Rangers decided to decline on picking up the $13.5mil option on outfielder Alex Rios. There were a number of factors here

1.     Rios had struggled throughout the 2014 season with both thumb and ankle injuries. He ended the season hitting .280, 4-HR, 54-RBI in 492 at-bats.

2.     The entire Texas experience just didn’t seem to work out after arriving in August 2013. He hit only 10 home runs (.280, 80-RBI) in the combined 678 at bats over those two seasons

3.     Rios will play the 2015 season as a 34-year old.

4.     Rios is basically considered a below-average defensive right fielder

That being said, over 2012-13, he slashed .291/.329/.473 in 1,302 plate appearances with 43 home runs and 65 steals.

This is a subjective post. I know most of the comment makers here on the site pretty much agree that Michael Cuddyer would be a better choice for the Mets to go after. I have no problem with Cuddyer, but his agent is never going to agree to a one-year contract. Rios’ agent will. NO team is going to offer a 34-year old coming off two major injuries a multiple year contract.

The Mets could be the perfect platform for Rios to set up his last great contract.
One more thing…

We talk all the time about the future of Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto on this team, but the fact is both these guys are separated by 1.5-2 years of time it will take to become ‘Queens ready’.

Every day Nimmo seems to be showing us that he’s the real deal. He’s now eating up the Arizona Winter League where he’s playing against the top prospects in baseball. Some people have him starting 2015 in Las Vegas while conservative pundits say he will report to Binghamton in April for some additional grooming, but everyone agreed that he will be ready to step into the Mets outfield by opening day 2016.

You can’t bring this guy to Queens and then not play him. Juan Lagares is your (future) all-star center fielder and you have to play out the Curtis Granderson contract through 2017.

The Mets could have an opportunity to ‘steal’ Rios for Chris Young-like money… or, let’s say $9mil (DFA Ruben Tejada, replace him with Matt Reynolds and you duplicate the Young deal).

Just an idea worth trashing J


Kevin S said...

I like Rios on a 1-year deal. But I like Cuddyer on a 2-year deal better.

But let me state my case for Cuddyer. I like Cuddyer more on a 2-year deal and I don't think going to 2 years would prevent impede Nimmo progress. The kid is 21 and has half a decent AA season under his belt. Love his production in the AFL but I would start him in AA, then send him to AAA. Come Spring Training in 2016, let him battle Cuddyer for the OF spot. If he wins, Cuddyer can spell Curtis vs lefties and be a hell of a bench/4th OF.

Back to Rios. He makes a lot more sense for the Mets than Markakis. Sandy should already know the asking price for all 3 of these OFs and maybe throw Michael Morse in there too.

It's his job to monitor the market for each of these guys. He won't sign anyone longer than a 2-year deal. Maybe he will throw some offers out there and the first one to bite gets a starting job.

Time will tell but hopefully it's an exciting offseason and even more existing 2015 season. Us fans deserve it.

Reese Kaplan said...

Morse is Duda-like in the OF, so there's that to consider.

Rios still managed to hit .280 with the injuries, though the power dropoff was immense. It depends which Alex Rios you are going to get -- at worst, he's a leadoff hitter in that he steals bases, though his OBP is nothing to write home about. But bear in mind in his last healthy year between Chicago and Texas he did 18/81 with 42 steals...that's some pretty damned good production to add to your lineup at any position in the batting order.

His agent may want to hold out for a 3 year deal to finish up his career but he may have to settle for a one-year "prove yourself" deal like Nelson Cruz got last season. For Chris Young money, he's a gamble worth taking with WAY more upside than Nick Markakis.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention Chris Young, because there are some similarities that raise a few flags. I know the option was high, but has to be some concern about a team cutting bait with a player they saw up close, like their player personnel people think he is finished and whoever picks him up is getting dead weight. His production was not disastrous, I mean he did hit .280, so he still has some contact skills, but overall, his value is significantly diminished and may not be worth devoting precious resources for a player who might end up getting cut

Steve from Norfolk said...

I don't think he'd get cut - even Rio's production for last year would be close to the top of the Mets offense, but I wouldn't offer him that much - at least at first. I'd start at the max $7.5 mil. Got to leave yourself some room to negotiate.

Mack's Mets © 2012