Alex Rios: Waiver Claim Made on Toronto Blue Jay?
Reports have surfaced from the annual flurry of waivers season in Major League Baseball that right-fielder Alex Rios of the Toronto Blue Jays has been claimed off of waivers by an undisclosed baseball team.
Every year, baseball players are put on waivers to gauge interest from other teams. When a player is put on waivers, any other team in the same or a different baseball league may claim them. After a claim is made, the player's current team has three options. These are the options the Toronto Blue Jays now have with regards to Rios, if the reports are true:
1. Agree on a trade with the claiming team, within two business days.
2. Cancel the waiver, meaning the Blue Jays would not be allowed to put Rios on waiver for the rest of the season.
3. Allow Rios to go to the claiming team, handing over his contract and accepting a waiver fee.
If no claims are made on a player, they are said to have "cleared waivers", and may be transferred to a minor league team, traded, or simply let go.
Some have seen putting Rios on waivers as a move by the Toronto Blue Jays to get rid of his contract, which would save $69.35 million USD, the value of the remaining six years of Rios's contract, and allow the team to be more flexible financially, where players' payrolls are concerned.
"That's an incredible opportunity for the Blue Jays to get out from underneath that contract," said one team official.
[Buster] Olney [of ESPN.com] himself wrote, "Undoubtedly, the decision to place a waiver claim on Rios will stun rival executives, at a time when the prices on free agent outfielders have plummeted."
Rios, 28, is a two-time American League All-Star who has been docking underwhelming statistics.
This season, the 28-year-old Rios has fallen below expectations, hitting .261 with a .315 on-base percentage, 12 homers and 58 RBIs though 105 games for Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays have until Tuesday, August 11, to decide what to do with Rios. The team's general manager, John Paul (J.P.) Ricciardi, refused to comment on reports surrounding the player.
"It's the time of year where everybody gets put through waivers on every team," Ricciardi said. "For us to comment on that, I don't think is a good thing. We're not going to comment on the waiver wire. It's unfortunate that someone puts anything out there that's supposed to be confidential.
"In this case, all I'll tell you is everybody gets put through waivers. It's a normal process. Every team does it, but we're not going to comment on who was claimed or who wasn't claimed."