Posts Tagged ‘Alex Rios’

Starting Nine: American League Central

January 12, 2010

Yesterday, I took at the starting nine position players for each American League East team. Today, I will cover the starting nine position players for each American League Central team.

Remember, these lineups are as of today. Obviously these will change as the offseason continues. I will update these lineups as the season approaches.

Here are the starting lineups for each American League Central team:

Minnesota Twins

1. Denard Span, CF

2. Joe Mauer, C

3. Justin Morneau, 1B

4. Michael Cuddyer, RF

5. Jason Kubel, DH

6. Delmon Young, LF

7. J.J. Hardy, SS

8. Brendan Harris, 3B

9. Nick Punto, 2B

Quick Take – The Twins have as good a one through five as anyone in baseball. They desperately need a third and second baseman. Orlando Hudson would be a nice addition.

Chicago White Sox

1. Juan Pierre, LF

2. Gordon Beckham, 2B

3. Carlos Quentin, RF

4. Paul Konerko, 1B

5. Alex Rios, CF

6. Alexei Ramirez, SS

7. A.J. Pierzynski, C

8. Mark Teahen, 3B

9. Mark Kotsay, DH

Quick Take – Perhaps there is no lineup that is harder to put together than the White Sox’s. This lineup could go in nine different directions. They need a DH and bringing back Jim Thome would make sense.

Detroit Tigers

1. Austin Jackson, CF

2. Carlos Guillen, DH

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Magglio Ordonez, RF

5. Brandon Inge, 3B

6. Ryan Raburn, LF

7. Gerald Laird, C

8. Adam Everett, SS

9. Scott Sizemore, 2B

Quick Take – Another hard lineup to put together. Jackson and Sizemore could flip-flop in the order. I don’t see a reason to ever pitch to Cabrera.

Kansas City Royals

1. Scott Podsednik, CF

2. David DeJesus, LF

3. Billy Butler, 1B

4. Jose Guillen, RF

5. Alex Gordon, 3B

6. Alberto Callaspo, 2B

7. Josh Fields, DH

8. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

9. Jason Kendall, C

Quick Take – This lineup is going to have a hard time scoring runs. This year might be make or break for Gordon.

Cleveland Indians

1. Azdrubal Cabrera, SS

2. Michael Brantley, LF

3. Grady Sizemore, CF

4. Shin-Soo Choo, RF

5. Travis Hafner, DH

6. Jhonny Peralta, 3B

7. Matt LaPorta, 1B

8. Lou Marson, C

9. Luis Valbuena, 2B

Quick Take – I like putting Brantley in the two-hole because of the speed and high OBP ability he showed in the minors. Sizemore moves down to the three-hole and takes on the role of a run producer.

Tomorrow, I will take a look at the American League West.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

White Sox Continue To Add, Trade For Juan Pierre

December 15, 2009

Guess which team has been the most aggressive this offseason?

The New York Yankees? Nope. The Los Angeles Dodgers? Not even close. The Boston Red Sox? Maybe.

How about the Chicago White Sox? Bingo.

On top of adding Jake Peavy and Alex Rios towards the end of last season, the White Sox have added Mark Teahen, Omar Vizquel, Andruw Jones, JJ Putz, and now they have added Juan Pierre this offseason.

According to various sources, the White Sox have acquired Pierre from the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor league pitchers. The Dodgers will get to pick two minor league pitchers from a list provided by the White Sox.

Pierre is waving goodbye to LA

Pierre has two-years and $18.5 million remaining on his contract. However, the Dodgers will pay $10 million of Pierre’s contract. The White Sox will pay Pierre $3 million in 2010 and $5 million in 2011.

The White Sox are really being aggressive this offseason. There is no reason for the White Sox not to be aggressive playing in the weak AL Central.

The Cleveland Indians are rebuilding, the Kansas City Royals are a mess, and the Detroit Tigers are selling off pieces left and right. That leaves just the White Sox and Minnesota Twins to compete in the AL Central.

Does Pierre put the White Sox ahead of the Twins in 2010? Probably not because I really don’t see how the White Sox are better because of this trade.

Player A hit .308 with zero home runs, a .365 OBP, a .392 Slugging Percentage, and 30 stolen bases in 2009.

Player B hit .304 with seven home runs, a .353 OBP, .412 Slugging Percentage, and 30 stolen bases in 2009.

The difference between these players is negligible. Player A is available via trade and Player B is available via free agency. So if all things are pretty much equal, wouldn’t you go with the player that is going to cost you less?

Player A is Pierre and Player B is Scott Podsednik.

I have no idea what prospects the White Sox are giving up. But I don’t care if they include me in the deal–a prospect is still a prospect and a prospect is a commodity.

Why give up two prospects and pay Pierre when they could have had essentially the same player (Podsednik) for no prospects and probably less than what they are paying Pierre?

I don’t get it.

I like the fact that the White Sox are being aggressive, but sometimes they would be better off making the simpler move. The simple move here would be to just re-sign Podsednik.

As for the Dodgers, this is a pure salary dump. The Dodgers are in such a financial mess right now that saving $8 million is a big deal for them right now.

I’ll update this story once it’s confirmed what prospects are going to the Dodgers.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

JP Ricciardi Out As Toronto Blue Jays’ GM

October 3, 2009

Yesterday, I wrote that the Toronto Blue Jays had “massive team blow up” in the offseason written all over it. Well, the Blue Jays offseason blow up started this morning.

Ricciardi was fired as Jays GM

Ricciardi was fired as Jays GM

According to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, JP Ricciardi was fired as Toronto Blue Jays’ GM. Assistant GM Alex Anthopoulos will take over on an interim basis.

“This was a tough decision and a difficult one for me personally as I have enjoyed J.P.’s friendship and his perspective on the game,” Jays acting president and CEO Paul Beeston said in a prepared statement. “J.P. has put an incredible amount of effort into improving the team and he has brought along a number of great young players. However, I feel that it is time for a change and accordingly we have decided to move on.”

Ricciardi was hired as GM in 2001 in hopes of restoring the Blue Jays to their glory years in the early-90’s. It never happened under Ricciardi’s watch.

The Blue Jays never won more than 87 games and only finished above third once with Ricciardi as the GM. Ricciardi will probably be remembered for three things as Blue Jays’ GM.

First, Ricciardi handed out some awful long-term contracts that became albatrosses as time went on. BJ Ryan – five years, $47 million. Alex Rios – six years, $64 million. And perhaps the most famous of all, Vernon Wells – seven years, $126 million.

Second, Ricciardi made some ill-advised comments towards OF Adam Dunn, who, at the time was playing for the Cincinnati Reds. Ricciardi appeared on Toronto sports radio show The Fan 590 and had this to say about Dunn.

“Do you know the guy doesn’t really like baseball that much? Do you know the guy doesn’t have a passion to play the game that much? How much do you know about the player? There’s a reason why you’re attracted to some players and there’s a reason why you’re not attracted to some players.

“I don’t think you’d be very happy if we brought Adam Dunn here … We’ve done our homework on guys like Adam Dunn and there’s a reason why we don’t want Adam Dunn. I don’t want to get into specifics.”

It’s one thing for a GM to talk about his players, but for a GM to talk about another team’s player — that’s unacceptable. Ricciardi said he later apologized to Dunn, but Dunn refuted that claim.

The third and perhaps the lasting memory Blue Jay fans will have of Ricciardi, was his decision not to trade Roy Halladay at the July 31st trading deadline.

There were a lot of rumors in regards to the offers Ricciardi received for his prized pitcher. At the end of the day, Ricciardi rejected them all and decided to hold on to Halladay.

At the time, Halladay’s value was at his highest. Now, with Halladay a free agent after the 2010 season, the longer Halladay remains in a Blue Jay uniform, the less the Blue Jays are going to get for him.

Whoever replaces Ricciardi on a full-term basis will have their work cut out for them. It looks like the massive offseason blow up is underway.

10 Things We Learned About Baseball In August

September 2, 2009

Oh those dog days of August. It’s hot, it’s steamy, and people in the mid-west don’t flinch when it’s 120 degrees outside. It’s a month where teams make their late season push or fade away like a fart in the wind.

August 2009 was no different. We saw records broken, milestones reached, a milestone contract, and of course, teams battling it out for a playoff berth.

Here are the top 10 things we learned from baseball in the month of August…

10. Derek Jeter breaks the all-time hits record for shortstops. When Jeter set the all-time hits record for shortstops with his 2,675th career hit, two things crossed my mind. 1. I can’t believe in the history of baseball, there hasn’t been a SS who has gotten more than 2,700 hits and 2. Is Jeter the second best SS of all-time (No. 1 being Honus Wagner)?

I can’t believe the lack of great shortstops in the game. Wasn’t it always as a kid, the best player on the team played shortstop? What happened? Shortstops are like quarterbacks in the NFL. There should be more great ones, but there aren’t.

The team Jeter plays on…

9. New York Yankees put a stronghold on the AL East. Going into the four-game series against the Boston Red Sox, all you heard about was how the Red Sox were 8-0 against the Yankees in 2009. Four games and outscoring the Red Sox 27-8 later, the Yankees swept the Red Sox and put a stranglehold on the AL East.

On the subject of the Yankees – Red Sox rivalry…

8. Pedro Martinez made his return to the mound. Martinez waited, waited, waited, and waited all season to get the call he was looking for. The Philadelphia Phillies made the call, offered Martinez a chance to start, and Martinez made his first start since last September on August 12th against the Chicago Cubs.

For me personally, it was great to see Martinez back on the mound. While he is not the Martinez I remember with the Red Sox, he still can get hitters out.

In four starts in August, Martinez was 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA.

Speaking of former Red Sox pitchers…

7. John Smoltz and Brad Penny weren’t good enough for the American League. Plan A for the Red Sox in the offseason was to sign Mark Teixeria. When that plan fell through, they went to Plan B. Plan B was to sign fill out the roster with high-risk, high-reward players like John Smoltz, Brad Penny and Rocco Baldelli.

Plan B has turned into Plan D — as in Disastrous. Smoltz was 2-5 with a 8.33 ERA in eight starts and Penny was 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA in 24 starts. Both pitchers were released by the Red Sox in August.

When Smoltz was released he joined the St. Louis Cardinals…

6. Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright are a solid one-two punch. In the month of August, Carpenter and Wainwright went a combined 9-1 with a 1.75 ERA, 66 K’s, and only allowed 71 hits in 86.2 innings pitched.

No wonder why the Cardinals opened up a nine game lead in the NL Central in August.

I said it before the season started and I will say it again. Carpenter is the key for the Cardinals. As he goes, so goes the Red Birds.

Staying in the NL Central…

5. The Milwaukee Brewers shake things up. On August 12th, Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin saw enough and the Brewers really shook things up.

They sent former All Star SS JJ Hardy to the minors, DFA’d 3B Bill Hall, fired pitching coach Bill Castro, and called up top prospect Alcides Escobar.

Have those moves helped? Well, on August 12th, the Brewers were two games under .500 at 53 and 55. On September 1st, the Brewers were three games under .500 at 64 and 67.

Many feel JJ Hardy will be traded in the offseason, but…

4. There were plenty of players who changed teams in August. The waiver claim period was just as hectic as the period leading up to the July 31st trading deadline.

Jim Thome, Jon Garland, Billy Wagner, Alex Rios, Aubrey Huff, and Scott Kazmir were all traded in the month of August. Perhaps the biggest shocker of all was Scott Kazmir.

The Tampa Bay Rays unloaded Kazmir and the remaining $23 million on his contract to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, while still in the middle of the AL Wild Card race. Many felt, including myself, that the Rays were smart to make this move.

I don’t think the Rays players and fans felt the same way.

Now that Kazmir is on the Angels, he won’t have to face this guy…

3. Vladimir Guerrero hits No. 400. How many people know that Guerrero is one of only six hitters in the history of the game to have 400 homeruns and a .320 lifetime batting average? I was shocked when I first heard this.

Guerrero joins Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig as the only players to accomplish this feat. When you put Guerrero’s name in that list, it’s almost like a who doesn’t belong question. But Vlad does.

I never thought of Guerrero as a Hall of Fame type player. I am definitely rethinking that now.

Guerrero started out with the Montreal Expos, which are now…

2. The Washington Nationals sign Stephen Strasburg. If the Nationals didn’t sign the No. 1 overall pick from this year’s draft, they might of as well folded up the franchise. This deal had to get done and it did — at the 11th hour.

Right before the deadline to sign draft picks expired, the Nationals and Strasburg agreed to a record contract that will pay the former San Diego State righty around $15.1 million.

This deal broke the previous record of $10.5 million signed by Mark Prior back in 2001.

And the No.1 thing we learned about baseball in August was…

1. The NL Wild Card race is the best thing going in baseball. Four teams separated by a grand total of four games. The Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, Florida Marlins, and Atlanta Braves are all battling for one postseason spot.

The Rockies and Giants are tied for the Wild Card lead and have played some memorable games in the last week. On August 24th, the Rockies and Giants played in my opinion, the game of the year. The Rockies won that game 6-4 in 14 innings on a walk-off grandslam by Ryan Spilborghs.

Less than a week later, the Giants staged a comeback of their own. On August 30th, Edgar Renteria hit a go-ahead grandslam of his own against Rafael Betancourt in the seventh inning to help the Giants sweep the Rockies.

I am guessing this race goes down to the wire.

That’s a wrap for the month of August. Hasn’t this year gone by fast? It seems like yesterday, I was writing my April recap.

I can’t wait for my September recap. We should have a good feel by then, who is going to the playoffs and who is playing golf in October.

White Sox Acquire Alex Rios From Blue Jays…

August 11, 2009

Teams receive gifts in baseball in a myriad of ways. They can receive a gift win courtesy of an error, or they can get a gift in the form of a player in a trade who was a throw in and that player turns out to be a solid contributor, or a team can get a gift by having a team take a massive contract off of their hands.

Well, all the praying Toronto Blue Jays’ GM JP Ricciardi must have done to the gods of taking bad contracts off a GM’s hands paid off. Today, the Chicago White Sox took Alex Rios and the six-years and $60 million left on his contract off the Toronto Blue Jays by claiming Rios off of waivers. This is a massive gift to the Blue Jay organization.

For the Blue Jays, this was like Easter Sunday. This isn’t as good as Christmas because for the Blue Jays, Christmas would be getting rid of Vernon Wells’ contract. Easter, you still get a gift (Easter basket, chocolate, etc..) and it’s still a pretty good day.

Rios is now the White Sox problem

Rios is now the White Sox problem

Rios is a classic underachiever in my opinion. He was never going to live up to expectations in Toronto. I wrote a couple of months ago the Blue Jays should trade him.

The Blue Jays now have roughly $10 million per year over the next six-years to play with . In today’s economy, you can do a lot with $10 million. If Ricciardi chooses not to spend money on free agents, he can use the new found money to try to resign Roy Halladay.

Why would the White Sox take this contract off the Blue Jays’ hands? I think there are a trio of reasons.

1. Without looking at where Rios is going to play, where he is going to bat, etc… Right off the bat I think the White Sox are hoping Rios will emerge with a change of scenery. This has classic change of scenery scenario written all over it.

Rios is still only 28 and has plenty of time to turn it around.

2. In the short term, Rios could play centerfield for the White Sox. Though Scott Podsednik has reemerged this year with a .297 avg and 17 SB’s, at the end of the day Rios should (let me reemphasize “should”) provide more offense in the White Sox lineup.

With adding the Rios contract and the Jake Peavy contract a couple of weeks ago, the White Sox have added over $100 million in payroll.

I thought we were in the middle of a recession?

3. In the long term, Rios might the White Sox starting rightfielder in 2010. Jermaine Dye and the White Sox have a mutual option for 2010. My guess is Dye and the White Sox part ways opening the door for Rios to start in rightfield for the White Sox.

As July 31st Approaches, What Do The Contenders Need?

July 15, 2009

One of the best days of the year is quickly approaching – the July 31st major league baseball trading deadline. July 31st and the days leading up to that day are the days where your favorite team can make a trade to put them over the top.

However, in the New York Mets case in 2004 when they traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, it could be a day where your team morgages the future just for a chance to make the playoffs.

The big name on the block for this year’s deadline is Toronto Blue Jay ace, Roy Halladay. If Halladay doesn’t get traded (50-5o at this point), it might be a quiet trading deadline. The main reason for that – parity.

Out of the 30 teams in baseball, only 9 are considered sellers. Those 9 teams would be the Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, and the Oakland A’s.

This year we might even see contenders trading with contenders, just to open things up a bit. It’s hard to make trades when there are so many teams who think they have a realistic chance of making the playoffs. However, that won’t prevent me from taking a look at what those 21 contending teams need come the trading deadline.

Here are the needs of the 21 contending teams and who they could potentially target.

Philadelphia Phillies

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Phillies are going for it again and are looking for a big time pitcher.

Hallday is a wanted man

Halladay is a wanted man

The Phillies signed Pedro Martinez today.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Brad Penny

Florida Marlins

Needs – Bullpen. With Lindstrom out, the Marlins need help in the pen.

Potential Targets – Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz, BJ Ryan (free agent), Cla Meredith, Matt Capps, John Grabow, George Sherrill

Atlanta Braves

Needs – Leftfield, Second base. The Braves have already traded for Nate McLouth and Ryan Church, but their offense could use another bat.

Potential Targets – Freddy Sanchez, David Dejesus, Adam Kennedy

New York Mets

Needs – Leftfield, First Base, Starting Pitching. The Mets should not be contenders, but in New York, there is no such thing as sellers.

Potential Targets – Matt Holliday, Roy Halladay, Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson, Luke Scott, David Dejesus, Aubrey Huff

St Louis Cardinals

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Cardinals have already acquired Mark DeRosa. They have been one of the most aggressive teams this year in terms of pusuing trades

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Brad Penny, Brian Bannister, Gil Meche

Milwaukee Brewers

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Brewers’ starting rotation has fallen apart recently. Offense is not the issue with this team.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Jon Garland, Doug Davis

Chicago Cubs

Needs – Bullpen. The Cubs just need the players they already have to play better. They could use another arm in the pen.

Potential Targets – BJ Ryan (free agent), Joe Beimel, Danys Baez, Jamey Wright

Houston Astros

Needs – Third Base, Starting Pitching. How this team is at .500 and only 3.5 games out is mind boggling. Problem Astros will have making trades is that their farm system is not that good.

Potential Targets – Jon Garland, Brian Bannister, Doug Davis

Cincinnati Reds

Needs – Offense. With Jay Bruce now out six-to-eight weeks with a fractured wrist, the Reds are desperate for offense. They should really be sellers, but they are still only five games out of first in the NL Central.

Potential Targets – Mark Teahan, David Dejesus, Marco Scutaro, Luke Scott, Jermaine Dye

Los Angeles Dodgers

Needs – Bullpen. With Roland Belasario out with an inflamed elbow (it was only a matter of time before Joe Torre blew someone’s arm out) and Jonathon Broxton suffering from a toe injury, the Dodgers could use some insurance in the pen.

Potential Targets – Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, John Grabow, George Sherrill, Danys Baez, Ron Mahay

San Francisco Giants

Needs – Offense. The Giants can use all the offense they can get.

Potential Targets – Jermaine Dye, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Matt Holliday, Nick Johnson, Alex Rios, Adam LaRoche

Colorado Rockies

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. Everyone thought the Rockies would be sellers at this point, but they are right in the thick of the Wild Card race. As usual, the Rockies could use some pitching help.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Ian Snell, Matt Capps, John Grabow, Takashi Saito, Danys Baez

Boston Red Sox

Needs – Offense. I don’t want to hear the Red Sox are fourth in baseball in runs scored – they need offense. They also need insurance for Mike Lowell.

Potential Targets – Victor Martinez, Mark Teahan, Scott Rolen, Jack Wilson, Roy Halladay

New York Yankees

Needs – Starting Pitching, Bullpen. The Yankees are having back of the rotation issues right now and they could use another arm in the pen. The Yankees have already traded for Eric Hinske

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Joe Beimel, John Grabow

Tampa Bay Rays

Needs – Bullpen, Right Field. I still think the Rays could use another solid, depandable arm in the pen. They are also looking to upgrade the Gabe Gross/Gabe Kapler platoon in right.

Potential Targets – Jamey Wright, Danys Baez, Cla Meredith, Mark Teahan, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham

Detroit Tigers

Needs – Bullpen. The Tigers have the offense and they have two top of the rotation starters in Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson. I think they could use another arm in the pen to go along with Zumaya and Rodney.

Potential Targets – Cla Meredith, Matt Capps, Ron Mahay, John Grabow, Mike Gonzalez

Sanchez would be perfect for the Twins

Sanchez would be perfect for the Twins

Minnesota Twins

Needs – Second Base. Freddy Sanchez makes so much sense it’s scary.

Potential Targets – Freddy Sanchez, Adam Kennedy

Chicago White Sox

Needs – Starting Pitching. Kenny Williams already tried for Jake Peavy, will he go after Roy Halladay? The White Sox have already acquired reliever Tony Pena from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. For the first time in a long time, the Angels offense is not the problem. The Angels need bullpen help in the worst way and of course, they might be in on Roy Halladay.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, John Grabow, Arthur Rhodes, Joe Beimel, George Sherrill

Texas Rangers

Needs – Starting Pitching. Isn’t it always about pitching with the Rangers? The Rangers have the farm system, but do they have the money? That is the question with the Rangers.

The Rangers bullpen might get a boost with Neftali Feliz. He has been pitching from the stretch recently and is preparing for a bullpen stint with the Rangers for this year.

Potential Targets – Doug Davis, Brad Penny, Brian Bannister, Ben Sheets (free agent), Takashi Saito

Seattle Mariners

Needs – Third Base, Leftfield, Shortstop. The Mariners might hold the key to the trading deadline. The have potentially two of the most desirable pitchers on the market, if the Mariners should pack it in – Jarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard.

The Mariners are 46-42 and only four games back of the Angels in the AL West. I see them trying to add instead of giving up players.

They have already acquired 3B Jack Hannrahan from the A’s.

Potential Targets – Garrett Atkins, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jack Wilson, Orlando Cabrera, David DeJesus

So there are the 21 teams and the players they might be interested in. Who do you want your favorite team to target? Let’s discuss.

It’s Time For The Blue Jays To Trade Alex Rios…

June 9, 2009

After last week’s outburst by Alex Rios, it’s time for the Blue Jays to really consider trading the underachieving rightfielder. The outburst I am referencing can be found here. Essentially Rios got into a shouting match with a fan because he refused to sign an autograph for a kid.

To say that was a classless act by Rios is like saying Roy Halladay is just an “okay” pitcher. It’s the understatement of the century. I don’t care if Rios went 0-30 that night (he actually went 0-5). You can’t do that to a fan!!! This should be the final straw for the Blue Jays and I feel they should move on from the Alex Rios era.

Rios is a classic underachiever

Rios is a classic underachiever

Rios is the worst type of player for an organization to have. He is a player who shows glimpes of greatness but doesn’t show them most of the time. The GM and manager will talk about this player and say “If this player can reach his potential this year, we will have a great team.” Essentially what this player does is hold his team hostage. It’s an organization’s worst nightmare.

Chances are those type of players never reach their potential. Just ask any Cubs’ fan about Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. The Cubs were held hostage by those two for years waiting on their potential. Eventually they had to move on.

When Rios first came to the majors, all I heard from baseball experts and scouts was how great Rios was going to be. He was a “five tool” prospect who could do it all. Five and a half years later, Rios is a remarkably average player.

Rios looks like a guy that that should hit .320 with 28-30 HR’s, 100 RBI and 30 + SB’s every year. However, Rios has never had more than 24 HR’s, more than 85 RBI and never batted higher than .302 in a season. His average hitting line for a 162 game season is .287/16/77/.337 with 21 SB’s. That is nothing special.

Here is where advanced stats are sometimes deceiving. Rios’ WAR (Wins Against Replacement) the last two years is 4.6 and 5.5. That puts him at an All Star level. That makes sense since Rios was an All Star player in 2007 and had a good year in 2008. However, ask any Blue Jay fan about Rios and they will tell you that he doesn’t play like an All Star player everyday.

Here is what Toronto Star writer Steve Simmons thinks of Rios…

“Alex Rios has turned into a $10-million embarrassment for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Never mind that he plays the outfield with a not-so-reckless indifference. Never mind that he has taken his five-tool gifts and squandered them with his lack of passion and apathy.”

That pretty much sums up most fan’s feelings towards Rios. To me, Rios is not a winning ballplayer. I have never once watched a Blue Jays’ game and thought Alex Rios was anywhere close to being the best player on the field. He doesn’t make an impact on the game what so ever. The Blue Jays need to realize this sooner rather than later while Rios still have value.

Can the Blue Jays trade Rios during the season? That would be very tough. With the economy still in the toilet, there aren’t too many teams willing to take on Rios’ $10MM salary for this year. A trade in the offseason would seem more likely. The economy should be moving in the right direction in November (I hope), which would open trade options up for the Jays.

According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, after 2009, Rios has five years and $57.7MM remaining on his contract. Rios also has a $13.5MM club option in 2015. At 28 years old is Rios worth $10MM a year for the next five years? Probably not. But is his contract so prohibitive that no team would trade for him? I don’t think it is.

Last year there was a rumor of a Matt Cain for Rios swap. With Cain’s breakout 2009 (7-1, 2.27 ERA), I don’t think there is a chance of that happening anymore. So where could he end up? The Giants would still be a possibility but not for Cain. Perhaps Jonathon Sanchez and some prospects would do the trick? Maybe the Mets? What about the Angels or the White Sox who will get Jim Thome’s and Jose Contreras’ contracts off the books after this year?

It will be interesting to see how the Blue Jays handle this situation with Rios. If the Blue Jays were smart, they would explore trade options for him. It’s pretty clear, in my opinion that Rios has worn out his welcome in Toronto.

Fantasy Week In Review, 6/1-6/7…

June 8, 2009

Is this baseball season flying by, or is it just me? I can’t believe we are already in the second week of June. It seems like yesterday that I was talking spring training.

It was a really interesting fantasy week this past week. We saw some top prospects get the call up, we saw some great performances by some surprising players and we saw the best pitcher in the game do his thing.

As always, here are the fantasy studs, the players who have me concerned and some potential pickups from the week of 6/1-6/7.

Fantasy Studs

Ian Stewart – .480/4/12. Stewart should be playing everyday. It’s starting to look like that may be the case.

Carlos Lee – .407/2/9. One of the more consistent run producers in baseball, who never gets noticed.

Matt Holliday – .417/2/9/.517. Holliday is starting to heat up. This is helping his trade value come July 31st.

Lyle Overbay – .533/2/8/.632. A great week for Overbay, who has had a relatively disappointing season.

Roy Halladay – Two starts, two wins, two complete games, 2.00 ERA. To good.

Erik Bedard – 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA and 11 K’s in 11 IP. Bedard has reverted back to his 2006 & 2007 form (28-16 with a 3.46 ERA). If Bedard keeps this up, he will get himself a nice payday in the offseason.

Vin Mazzaro – 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 13.2 IP. Mazzaro hasn’t allowed a run in his first two major league starts. That is pretty impressive.

Brian Wilson – Three saves, six K’s and a 0.00 ERA in 3.1 IP. I don’t like Wilson’s four walks in 3.1 innings, but other than that he was rock solid this week.

Reasons for Concern

Fausto Carmona – On Monday of last week, I wrote that I was surprised the Indians were continuing to start Carmona. On Friday of last week, the Indians woke up and decided not to send Carmona to the mound anymore. In fact, they sent him all the way down to the Arizona Rookie League.

I am guessing Carmona won’t be back with the Indians any time soon. Therefore, you should drop Carmona from your fantasy team.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA and gave up 16 hits in 10.2 IP. I am not interested in hearing how he only gave up one run against the Tigers. He was terrible and he was equally as terrible on Sunday against the Rangers.

My buddy Odie and I believe Dice-K might be toast this year. He went all out for the WBC and it looks like it might come back to haunt the Red Sox during the regular season.

Manny Parra – 0-1 with a 13.97 ERA and gave up 19 hits in 9.2 IP. Parra is now 3-7 with a 6.86 ERA this year. Hitters are batting .300 against him and he has walked 38 batters in 63 innings. That is way to many baserunners.

There is talk of sending Parra down, so keep an eye on him in his next couple of starts. If he doesn’t pitch well, then it might be adios for him with the Brewers.

Alex Rios – .176/1/2. Wasn’t this guy supposed to be a great player? He has never hit more than 24 HR’s, never had more than 85 RBI and has never hit higher than .302 in any season in the major leagues. That is remarkably average.

Rios desperately needs a change of scenery and after this ugly incident with a fan, he might get that change of scenery. If you are at work, you might want to have the volume on your computer on low to watch this video.

Potential Pickups

Antonio Bastardo – 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his first two major league starts. Bastardo has filled in nicely for the injured Brett Myers. As long as he keeps pitching like the way he has, he will continue to start in Philly.

CJ Wilson – Current closer, Frank Francisco might need another trip to the DL in order to get him healthy. If that is the case, CJ Wilson would be first in line to get some saves.

Ricky Nolasco – If the person in your league who had Nolasco was stupid enough to drop him when he was sent down to the minors, pick him up. Despite getting the loss, Nolasco dodged enough bullets (he did give up 10 hits in seven innings) and pitched well against the Giants yesterday.

I think Nolasco has figured things out and should pitch much better than he did in April and May from here on out.