AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Jim Ross
The first might be the White Sox are blocking the Detroit Tigers from getting Rios, who could be an impact right fielder for them, especially with Magglio Ordonez slumping badly this season. If that's not the case, the White Sox could be setting themselves up to acquire a player who has speed, power and youth on his side.
Although the White Sox may have been the team that claimed Rios, the reality of situations is sometimes much different than the initial perception.
"This time of year • so much is made of who's on waivers, who's being claimed off waivers, who's the claiming club, that there's a lot of smoke where there's not a lot of fire on these things," White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn said on "Talkin' Baseball" on Saturday. "In other words, it's fairly difficult to make a waiver deal, and just about every player in baseball goes through waivers at one point or another during the month of August. So, just the mere fact that 'so-and-so is on waivers,' or 'this club claimed him,' doesn't mean that a deal is imminent. Far, far more often than not, nothing is, in fact, going to come from this."
The White Sox have $40 million potentially coming off the books next season. Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, Jose Contreras and Octavio Dotel are all in the last year of their contracts and will be free agents come November if the White Sox don't re-sign them.
Rios' contract with the Jays is back-loaded. He has five years remaining with $59.7 million left to be paid on the original seven-year deal. The Jays can either make a trade with the claiming team, let the player go to that team for nothing except picking up the remainder of the contract, or pull back the player from waivers. If a team pulls back a player during this time, the player cannot go on waivers again for 30 days.
According to a Major League source, the White Sox had interest in Rios earlier in the season.