CHICAGO -- This time of year baseball players hear their names in trade rumors and are usually able to laugh it off. In the case of Alex Rios, the viral world of Twitter caught him off guard on Friday.
Numerous reports circulated that the New York Yankees had contacted Rios and his agent Paul Kinzer through the Chicago White Sox. Rios, who has been scouted by upwards of a dozen clubs recently, holds a no-trade clause to six teams. The Yankees are one of the teams on the list.
The reports stating that Rios had said no to a deal are totally false ,according to the White Sox outfielder.
“No, it is not true at all because if I was asked I was willing to waive my no-trade clause to go to the Yankees,” Rios told ESPNChicago.com. “It hasn’t been brought to me at all but I never turned a deal down to New York.”
Rios has one year left on a contract for $12.5 million. The Sox have an option for $13 million in 2015 or a $1 million buyout. If Rios gets traded he gets a $500,000 raise in 2014 and the buyout on the 2015 deal doubles to $2 million.
Players’ sensitivity to trade rumors make this part of July especially tough on veteran players on underachieving teams like Chicago.
“You would hope people speak with facts,” Rios said. “You can’t just be speculating things like that. It is wrong and shouldn’t be done.”
“You see all the moves and if there are rumors about you and your teammates you joke about it,” Rios said. “That takes the tension away from the whole thing. It takes your mind away from being distracted.”
Rios was picked up off of waivers by Chicago in August of 2009. The White Sox assumed the $60 million contract that Rios had signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.
“If I get traded it will be easier because I have been through it,” he said. “At the same time it would be tough because I have a bond with these people and the organization as well as the people who work in the stadium. It is a part of the game and it has to be dealt with.”