Rangers put in waiver claim for Alex Rios

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Just before the July 31 trade deadline the Pirates were said to be close to acquiring Alex Rios from the White Sox, but that deal fizzled and now like most players this month Rios was placed on waivers.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Rangers were awarded the waiver claim on Rios, which means if the White Sox are going to trade him Texas is now the only option. They can also simply pull Rios back and keep him.

Rios makes sense for the Rangers with Lance Berkman still on the disabled list and Nelson Cruz suspended for the remainder of the season. He’s a good defensive right fielder who’s hitting .277 with 12 homers, 26 steals, and a .749 OPS to basically match his career numbers at age 32.

Rios is owed about $4 million for the rest of the this season and is under contract for $12.5 million next year, plus a $13.5 million option or $1 million buyout for 2015. So if the Rangers think he’s worth that money he’d be more than a stretch-run pickup, giving them a longer-term replacement for Cruz in right field.

Marcus Stroman: José Bautista could ‘easily’ pitch in MLB bullpen

José Bautista and Marcus Stroman
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José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.

Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”

In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”

Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”

Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:

Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”

I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.