CHICAGO -- It came as no surprise to Chicago White Sox right fielder Alex Rios to hear that teams are asking about his availability in the trade market. One of the messages came from a former teammate.
“A.J. (Pierzynski) contacted me the other day and said his team was talking about trying to get me,” Rios said. “All players want to be on a winner and in our situation it has been tough to win. I love it here in Chicago and so does my family but this is the time of year teams make these decisions. We have put ourselves in that position.”
According to industry sources, numerous clubs -- including Pierzynski’s Texas Rangers, the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks -- are watching Rios from city to city. Rios had a career year for Chicago in 2012, batting .304 with 25 home runs and 91 RBIs.
“It is tough this time of the year when the deadline approaches and teams start talking about moving people,” Rios said. “It is what it is. Sometimes management has no choice but to make some moves in order to get things going again. This is just a part of the game and we will all have to deal with hearing our names in trade rumors this month."
Rios has a limited no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to veto a deal to six teams. That said, if a contender comes calling he will most likely waive his no-trade rights.
“It is a tough time for us because the way we have played makes us look like sellers,” he said. “You hate to see it because you get attached to your teammates and the organization as well as the fans. It is tough.”
Rios was in a state of shock when the White Sox picked him up on waivers from Toronto with $60 million left on his contract in 2009. This time around he will be less surprised if he is a chip in the Sox’s retooling moves.
“It is something I have experienced already,” Rios said. “I had a tough time with that having spent 10 years in the Toronto organization. If it happens again I will know how to deal with things. If it is up to me I would want to stay here and try to win. If they give me a choice I will have to weigh my options.”
Rios is signed through 2015.