Which direction are the Blue Jays headed? Tue, August 11, 2009
By KEN FIDLIN, SUN MEDIA
Alex Rios is gone, given away for nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. The Blue Jays no longer have that six-year $70-million millstone around their corporate neck.
But it's not a salary dump. No, sirree.
This remarkable turn of events began when Rios was claimed off the waiver wire by the White Sox on Friday. It's routine business for major-league teams to run many of their players through waivers right after the non-waiver trade deadline on Aug. 1. Most players, especially the ones with big salaries, breeze through the process without a claim.
More often than not, if a player is claimed, the waivers are rescinded by the club. Unless, of course, they think getting rid of the financial liability is more attractive than the prospect of future production.
The Jays elected to sign Rios to a seven-year, $69.835-million US contract after his fourth full season, pre-empting any thought of him becoming a free agent after this season. They paid him high-end money for future production that did not materialize.
In his last 1,071 at-bats, since signing the deal, Rios has hit just 29 home runs and driven in 141 runs. Meanwhile, the economics of the game have shifted and the price of outfield help has fallen.
With Rios gone, which direction are the Jays headed? Have your say in our forum.