An Alex Rios Trade to the Pirates Now Seems Unlikely

Dave Kaplan of CSN Chicago says the Pirates and the White Sox sound close on a trade for Alex Rios.

Kaplan doesn’t make it sound like a deal is a guarantee, since he says he’s not sure if the two teams can come to a middle ground on the money. Rios is owed $18 M over the next year and two months. Earlier today we heard that the White Sox wanted Jameson Taillon or Gregory Polanco for Rios, but that the Pirates said no. We also heard the White Sox like Alex Dickerson.

UPDATE 1:47 PM: Thoughts from James Santelli on Rios…

Though Jose Tabata’s return from injury improves the Pirates in right field, it is still a very bad position on the team. The Bucs are second-to-last in the National League in Wins Above Replacement (-1.0 WAR) and Weighted Runs Created (91 wRC+) at the position. Translation? Only the Phillies have gotten worse production from RF this year.

Alex Rios would fit what Pittsburgh could use in right: an offensive and defensive upgrade at the position until Gregory Polanco is ready to grab the starting job next summer. Keep in mind that even though Rios has lost some speed at age 32, he was a regular center fielder just two years ago.

Over the last two calendar years, Rios has been among baseball’s best right fielders. He owns a .288/324/.476 split in that span, hitting 44 home runs, playing average defense and very good baserunner (48 steals in 61 attempts). Yes, all of that is in a period from selective endpoints, but the point is Rios represents a bona fide upgrade over Tabata. He hits both lefties and righties well and would shore up a weak spot.

UPDATE 3:11 PM: Jon Heyman says the deal is not close.

UPDATE 3:17 PM: Rob Biertempfel spoke to a source, and it doesn’t seem like the deal is on the verge of happening.

These last two updates don’t mean a trade won’t happen. Just that we shouldn’t expect it to be official anytime soon.

UPDATE 7:17 PM: Scott Merkin of MLB.com says the Pirates’ interest in Rios has lost steam.

UPDATE 7:28 PM: John Perrotto says pretty much the same thing, and that the Pirates were never that high on Rios.

Outside of the original rumor, none of the updates have suggested a deal was close. Even the original rumor downplayed the deal, saying it wasn’t a guarantee and that the sides were debating the cash involved. Right now it doesn’t seem like Rios is coming to the Pirates.

UPDATE 9:27 PM: It doesn’t seem like a trade is likely for Rios, and the odds might have just gone down more. Rios was removed from the game tonight after fouling a ball off his foot. I was watching the game, waiting for #HugWatch updates. Rios fouled the second pitch he saw off the inside of his left foot. He stayed in to take four more pitches, but was seen grimacing and couldn’t put any weight on his foot. He was removed with a 3-2 count.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Share This Post On
  • https://profiles.google.com/113824087346904673399 Dom DiDominic

    Taillon and Polanco …… I am holding my straight razor….. Please no, God no.

    • emjayinTN

      If it was a straight up money deal with no players, I would still question the intelligence of the Pirates. This team has been built for the long term, and it is not the time to buy an overrated hitter to take down the stretch – win it with what you have and stick to the plan.

  • http://www.ashevilleroadbowling.com hunter

    I did not realize this but if Rios is traded:

    “If Rios is traded between beginning of 2011 season and spring training 2014, future salaries increase by $500,000 each
    If Rios is traded during 2014 season, 2015 option increases to $14 million ($2 million buyout)”

    I thought I read somewhere his option was like Wandy’s and would become player option if traded but I think I mixed him up with someone else rumored to Pirates. Still that’s basically and extra $2M.

  • http://www.acme-tv.com LongJohnSilver

    Another deal I don’t do. I don’t want Rios. I would prefer Schierholtz over most of the “rumors” I have heard. I know he doesn’t hit lefty’s, but the Pirates face more RHP then they do LHP and he is a major upgrade in RF over what they have now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.martin.9003 Bob Martin

    If they give up any top prospect for Rios I’m done!!! He isn’t worth anything more than a C player. This trade won’t happen unless the White Sox pay 75% of his remain salary anyways.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.davis.925 Jesse Davis

      You’re done what? I hope it’s posting nonsensical overreactions like this.

      1) Do you really think Huntington would be dumb enough to give up a top prospect for a 32 year old RF owed $18 mil over the next year plus?

      2) The only way Rios is worth a C prospect is if the Pirates have to pay most of his salary

  • csnumber23

    K wouldn’t mind getting Rios but I need to hear what we are giving up. If it’s Dickerson and say Stolmy I can see that but no more.

    I am still throwing up over the rumor of Glasnow for freaking Bud Norris. If that puke happens it could go down as being as bad as when we made the worst trade ever in handing A. Ramirez to the Cubs.

  • buster09

    Dom,it would be almost as bad if they talk Glasnow and/or Dickerson !

  • jon6er

    Big mistake if this happens. Don’t question the need for help but we don’t need another guy who wants to dog it when things are going bad for them (Tabata, Marte). I will be very disappointed if this is the best NH can come up with.

    • BostonsCommon

      You might be disappointed, but Rios is the best RF available. Trading for a guy like Stanton is a pipe dream. Back here in realityville, Rios is an above average MLB RF that would immediately upgrade the black hole currently in RF at PNC park.

    • csnumber23

      What are you talking about putting Marte in that category?? There was one time he didn’t fly out of the box and Greg Brown made a bid deal about it. I have watched every Pirate game since he has been hear and that is the only time he didn’t fly around like a maniac. Putting him in the lazy Tabata category is ridiculous!!

  • ccorazz

    Rios when right would be a huge upgrade over what they have been putting out there. Even when hes not right he is a huge upgrade. I would make ChiSox pay like the Astros did for Wandy and give up no one in the top 8 prospect list. I would prefer a first baseman and put Jones in RF everyday. Gaby isn’t going to come around. Even at his best he was a bottom of the league first baseman.

  • pirateradio

    That’s not the kind of “veteran leadership” I want.

    I’d rather go with pieced-together internal options

    • BostonsCommon

      Not trading for veteran leadership. You have that in Martin, Grilli, Cutch and Burnett (who by the way was a teammate of Rios is Toronto for 3 years).
      .
      You’re trading for an upgrade in RF.

      • pirateradio

        He’d better do a lot better than .272 w/12 HR for it to be much of an upgrade. At that pace, he’s barely an upgrade over the production you’d get from Tabata over 2 months. You could even make a case for Rios’ production being less than or equal to that of Alex Presley (currently .289 w/2 HR in 45 AB).

        I’d rather not give up any MiLBers with potential for an aging slugger who can’t provide much of an upgrade and has recently been benched for lack of hustle

        • BostonsCommon

          Rios: .272/.324/.428/.752 with 12HR
          Tabata .253/.327/.370/.697 with 2 HR
          Snider .219/.287/.322/.609 with 2 HR
          .
          Rios is a huge upgrade over both, with the bat and defensively. Even if this is a down year he is miles better than Tabata and Snider.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.davis.925 Jesse Davis

            Come on guy, don’t try to use those fancy Sabermetrics to trick people into believing Rios is an up grade. I read in some article once somewhere on the internet that he didn’t hustle running to first base one time and he’s 32! If Chicago wants anything more than our backup AA catcher it’s not worth it!

            /sarcasm

          • BostonsCommon

            Good grief right? Not even Sabermetrics, those are just his numbers.

            • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.j.stein.3 Jeremy J Stein

              I think he was being sarcastic.

          • pirateradio

            You didn’t include Alex Presley’s stat line, which is higher than that of Rios. Even if you stuck with Tabata’s line…Tabata’s OBP is higher…and over two months of baseball, the 19% points of BA difference would be a couple of hits.

            Today & yesterday, the RF production came from Presley…on Sun., it came from Josh Harrison. Personally, I think the minimal gains from having Rios wouldn’t be worth trading much anyone to get him.

            • BostonsCommon

              Good grief, now Alex Presley is the answer? I’m glad he an an awesome day yesterday. But that’s what he does. He comes up, provides a spark, but as soon as you try to play him everyday he gets exposed.
              .
              Last season, the Pirates gave him his chance, and considerable playing time, to see if he was the answer in RF. In almost 400 PA, Presley put up a line of .237/.279/.405/.683.
              .
              He’s a nice bench player, a competent pinch hitter against RHP, and good for a couple starts here and there. But he’s not your answer in RF.

  • IC Bob

    I like Rios and have no problem trading him for Dickerson (who I ahve always liked). 30 days ago everyone here felt Dickerson wasn’t even a top 30 prospect. Rios is a big time upgrade defensively and offensively. He can play everyday and can balance our line up. This would be a good trade for our Bucs! Get it done (Just don’t include any of our top prospects)

    • csnumber23

      IC Bob, I agree completely with everything you said in this post!!

    • BostonsCommon

      +1… If its Dickerson, so be it. If you don’t want to trade him, find someone else (or a couple of guys) of equal value and get it done.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.j.stein.3 Jeremy J Stein

      Yeah, I have to agree. I like Dickerson a lot (now, he was off my radar in the first half of the season, the way he’s hitting now in double A moves him on the top 20 prospect radar), but the Pirates do have a few other options for a long term first baseman.

  • Nuke Laloosh

    Mixed feelings on Rios. I hate to give up any of the aforementioned prospects. I really like Dickerson; he just freakin hits where ever he is at. I believe he is the future 1b and will hit .300 and 20 hrs. Is Rios an upgrade? Absolutely, but at what cost?

    • meatygettingsaucy

      Is Dickerson was projected to hit .300 with 20 HR every year, he’d probably be a Top 10 prospect in all of Baseball, not just Top 20 in our organization

      • Nuke Laloosh

        He will be GIJ with a better avg.

        • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

          and worse obp and power.

          • Nuke Laloosh

            Than GIJ? Doubtful. He better get back on track and soon.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.j.stein.3 Jeremy J Stein

            Worse obp than GIJ? Jones career obp is .319 and his best year was .372. Maybe Dickerson never tops .372 in a year but I could see him doing better over his career than .319. I agree with the power though. Jones got a late career start which may end up being a key difference between him and Dickerson. AD could be starting regularly when he’s 25 years old and the Pirates would control his rights until he is 30 or 31 I guess. If he proves he can hit in the Majors, he could definetly take over at first base for an aging Jones and provide meaningful production.

  • Sid Bream & the Heartbreakers

    Here is what I find funny and what many people don’t seem to understand. You are fans. You do not know these players personally, and you certainly don’t know their team member’s feelings towards them. You have no idea if they are a “problem” in the clubhouse or not, so do not make judgement on a possible trade assuming you do know these things.

    The fact of the matter is baseball is as little of a “team” sport as there is. It is certainly more important to have a collection of outstanding individual efforts than INDIVIDUALS (I’m looking at you Mr. Inge). When a potential Rios trade is viewed in this light, there is no QUESTION that he is an enormous upgrade over what Hurdle is throwing out there day in and day out. Pirate fans, understandably so i guess, will never be satisfied.

  • CalipariFan506

    Boy you guys just want to trade for the same of trading when it comes to RF

  • ccorazz

    I think we have fell in love with our prospects a bit too much. Out of the top 10 management would be thrilled to have 3 of these guys turn out to be above average major leaguers. I am the same way I feel like Polanco, Hansen, and Taillon are going to be stars but it is highly unlikely. This is the teams best chance to win and they need to take a chance, if not with Rios then with someone else. If we lose two veteran pitchers next year and Locke and or Liriano regress the team will be in the middle of the pack. CARPE DIEM

  • CalipariFan506

    I’d personally take a flyer on Kubel. You could get him for Willy Garcia or Adrian Sampson.

    • csnumber23

      I would be fine with that.

      • https://profiles.google.com/116366873579930999690 Thom Kay

        Not me. I wouldn’t give up anyone half way decent for Kubel. He’s slow, can’t field, and has a .205/.283/.363 line over the past calendar year (421 PAs). He’s also way overpaid.

  • leadoff

    I would be perfectly happy if they make no moves for any of the players rumored to be coming to the Pirates, I don’t want to give up what I already have for marginal players. The core of this team is still the reason they will succeed or fail.

    • csnumber23

      We need a Right Fielder, it is beyond a weak spot.

  • https://www.facebook.com/steve.peipock Steve Peipock

    John Perotto of USA Today is reprting that the Pirates and White Sox are discussing a MEGA DEAL that would involve Rios, Peavy, and Alexei. And in return the Sox would get Taillon, Dickerson, and another player. Wonder if this is just specualtion or legit? That is a tin of salary for us to be taking on in a deal. Would have to be huge salary relief since Taillon would be involved.

    • CalipariFan506

      Perotta just makes things up this time of year.

  • jaygray007

    i just have a feeling that it’s gonna be peavy and rios for Glasnow and a few smaller pieces. I’d be happy with that. It probably doesn’t quite jive with the Trade Value Calculator, but it’d be worth it for 2-4 years of control over Rios and Peavy.

    Dickerson for Rios and some $$$ would be fine too. Rios is the perfect bridge from now to Polanco.

    • BostonsCommon

      That’s thinking out of the box for sure. You would think Peavy by himself would probably require a deal similar to Wandy. Peavy might have a little more value, but I think they would be pretty close, with the Pirates sending a package of prospects to Chicago, in exchange for Peavy and salary relief.
      .
      I’m not sure the Pirates have shown interest or been linked to Peavy. He’s a good player though, and would provide insurance against Wandy or AJ not returning.

    • https://profiles.google.com/116366873579930999690 Thom Kay

      Looking at the Trade Value Calculator, Peavy should be pretty cheap. He’s paid about what he’s worth, ~3.0 WAR per year. He’s actually pretty similar to Rios in value/cost. Unless they took a big chunk of the salary for either or both guys, I don’t want to give up a top 10 prospect for either. Pirates do have prospects, true, but they still don’t have tons of money.

      • BostonsCommon

        It would certainly be a bold move to grab both of those guys, I’m just not sure if it’s realistic. That’s well over $30M in added salary through the end of next season. The Sox would have to be willing to throw in considerable cash to get the type of prospect they would be interested in… Basically be willing to buy prospects from the Pirates.

  • CalipariFan506

    If we make a trade I’d like a guy like Javier Lopez. Even if nothing else than to black another NL team from getting him. He would be a terible match up for Alvarez, Jopnes and Walker in a playoff series.

  • elgaupo

    First, between the recently departed Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams you had two prima donas. Also, their team hasn’t been relevant lately. There’s a chance Rios isn’t that bad of a dude.

    Secondly, if the Pirates assume a lot of money the prospects could be negligible.

  • wlenik

    To sum up what I’ve seen: Jones cannot play RF everyday. He is beyond terrible against lefties and he has below average defense out there. If we wanna get anywhere we MUST have an upgrade in RF if there aren’t good enough deals out there then call up Lambo from AAA in fact he already should have been here .289/ 27 HR/ 85 RBI in the minors this year

  • Cecil.

    If Rios comes this way, maybe Tabata is part of the package that goes the other. That would clear up the logjam out there and make Presley the 4th outfielder, which I think if perfect for him.
    Also puts Jones back in a true platoon with Sanchez, except in an emergency.
    Rios is way better than anyone we can trot out there now so he would be a very large upgrade. The results are good, it’s the effort, or reported lack of effort, that make me question whether he’s worth it.
    Maybe NH and staff figure that playing in meaningful games will motivate him.
    They don’t make these deals in a vacuum, we can be sure they’re looking at more factors than we can know.

  • piraterican21

    Players that I wouldnt give up for Rios, anyone in the top ten to include Kingham, but that said I do believe that he will be a huge upgrade and will nicely balance out the lineup, Marte, Walker, McCuthen, Alvarez, Rios, Jones, Martin, Mercer. The so call mega deal, that only make sense if you are going for it all, Peavy is injury prone, I like Ramirez glove and even his bat but not at his current salary, that alone will make imo the mega deal a bad deal.

    If we go after a SS, the Angels Eric Aybar has become available, he is someone that could hold the spot until Hanson is ready, will move Mercer to back up Walker and play 2b againts lefty.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fred.langford.9 Fred Langford

    The pirates game on mlb network is blacked out in Columbus, Ohio as usual. It’s a disgrace I can’t even pay to watch the games. mlb.com, rootsports Pittsburgh, mlb network, and their games on espn have all been blacked out recently. I used to have the mlb package on d-tv but got rid of that because they were blacked out on there. What do you do when you have a league that doesn’t want fans to even pay to see their games?

  • Monkshot

    I really like Peavy, and think he will be a huge help to any team lucky enough to get him. The guy competes with the best of them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.martin.9003 Bob Martin

    Hearing that the Pirates have little interest in Rios gives me hope that they know what they’re doing. Also just read that they don’t want Bud Norris either. Now find some rental that wont cost you much and keep the train rolling.

    • csnumber23

      Agreed! How about M. Morse?? I hear he is available and shouldn’t cost much at all. I think that would be a great move!

  • CalipariFan506

    Good. Let’s try to get Javy Lopez. He can make the biggest impact IMO.

  • IC Bob

    Javy the catcher for the Braves in the 90s? I think he lives in Atl right now. I doubt he is in shape to play. Just kidding!! teh so called experts said it was almost a done deal then 6 hours later the Pirates really never had interest. Which is it? My guess its somewhere in between. The Sox want the best deal they can get and Pirates are only willing to offer certain guys and no more. Additionally the Bucs want lots of salary covered. Who will blink. I get the feeling we are really the only team here and if we don’t get Rios their are a number of RFs available (Morse, Schierholtz).

    • Kevin_Young

      They’ll hold him until the offseason….where they’ll continue to get nothing in return.

  • CalipariFan506

    Tigers end up winning this deal for Peavy IMO.

    • smurph

      I agree. They get an excellent young SS. Peavy is at best a #4 or 5 SP, assuming he stays healthy, which has not happened much in recent history.