New York Mets News

Should the Mets claim Alex Rios?

By Shawn Jindal

On Tuesday evening, Ken Rosenthal confirmed Rangers outfielder Alex Rios has been placed on revocable waivers. This allows other teams to submit a waiver claim on the 33-year old. If a team claims him, the Rangers have three options:

  1. Negotiate a trade with the claiming team.
  2. Dump Rios’ contract onto the claiming team, in exchange for no compensation.
  3. Pull Rios back (hence, revocable waivers) and keep him.

Rios seems to be annually linked to the Mets in trade discussions. In years past, Rios has offered a rare combination of power and speed, as evident by his combined 43 home runs and 65 stolen bases in 313 games from 2012 to 2013. Combined with the fact that he can play a corner outfield spot, which have been revolving doors in Flushing for almost a decade, he seems like an ideal fit.

However, Rios’ offense has seen a sharp decline this season in Arlington. Although he has posted a respectable .296 batting average, his OPS sits at a lackluster .742. This is despite playing in a bandbox. His wRC+, a statistic that adjusts offensive production based on ballpark conditions, is only 98, indicating he has been a below average offensive player. While he will likely put up another 20+ stolen base season, he has limited range in the outfield and draws very few walks. If the Mets were to claim Rios, assuming Texas chooses option #2 and dumps the remainder of his contract onto the Mets, they would be responsible for the $3.4 million left on his contract in 2014, as well as the $1 million buyout to decline his team option in 2015.

Rios is not terrible. He has been mediocre this season, but mediocrity is far better than what we have seen out of both Chris Young and Eric Young Jr. this season. That being said, he would be an upgrade in the outfield. But let’s be honest: there is no chance ownership would approve of spending $4.4 million for two months of Alex Rios. The Mets are arguably on the outskirts of a potential playoff push, but even that’s debatable. Fans must remain realistic. This is not the same ownership group that carelessly threw around money six years ago (technically it is, but you know what I mean). While Rios would be a marginal upgrade, we cannot yet afford spending millions on “marginal” upgrades. Will we ever be able to afford such luxuries? That is yet to be determined.

Besides, Alex Rios is a jerk anyways.