Another free agent position player is off the board, as CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Royals have agreed to a one-year, $11 million contract with outfielder Alex Rios. He’ll take over right field from Nori Aoki, who is still likely to land a multi-year deal on the open market.
Rios, who turns 34 in February, batted .280/.311/.398 with four home runs and 54 RBI over 131 games with the Rangers this past season. He became a free agent at the end of October after Texas declined his $13.5 million club option for 2015.
Rios was bothered by ankle and thumb injuries this year, so there’s some bounce back potential if he’s healthy. The Royals also recently signed another Scott Boras client, Kendrys Morales, off a down season, so the defending American League champions are banking big on rebounds.
The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.
Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.
The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.