White Sox and Pirates “getting close” to Alex Rios trade

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While most of the attention surrounding the White Sox at the trade deadline centers around Jake Peavy they’re “getting close on a deal” that would send Alex Rios to the Pirates, according to David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com.

Kaplan reports that the two sides are working on the money aspect of a potential trade, although he also notes that nothing is certain to be completed. Rios is owed about $5 million for the remainder of this season and $12.5 million next season.

Pittsburgh certainly has a need in right field, where they’ve gotten a combined .226 batting average and nine homers for a .649 OPS that ranks dead last in the majors. By comparison Rios is hitting .272 with 12 homers and a .752 OPS, which is similar to his overall numbers in five seasons with the White Sox, and he’s also a big plus defensively.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.