Rios Claim Liberates Jays

Yesterday, the Toronto Blue Jays allowed Alex Rios to go to the Chicago White Sox after they claimed him on waivers.  They did not receive anything in return for Rios which has drawn some criticism.  However, even though no players were directly acquired for Rios, the move may benefit the Jays much more than anyone would think.

Sending Rios to the White Sox forced them to assume the bulk of his contract, worth up to over $72 million through 2015.  Rios has averaged 16 HR and 79 RBI per 162 games.  Those are fine numbers, but not worthy of the contract that Rios was given.  He may perform slightly better in a hitters’ park and better lineup in Chicago, but this was a worthy sacrifice.  Rios, at times, seems disinterested and often had mental lapses on the field.  He has tremendous talent, but the Jays simply tired of waiting for him to blossom.

Meanwhile, top rpospect Travis Snider has been terrorizing the AAA Pacific Coast League with a 1.063 OPS over 43 games.  To avoid him becoming a Super Two player, he will be held in Vegas for the next week or two (sorry Bethany).  In the mean time, Joe Inglett and Jose Bautista will platoon in right field.

The addition of Snider and whatever bat we can get for the money that is saved could be enough to put us over the top in 2010 and beyond.  The money can be spent on a power-hitting designated hitter, preferably right handed, to round out our lineup.  A portion of the money could also be used to fund a Roy Halladay extension.  Keeping Halladay is paramount to any success the Blue Jays will have in the foreseeable future.

Even though, the loss of Rios hurts in the short term, the principle of addition by subtraction applies.  Hopefully, the Jays can use the money saved wisely, and improve the team instead of overpaying an underperformer.

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