Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas reports that Rangers outfielder Alex Rios has cleared revocable waivers, which means it’s just like July all over again for him and Texas, as he can be traded to any team.
I figured he’s be a borderline case to clear. He’s making $12.5 million this year, but it’s the last year of his famously bad deal, and there are less than two months left on the season. He also has a team option for next year that is unlikely to be picked up with a $1 million buyout. That’s not super cheap, but not crazy either. At least not as crazy as it seemed when he signed the deal back in 2008.
Rios isn’t tearing up the pea patch, but he’s been decent this year, hitting .293/.323/.412 with four home runs, 45 RBI, and 16 stolen bases over 110 games. In a world where offense is really hard to come by, you have to figure a contender may take a run at him now that he’s cleared.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are close to acquiring pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Ryan Moseley.
Nuno, 29, went to the Dodgers from the Mariners in the Carlos Ruiz trade this past November. He and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $1.125 million salary for the 2017 season. The left-hander finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.53 ERA and a 51/11 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings spanning one start and 54 relief appearances.
Nuno will provide the Orioles starting pitching depth and could serve as a valuable left-handed option out of the bullpen.
Moseley, 22, played his first season of professional baseball in the New York Penn League last year. In 12 relief appearances, he put up a 3.20 ERA and an 18/9 K/BB ratio across 19 2/3 innings. The Orioles selected him in the eighth round of the 2016 draft.