Rangers, Giants, D-Backs among teams interested in Alex Rios

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With the White Sox bringing up the rear in the AL Central, they are expected to make a plethora of players available over the next month leading up to the July 31 deadline. Among them is outfielder Alex Rios, enjoying an adequate season out of the #3 spot in the White Sox lineup as he carries a .771 OPS entering July. He is earning $12.5 million this year; he will earn another $12.5 million next year and has a $13.5 million club option for 2015 with a $1 million buyout.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago says the Rangers, Giants, and D-Backs are three teams showing interest in Rios as the Sox wrap up June.

According to industry sources, Rios has numerous clubs, including Pierzynski’s Texas Rangers, the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks watching him from city to city right now.

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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.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.