Rangers acquire Rios from White SoxTexas looking to add punch to lineup after losing Cruz to suspension
The Rangers will also receive cash considerations while sending the White Sox a player to be named later or cash.
The Rangers, who began the day a percentage point behind Oakland for the AL West lead, were looking for help. Cruz, their All-Star right fielder and 2011 AL championship series MVP, was suspended 50 games Monday by Major League Baseball following its investigation into the Biogenesis clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. He was leading the Rangers with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs. Rios, 32, is batting .277 with 12 home runs, 26 stolen bases, 55 RBIs and 57 runs scored. He joined the White Sox after he was claimed off waivers from Toronto on Aug. 10, 2009.
''For myself, I'm going to go to a team that's fighting for first place and I think that's going to be refreshing,'' Rios said. ''They're trying to win the division and go to the playoffs, so let's see what happens.''
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said it wasn't easy trading Rios.
''It's difficult to let a player like Alex Rios go,'' he said. ''He in my opinion was outstanding for us on and off the field during his stay in Chicago. It's difficult to let a player like Alex Rios go.''
The Rios trade is the next step for the retooling White Sox as they try to pick themselves up from a dismal season.
They came into Friday's day-night doubleheader against Minnesota fifth in the AL Central after finishing second to Detroit last season.
''We looked so good in spring training, we actually thought we were gonna be contenders,'' Rios said. ''It's just bizarre what happened. I can't point a finger at what exactly happened. It's just one of those years.''
Rios' departure creates an opening for Avisail Garcia, the promising outfielder acquired from Detroit as part of a three-team deal that sent Jake Peavy from the White Sox to Boston before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
He was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte after the Rios trade was announced. Garcia batted .370 in eight games was the minor-league club and figures to see time in right field and center, where he'd been playing for Charlotte.
The trades also give the White Sox some economic flexibility to use on the draft, international players or free agency.
''It's going to go to making the big league club better for the long haul, no doubt,'' Hahn said. ''One of the positives of an unfortunate season like this is we're going to have an opportunity to spend a lot more money on amateur talent. That's going to be the first couple of line items next year - what we spend on the draft and what we spend on that internationally. Even after that, given the flexibility that's opened up, there will be the opportunity whether it be via trade or free agency to perhaps take on even more money.''
As bad as things have gone this season, Hahn believes the makeover won't take long to complete. Even with Peavy gone, the White Sox have a solid staff led by All-Star Chris Sale.
Their hitting and defense is a different story.
The White Sox came into Friday's games ranked 10th in the AL in batting average (.248) and last in runs. They were also 12th in fielding percentage and fourth in errors with 76.
''There's real changes and improvement that need to take place,'' Hahn said. ''This again is another step in that process to getting where we need to be.''